Schools in many English-speaking countries have gradually given up teaching Standard English. One could cite various supporting instances. In England during the past decade, schools have stopped insisting that th be sounded the traditional way instead of as either a v sound or an f sound: So my muvver and I fink so are no longer corrected in the speech of British youth. (Linguists call this “th-fronting.”) In Seattle in 2010, a reviewer of The Chicago Manual of Style declared this “basic of linguistics”: “There really isn’t such a thing as poor grammar, just a variety of contexts.” Even spelling …
This article appears as “Killing Grammar: Part I of a Three-Part Series” in the May 18, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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