As soon as we enter the school system, we are taught that there is only one proper way to speak English. Every day, grammar lessons are crammed into our heads, so that we are better prepared for our society.
Outside of the classroom, we expose ourselves to multiple dialects and slang that take a preference over what we learn in school.
There should not be so much emphasis on what we, as Americans, should sound like. The United States is known for its diversity, and the dialects within the country makes it that much more unique.
Many blame text messaging and slang for a student’s lack of grammar knowledge. However, this is just a small portion of the problem.
Slang and dialects have always existed. They are a part of the creation of world cultures. Without these playing an aspect in the culture, there would be less diversity.
Grammar seems to be a constant problem in the United States, but it is seen as more of a serious issue now with the new technological developments.
Many teenagers are using electronics to communicate and a new form of slang has developed because of it.
According to a survey in Pew Internet & American Life Project, 85 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds have reported to have used some sort of electronic communication.
These new advances are not hurting our grammar. The U.S. has had grammatical issues since someone decided that there was only one way to speak English.
English itself is a difficult language to learn. As Americans, we expect ourselves to know every aspect of the language, but in actuality, we know less than we think.
The way we talk on a daily basis does not reflect the perfect criteria we set for speaking grammatically correct.
In California, schools are now teaching children in classrooms the “proper” way of speaking English. They are teaching these children how bad their grammar is and then teaching them the correct way to speak.
Dialects are being seen as an unimportant part of our country. The voices of our diversity are slowly being lost.
The main dialects that are criticized are the African and Mexican-American dialects. These dialects are seen as naïve and incapable of communicating on the same level as those who pay close attention to their grammar.
Many people, such as African American comedian Steve Harvey, prove that this assumption is not true. He presents most of his shows using terms that fall into the category of “African American English.” Those who listen to him understand him and still know that he is still able to be successful.
Americans have never been spot on with their grammar. The expectations we build are extremely high and need to be more realistic. It’s understandable that we should try to better ourselves as a country, but we shouldn’t lose an aspect that makes us so diverse.
Every time that we speak, there will be some sort of grammatical error. The English language is so complicated that it is impossible for someone to completely understand every element of it.
Dialects have existed for a long time. There is no reason to try to force people to believe that they do not sound right unless they speak a certain way.
Knowing the basics is a good foundation, but those dialects developed shows a sense of individuality.
Ivanna Tucker/Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org