Grammar vs Communication

Carl   Thursday, October 30, 2003, 22:03 GMT
We all realize that without rules there is chaos. Grammar is merely a set of rules to preserve the written word. Without these standards there would be no continuity of language and over time communication of ideas would suffer. If you can master grammar you can unlock ideas and thoughts that were written across time and place. But grammar is a paradox. While it preserves language it supresses communication at the same time.

Take for instance the Spanish word 'yo'. In that language ' yo' is only used for emphasis. However,in American English we require the pronoun "I" and we have no way of emphasizing it on paper with grammar. As a conglomeration of various languages and grammars it's ironic how verbose and inefficient the English language has become. Think of how many times you had to rely on punctuation marks like '!' or bold fonts to express a written thought.

Let's all realize that grammar is vital as a means of preserving written language but communication is the way we choose to use words to express our thoughts and the most rudimentary form of communication is voice. While grammar isn't a requirement to verbal communication we should be keen to the rules as we express ourselves creatively because it is mainly our voice that drives the evolution of language not the written word. Catch my drift, man???
Jim   Friday, October 31, 2003, 00:05 GMT
I'm not sure you get the meaning of the word "grammar". A simple thing like the difference between "It is sunny." and "Is it sunny?" has all got to do with grammar.
dian   Friday, October 31, 2003, 03:11 GMT
Grammar is important in terms of it will help our sentence clearer and meaningful. But, in order to speak English fluently, we need more than just learning grammar. Because we don't have to start with learning grammar first or remembering all the rules when we start speaking.

When we learn English expression, such as "I don't know" we don't really think about grammar. We (as English learners) just say it without having to worry about grammar rules. Think about this expression "Please sit down". Again, we just say it. In this case, we don't need grammar. Just say it.
Jim   Friday, October 31, 2003, 03:59 GMT
Sure, at the very very basic level you don't need to really think about grammar. You can just understand the sentence as a string of sounds or written characters.

I know that in Cantonese "How are you?" is something like "Lay ho mah?" I've got not idea of what each word means, I don't even know for sure that there are three words. I don't know Cantonese grammar.

However, when you progress, for example, from "How are you?" to "How is your sister?" you need grammar. My Hindi is better than my Cantonese, still nothing much to speak of but I can say both of these in Hindi.

To do this I have to know the meaning of the words. I have to know how to put the words together. In other words I have to know grammar.
wekisa   Wednesday, November 05, 2003, 07:19 GMT
You seem to be extremely disturbed by grammar.While not everyone hate grammar like have already said that only chaos remains without grammar.That's it.Grammar instucts you to speak correctly,most of the time,it's undenyable.I'm not sure if I pronunce it correctly.What I want to say is that we shall be extremely disturbed without grammar.It's not the voice that conveys message but sentences .Voice is the organ to express the sentences.Grammar is not preserved,it will change with the times.Nowadays you cannot say '' ,I sorry am ''.Because you cannot understood by the others.Everyone are obeying the common rules.
Sara   Wednesday, November 05, 2003, 11:27 GMT
There are the "grammar rules" which need to be followed in written language. In spoken language, you can make some grammar mistakes but only those which are commonly made, so accepted and understood.
Jacob   Friday, November 07, 2003, 12:56 GMT
Poor grammar will inevitably communicate the idea that the speaker is lazy and imprecise.
Simon   Friday, November 07, 2003, 15:25 GMT
The enemies of grammar labour under the misapprehension that grammar is elitist and restricts. In fact, it is liberating and truly democratic language is impossible without it.
What?   Friday, November 07, 2003, 17:24 GMT
Ryan   Friday, November 07, 2003, 17:36 GMT
All language is for the purpose of communication, and people sharing the same grammars thus facilitates communication. If one's grammar is bad enough, it makes communication impossible. But, small mistakes in grammar are much more forgiveable as long as that person is still understandable.

I have absolutely no problem at all with regional grammars or with Ebonics or any other deviation of "standard English" grammar. If that is how people certain people choose to communicate with each other, then who are we to say that that communication is wrong.
mjd   Sunday, November 09, 2003, 07:43 GMT
I agree in that people should be free to communicate using whatever dialect suits them best. However, I do think there needs to be a standard to revert back to. Without grammar, the English language as we know it would be lost.
sam   Sunday, November 09, 2003, 07:54 GMT
i wnat to learn english and i know you help me
alex   Sunday, November 09, 2003, 07:56 GMT
i hope to see the day that every bady can speak english well to ghether
Jim   Monday, November 10, 2003, 00:59 GMT
Without grammar there would be no language. Simon is on the right track. The Cambridge Dictionary calls grammar "(the study or use of) the rules about how words change their form and combine with other words to make sentences". Grammar is not some strict bunch of esoteric rules. It is grammar that allows you to ask a simple question like "How are you?" Without grammar it might come out as "How you are?", "You how be?", "Am you how?" or something.
Ryan   Monday, November 10, 2003, 22:48 GMT
Right, but grammar rules do not have to be uniform among differing groups of people. Then grammar is not liberating at all but a totalitarian rule system.