You've heard the intelligentsia, blabbing away at their dinner parties about the erosion of the American language. You've skimmed a comment board, at some point in your life. Heck, you're probably guilty of the occasional 'LITERALLY' or 'THEIR/THEY'RE/THERE' muddle yourself, despite AutoCorrect, a college degree, and the best intentions.
It's easy to chalk up the modern world's escalating tolerance of spelling and grammar mistakes to the newfangled way we do things on the internet. But it's no big deal, you figure.What difference does it make, if we're all a little looser with the lexicon? Who cares, right?
And the answer is: tiny children. Cartoons. Puppets. Tiny children care about grammar because grammar is something tiny, tiny children are expected to know. I.E. YOU WILL NEVER BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY IF YOU CAN'T FORM SENTENCES WITH THE MINIMAL RIGOR OF A COMPETENT BABY. Sound snooty? I will grandstand all day about the significance of spelling and sentence structure, the power of the well-written word. I could trot out winding, brainy essays on this subject till the cows come home. But in the meantime, let us take a few back-to-basics refresher courses:
People have all but forgotten the predicate, but it's a valuable tool for serious sentence tinkers. It's also my favorite of the "School House Grammar Rock!" videos:
And last but not least, an argument for the power in print. From America's favorite aardvark: