Why are white people obsessed with grammar?

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  • #116

    NiaC.
    Participant
    Why are white people so dogmatic about grammar? I've noticed this a lot in person and on various internet forums. It's kind of peculiar to me, because good grammar isn't linked to intelligence.

    User Detail :  

    Name : NiaC., Gender : Female, Race : Black/African American, Age : 30, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, 
    #36658

    MariaB
    Participant
    Your question implies that ALL white people are dogmatic about grammar, which is like saying that ALL black people speak ebonics. You are correct that grammar is not linked to intelligence but that's the perception, right or wrong. And it doesn't matter the race of the language-mangler. Speaking non-standard English can give the impression that the speaker is ill-educated. As an employer, I would not hire someone who cannot or will not speak standard English. I look for people who can communicate well and who will represent my company in a professional and positive way.

    User Detail :  

    Name : MariaB, Gender : Female, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Disability : Blind, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 50, City : Raleigh, State : NC Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, 
    #13682

    JM
    Participant
    I don't think that all white people are dogmatic about grammer (hehe, I did that deliberately). I will admit that proper grammar is important to me and that I form an at least partially negative impression of people that use poor grammar. I would agree that good grammar does not equate with intelligence, but poor grammar does not, to me, suggest that someone is particularly intelligent.

    User Detail :  

    Name : JM, Gender : Male, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 37, City : Anytown, State : CT Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #21226

    RachelLivingston
    Participant
    I was raised in a household where when I said something along the lines of, "Me and Sarah went to the movies." I was corrected and told, "You mean: Sarah and I went to the movies." and then I was given an explanation as to why I should us "I" in that context and not "me." Over the years I have begun finding grammar and writing interesting and I enjoy learning about it but I would never tell a random stranger that their grammar is wrong, that's rude, I will save that for my kids. BUT! In the long scheme of things I'm sure grammar ties into elites scum trying to define social status; something along the lines of: If you can't speak how the people who can afford an education can speak then you don't know how my club works and therefore can not join the above poverty club. Grammar is subtle tool used by the elite scum to test your up bringing and compliance level just like a criminal record. You gotta play by the roles if you want to beat their game...

    User Detail :  

    Name : RachelLivingston, Gender : Female, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 24, City : Denver, State : CO Country : United States, 
    #13715

    KaylaT
    Participant
    While proper grammar usage is attributed with intelligence, one should keep in mind that there are various dialects and forms of English. Black English Vernacular (http://bryan.myweb.uga.edu/AAVE/), Louisiana Creole (http://www.yale.edu/glc/gullah/06.htm), and the Gullah language (http://www.yale.edu/glc/gullah/06.htm) are some of the various dialects of American English. Just because someone isn't speaking YOUR English, that doesn't mean that person is any more or less intelligent than you. Before you judge, maybe you should consider others' cultural backgrounds and upbringings. Actually get to know someone before you assume their intelligence level based on one statement, casual conversation, accent, etc.

    User Detail :  

    Name : KaylaT, Gender : Female, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Disability : N/A, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 23, City : College Station, State : TX Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #13716

    ShirleyAvery
    Participant
    I can assure you that President Obama would not be in the White House if he did not speak in a grammatically correct way. His eloquence & clarity of speech are consistent with that. Good grammar may not correlate with intelligence, but it clearly reflects a better education. Each culture has a standard language with its own rules & grammar. The majority rules and those who do not learn the rules of the educated majority will have trouble finding a good job. Employers do not want workers who sound uneducated. They may also feel that those who constantly break grammatical rules have a disrespect for rules in general.

    User Detail :  

    Name : ShirleyAvery, Gender : F, Disability : none, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 52, City : st. louis, State : MO Country : United States, Occupation : writer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #13726

    Anonymous
    Participant
    President Obama would not be in the White House if he spoke with bad grammar. Proper grammar may not correlate with intelligence, but it reflects good education. President Obama has demonstrated his eloquence and clarity of communication. Those are two things people admire about him. As a former English teacher, let me say that the English language has evolved through centuries. The point of language is to communicate and the native language of each culture has evolved with the people. The majority language is generally the most accepted one. "Standard American English" includes a particular grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc. Without that, it's difficult to get a good job because employers don't want employees who sound uneducated. Employers may also feel that people who constantly break the rules of our English grammar have a disrespect for rules in general.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Anonymous, 
    #13746

    jrtyt
    Participant
    Good hygiene isn't linked to intelligence either, but if you can't manage that, expect to be corrected on it also.

    User Detail :  

    Name : jrtyt, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Disability : Blind, Race : Alaska Native, Religion : African Methodist Episcopalian, City : dtydyry, State : CO Country : Argentina, Social class : Lower class, 
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