The formation of modern day American grammar has been a historic manifestation of various subsidies of English. Ann Curzan sheds light on the notion of grammar usage in “Says Who? Teaching and Questioning the Rules of Grammar”, exploiting the difference between descriptive grammar-grammar used to describe the conventions of a spoken language and prescriptive grammar-grammar that is taught in schools once the conventions are effectively described. Ann argues that if a firm grasp on the proper usage of prescriptive grammar is acquired, then subsequent toiling with descriptive grammar is permitted- a strong argument which encourages students to challenge the rules of grammar in modern day English.
The article itself was a great read, which challenged my preconceived notions of proper grammar usage. Language is a fundamental construct of any society, shaping the way in which individuals communicate, to that fact, it is imperative to appreciate the various ways in which people use language. Cultures manipulate language and students are often deprived of the opportunity to appreciate the way in which language becomes a direct manifestation of the culture in which it is being used. For instance, in the Spanish language, geographic location is a primary contributor to the manifestation of language, creating slang and other variations of the language and grammar usage. I agree with Ann, we must stop creating restrictions on the usage of grammar, and therefore, implore students to challenge modern day grammar practices, which in my opinion will foster a better understanding of the English language, grammar and its use.
Matthew R. Polito