Dr. Joel Hoffman on why only some grammar rules are breakable

Your Bitemaster is proud to say he sleeps with a copy of “the little book” under his pillow; and he’s also pleased to brag that he’s met the good doctor Hoffman right here in the BiteCave.

In his article on the HoffPost, Dr Hoffman describes both prescriptive and descriptive grammar and then concludes that good writers know when to follow the rules and when to break them.

Here at BiteMe, we follow a similar approach: If you see what you think is a grammar error, you can be sure it was a carefully considered artistic choice.

Dr. Joel Hoffman: Why Only Some Grammar Rules Are Breakable.

1 thought on “Dr. Joel Hoffman on why only some grammar rules are breakable

  1. Actually, as someone who has studied lingusitics, I would tend to agree with this conclusion. A lot of what passes for “grammar” in English (i.e., the rule against splitting an infinitive, the prohibition on using can/can’t to express permission rather than ability, the belief that sentences should never end in a preposition) are actually just thinly-disguised upper-class shibboleths. Linguists have a different understanding of what “grammar” is than the general public. To a linguist, “grammar” is not what some particular group of a language’s speakers or users think of as “good language” but the rules that are absolutely essential to obey in order to communicate in the language. Grammar is not simply any use of language that some language users happen to dislike, which is often how English teachers and language pundits view the term.

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