I is Judge You When You is the Wrong Grammar in English Speak

January 12, 2011


I am a frustrated writer, but I know I'm NOT always fluent and flawless whenever I write (and speak) in English. At least I try to correct my self because for me, learning the basics of English grammar is a worthwhile endeavor — even if you have no interest in becoming a professional writer.

These days, it seems that there's a lot of TV commercials, print ads, public signs, magazine articles, internet contents and what have you that are in poor English grammar. I don't know if people are just being thoughtless or they really don't know the proper use of the language. I've become increasingly concerned about the ignorance of Filipinos. There seems to be a very little criticism of this situation. And often, when someone corrects poor English, there's a violent backlash. It seems to me that there are lots of English speakers who not only understand how to use the language effectively, but who actively reject the notion that English is a skill worth learning.

I honestly think that we should correct others when they use poor grammar, there's nothing wrong with it. I remember we had this activity in my Communication Skills class last month where we had to correct a paragraph written by one of Mr. Guinto's Korean students. The paragraph contains English words that are out of places that they made no sense at all. I really enjoyed that activity, it's a good way to practice our grammar. You see, we corrected a person's poor grammar and it was no big deal. Correcting people who use poor grammar is as good as telling your friend that her make-up is uneven or straightening up your husband's necktie or giving directions to a stranger who misses his jeepney stop. Correcting someone's grammar is helping him improve. It is being concerned. But we always find it difficult so we just ignore. That is the reason why poor grammar among Filipinos is becoming common and everywhere.

One of the most effective ways to improve our grammars is to always read a lot (books, newspaper, blogs, etc.). Especially now that television has become the preferred babysitter for children and the most effective way for adults to relax after day's work. The number of people who read seems to be decreasing in direct proportion to the number of kids growing up with portable DVDs, Ipods and PSPs. Really, English teachers — overworked and underpaid — seem to be fighting a losing battle!

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