Magazine November 16, 2020, Issue

A New Socratic Dialogue: Part 3 of 3

A gate to the Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., March 10, 2020 (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Is our educational system impoverished by the lack of instruction in grammar? I set forth opposing views in the form of a dialogue between stalwart interlocutors. This is the third part of a three-part series.

Aristophanes: There’s rampant confusion today on what used to be the simple point of pronouns.

Socrates: Really?

Aristophanes: Yes. The decline in people’s command of pronouns seems directly traceable to the decline in coursework in grammar.

Socrates: I’m not sure it’s any worse today than it ever has been.

Aristophanes: In an interview last night, I heard the president of a major university say Me and the dean are responsible

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Bryan A. Garner — Mr. Garner is the author of The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation, Garner’s Modern English Usage, and The HBR Guide to Better Business Writing.

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