Grammar is a lost art. Why?
Is this the dumbing-down of society, or just a change in technology and language?
It's not a lost art. It's a constantly shifting art form. Language updates and revises itself constantly with each generation. A new cultural trend or certain terms become outdated. Technology does have a factor as new terms enter our lexicon, but ultimately it's really just people constantly evolving language with every word they speak. It's like a copier constantly copying a single page over and over again. People use the words of old over and over again. Sooner or later, there's some dilution. A cumulative effect.
As to society getting dumber, that is absolutely not true. People used to think putting mercury in their hats was smart. I think we've come a long way since then. As a matter of fact, society is actually getting smarter these days. When we look at IQ scores from the early 1900s, we see that there's no major difference, but the thing is that the curve constantly changes to accommodate the average 100. By today's standards, the average person when the first average IQ was taken would be a little slow.
Grammar is not a lost art. Proper grammar is a lost art. Somewhere along the line it became OK to sound stupid. Literature is most certainly a lost art, however.
Grammar is extremely important, and I am glad that English has many distinct grammar rules. In China, we signed a document that stated how about $90,000 would be spent. However, when the money was not spent correctly, it was pointed out that a sentence in the document was grammatically incorrect, and in fact it was ambiguous. Therefore, there was not way to take the matter to court, and we lost the $90,000.
Lose grammar and you lose the knowledge of singular or plural, definite or indefinite, male or female, past, present or future, sentence structures, descriptions, and so much more.
Image a road with drivers that had no rule. No speeding rules, no rules for if you get into an accident, no stop light rules, nothing. After all, the goal is to just get to your destination, isn't it?
Grammar is not a lost art, but on the internet -- there is a different style of language that draws attention.
I don't feel that it is a "dumbing-down of society"-- so much as it is a cultural "thing" to write in a way that gives you your own form of style.
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