The English language is going to the dogs (or maybe not…)

Finally got round to watching this debate.

kept feeling like heckling… all those times when people talked about “proper” or “correct” usage when what they really meant was standard English…

and so annoyed with the false dichotomy that kept popping up, as though it’s a case of either teaching kids The One True Way or leaving them without any knowledge of the conventions they need to know in order to get a job.

newsflash: you can teach kids a set of conventions while being honest about the fact that this is all it is – a set of conventions, which it’s a good idea to follow in certain contexts. you don’t wear your jeans for a job interview, but there’s nothing wrong with wearing jeans per se. likewise, you put on the appropriate language register when speaking or writing to a potential employer, but there’s nothing wrong with the different dialect/register you use with your mates down the pub.

also: I almost want to start a Mary Beard fan club.

(in case anyone missed it, I’m firmly in the “no” camp.) (which is why I feel free, for example, to write a blog post without capitalising the first word of each sentence.)

Questions? Thoughts? Talk to me - I don't bite :)

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