Who decides who makes all the grammar rules of English and when to change them? I searched the Internet for any trace of a National Grammar Rules Agency or a Government Department of Grammar, a National Language Regulatory Commission or a Federal Grammar Board.
Not a single hit!
So who decides? Does anyone send a survey every ten years? Make they ask questions like, “How many members of your household are grammatically correct?” or “What words do you no longer use?” or “How many times in the last year have you used adoxography gold gossip?“(Yes, they are real, look for them).
Yes they I sent a survey that I did not receive.
I wish I knew who “they” They were. We have the dictionary people. Then there are the linguistics folks whose job it is to dabble in language topics all day. It is they they? Then there are the language arts gurus at our universities. Or maybe it’s those lexicographers or soft-spoken etymologists who play with our words and slide them in and out of our dictionaries and word stores. Is it so they “they”? Or what about the textbook people? They they have to keep writing new editions of their books to sell the school boards with the idea that the current version is better than the one the school boards bought several years ago. Why? Why do the rules keep changing?
No. The rules don’t change. My favorite grammar book is one my grandfather used called “Grammar, rhetoric and composition“By Richard D. Mallery, The New Home Library, copyright 1944 by Garden City Publishing Co. Did you catch that copyright date? The book says adjectives are still descriptive, limiting, or adequate. It’s called adjective comparison positive, comparative or superlative. The definition of a complex sentence is (and it was in its day) a sentence consisting of an independent clause and at least one dependent clause. Comma splices occurred then as they do today. The writers of my grandfather’s day even hung up a few participles from time to time. The book cautions students not to end a sentence with a preposition or start a sentence with conjunctions. Y gold objective.
But now (I know. I broke the rule, not just with a sentence, but with a whole paragraph. So please let me know. Who will you report me to? If I follow you, I might find out who they are.) some expert language bloggers and other word makers tell us that they They’re kicking out some of the good guys Rules they they say they are no longer considered useful or necessary.
They have identified seven rules they They say we don’t have to go on anymore The English language has a trillion rules. As it did they Can you think of these seven? And why seven and not ten or 17 or 27? Who does they think they is it so? I do not know who they is it so. But I know what they they are arbitrary and capricious. That is what they is it so.
Here are the seven rules they chosen to go to the gallows:
1. Never divide an infinitive. Who would want to do that anyway?
2. Active voice verbs are preferable to passive voice verbs. I will never part with this one. This rule has been encrypted on my memory hard drive. The passive voice will be erased forever from my writing.
3. Never start a sentence with Y gold objective. Well. I can part with that one.
4. Never start a sentence with “There are” gold “exist. “Sorry, whoever they That is, it sticks like glue. There is nothing more confusing for a reader than having to search through a sentence trying to figure out what the writer is saying when he begins his sentence with “There is” or “There is”.
Is there? Of course not. This one stays.
5. Never end a sentence with a preposition. That’s a rule they can do without.
6. Always use “more than “ instead of “on “ with numbers. Well. What. Math is not my job.
7. Data are plural, so the verb must always be plural. So is data what data does? Or is data what data does? Yes they tell me.
So i guess they they are telling us that it is okay now to divide infinitives and start sentences with Y gold objectiveand finish our sentences with prepositions. I wonder if they have real jobs. Or did they Get up one day and go to the office and agree to throw a bunch of grammar rules out the window?
I can’t find anyone who really knows for sure. However, some pretty smart people claim that these rule changes are real, like the people of Strunk & White Style Elements, 3rd edition; tea Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, and the Associated Press defamation manual and style book.
But who told them?
Someone knows who they Are they really? We better be on guard. First they Starting off quietly and without much media coverage crucifies a few seemingly insignificant rules. Some language fans have already noticed. But then what if they Start playing with our pronunciation or our syntax? Coming Soon they it could infiltrate our speech and perhaps even our written language.
We have to find out who they are and stop this subtle sabotage now!