Grammar Updates and Misdemeanors

Whether you’re a grammar Nazi, a grammarian or a grammando – or none of them – we can all agree that the Standard English language is ever-evolving. We suddenly find new words (ie. ‘conlang‘ and ‘mumblecore‘ were added last year to the Merriam-Webster dictionary) and even new usage for words (ie. ‘woke’ and ‘ghost’ aren’t what they used to mean anymore).

So it’s no surprise that even grammar rules can change – a 2013 article “10 grammar rules you can forget: How to stop worrying and write proper” by The Guardian style editor, David Marsh, cited 10 antiquated rules. These include never beginning a sentence with “and”, “but”, or “because”, and never ending a sentence with a preposition.

Still, there are still some rules you should adhere to because too many people here abuse the language, making grammar Nazis cringe. These include using the word ‘revert’ to imply that they’ll get back to you (the word means ‘returning to a previous state’), or misusing the word ‘ever’ in sentences like “I ever saw a pig”, or the constant appearance of ‘cum’ on community centre banners.

Here are some other grammar misdemeanors often committed:

Archaic language: ‘amongst’, ‘whilst’. Replace them with ‘among’ and ‘while’.

Use the singular “they”: in a world where gender is fluid, using ‘his or her’ is antiquated. Replace ‘his or her’ with ‘their’.

Placement of modifiers: Modifiers need to have a clear, direct relationship with the word/s that they modify. For instance, it should be ‘Stories I Tell Only My Friends’, not ‘Stories I Only Tell My Friends’.

Incorrect pronouns: For instance, “They asked Amy and myself to dinner” and the grammatically incorrect “They asked Amy and I to dinner”; in both instances, it should be ‘me’.

The wrong preposition: “The rich are very different to you and me” (should be ‘from’). Not to be mistaken with (should be ‘for’). No qualms with (change to ‘about’).

The wrong word: All of us use spell-checkers with our articles. Yet they can’t help us when it comes to the wrong words that are spelled correctly. Some of these include practice/practise, principal/principle, lead/led, and many more.