English is a Tool Nothing More

The nazis never died. Grammar nazis are all around us! Shhh… be careful.

I suppose I should start by mentioning that I love writing. Truly. My dream is to become an author after all. Nonetheless, I do not believe that correct english is very important. After all, english is just a tool used for communication. Communication is far more important than correct grammar.

On certain websites such as youtube there are a group of people who are popularly known as grammar nazis. These are people who spend their time providing free english lessons to others who don’t seem to care about the glorious english language as much as they do. Occasionally these lessons are well deserved such as when people post using texting abbreviations or in complete gibberish formed from seemingly random letters of the alphabet. More often though, at least in my experience, these grammar nazis are nitpicking the slightest of errors.

English possesses no value of itself. It is not some holy thing. Its value comes instead through its utility.

Likewise the price of chainsaws comes from their utility. If chainsaws could not be used to chop down trees and such then they would be useless constructs and immediately recycled to form other tools. Chainsaws are meant to be used for that is where their value lies.

I have indeed meet with folks who have great experience with chainsaws and treat their chainsaws like a newborn child. Perhaps I disagree with their methods but they still have legitimate reason to cradle their saws. Taking the utmost good care of the chainsaw allows it to cut better, that is allows it to fulfill its utility to a superior extent which is, again, where its value lies. Needless to say, increasing the tools value is practical.

English’s value stems from communication. Perhaps, like the saw, if proper grammar assisted in communication then valuing all the irrational rules of the english language would be practical. Personally though I do not believe that all those rules do help in communication all the time.

I do not mean to say that grammar and punctuation and all those fun things are entirely useless. Instead they are very useful so long as they do not disrupt communication or make it more obtuse.

Take poetry for instance. Poetry is well known for using significantly improper english. However this is acceptable as poetry is an art form and the improperness of the english is used to communicate the author’s message to a greater more artful effect. Breaking english’s laws directly assists poetry in the communication of their message.

For some reason though poetry is one of few mediums where poor english is acceptable for the sake of communication.

English is only valuable for sake of communication. If communication is not barred by misuse isn’t that misuse acceptable.

Tools find their value in use and english is only a tool. English should not be viewed as anything significant beyond that. Its not God.