Jose Carillo's Forum


This page features notable advocacies in English grammar and usage as well as dissenting voices or controversies about the language. Various viewpoints will be presented here to enable users and learners of English to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of its finer points and its changing or still unsettled aspects.

I hope you’d find the clash of views about English grammar and usage in this page both enlightening and entertaining!

English grammar and usage: Defense and assault

Two users of the English language—one an accomplished Australian author and the other an American freelance writer currently writing her debut novel—take strong and highly divergent positions with respect to its grammar and usage.

Clive James, a multi-awarded expatriate Australian with more than 30 books and various other written works to his name, bewails the deterioration of English grammar and usage in Britain and Australia. In an article he wrote for The Monthly in June 2006, he says that the state of the English language is Australia is bad, and that Britain itself—the birthplace of English—is the English-speaking country where the English language is falling apart most quickly. “In Britain, in 2006, the Labour government is still trying to fix the education system,” James says, “but surely one of the reasons it’s so hard to fix is that most of the people who should know how are themselves the system’s victims, and often don’t even seem to realise it. They need less confidence. Even when they are ready to admit there might be a problem, few of them realise that they lack the language to describe it.”

From Writer’s Block,

In contrast, over at the United States, blogger Vanesa Nix declares in’s Writers Block that she is waging a constant battle with the world of English grammar and its so-called rules. She says that words, grammar, sentences, paragraphs, letters, commas, styles, the em dash, colon and semicolon use all swirl in her head as to make her vomitous. “As a writer,” she complains, “my world is populated by Grammar Nazis—defined as those who believe they have the answer to creating the perfect written world, one in which a sort of grammatical ‘purification’ must take place. These ideas, much like those of their World War II counterparts, are not only misguided but dangerous.”

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Page last modified: 22 August, 2009, 3:50 a.m.