Oh, for the luvva Pete. This comes to us from Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller; College Writing Center Declares American Grammar A ‘Racist,’ ‘Unjust Language Structure’. The stupid, it is strong with this one. Excerpt:
An “antiracist” poster in a college writing center insists American grammar is “racist” and an “unjust language structure,” promising to prioritize rhetoric over “grammatical ‘correctness.’”
The poster, written by the director, staff, and tutors of the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Writing Center, states “racism is the normal condition of things,” declaring that it permeates rules, systems, expectations, in courses, school and society.
“Linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent ‘standard’ of English,” proclaims the writing center’s statement. “Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.”
In the introduction to its “commitment” section, the Tacoma Writing Center pledges to “listen and look carefully and compassionately for ways we may unintentionally perpetuate racism or social injustice, actively engaging in antiracist practices” before making nine specific promises to students.
“We promise to emphasize the importance of rhetorical situations over grammatical ‘correctness’ in the production of texts,” announces the poster. “We promise to challenge conventional word choices and writing explanations.”
Look, every written language has rules. Mrs. Animal is poly-lingual, speaking German, French, Japanese and a little Spanish; she knowledgeably informs me that the hardest thing about a new language is learning the various rules of grammar, without which you’ll have a hard time making yourself understood. I am most emphatically not poly-lingual, unless you count being able to struggle along in conversational German if I’m speaking with someone who doesn’t talk too quickly. But I do know that language, in order to transmit ideas clearly and unambiguously, needs to have rules.
Those rules are called spelling and grammar.
It’s disheartening to see the horrible written communications skills demonstrated by so many people today. I do not exclude people my age and older in this, but the younger generation, particularly in various internet venues, seem to be pretty bad, and I can tell you in part why – none of my four kids, who went to school in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, were taught the parts of speech, or how to diagram a sentence. They were not taught the basic rules of English grammar.
When you remonstrate one of these folks, they tend to react loudly, accusing you of being a grammar Nazi (of which I cheerfully plead guilty) and asking why, if you can make out what they are saying, that their presentation should matter.
Well, here’s why: On an internet forum, how you present yourself in writing is the only thing readers have with which to judge your intelligence. A bad argument presented well is often more persuasive than a good argument presented badly.
The folks at the Tacoma Writing Center are presenting an absolutely horrible argument and doing it not only poorly, but stupidly. The jackwagons proposing this travesty have no business working in education at any level.