AD's English Literature : Varieties of Present English: Usage of Grammar in the Learning of the Language

Varieties of Present English: Usage of Grammar in the Learning of the Language


Besides the differences at different periods, there are considerable differences in the language of English speakers even at the present day. Thus, every region has some peculiarities in the way in which its speakers use their English. There are, for example, the peculiarities of the English of Ireland and of Scotland, noticed by us in the Irish and the Scotch immigrants. And, in general, an Englishman can tell an American and an American an Englishman by the way he talks. When these peculiarities amount to so much that they begin to interfere with our understanding the persons who have them, we say that such persons speak a dialect of English, rather than English itself, which in contradistinction is known as Standard English.

Good English and Bad  English: 

There is also the difference between what we call good English and bad (or vulgar) English. By good English we mean those words and those meanings national of them and those ways of putting them together that are used generally by the best educated people of the present day; and bad English is, therefore, simply that which is not approved and accepted by good and careful speakers and writers. Then, again, we find that good English, when spoken, differs slightly from the language of well written books. In ordinary conversation we use, for instance, shortened forms of words, familiar expressions, and a loose arrangement of our sentences, which do not seem fitted for the higher kind of literature. We have in this Good English is reputable, recent, and way a classification of good English into standard literary English and standard spoken (or colloquial) English.

English Grammar:

We have now seen that English has changed much from what it was at first, and that there are Varieties of the English spoken even now. When, however, we say simply ' English,'' we mean the Standard English of our own times; and the systematic discussion of the good and approved usages of this English form what we call English Grammar. 

Etymology:

The description and classification of the different words we use in speaking and writing. This is known as Etymology. The term properly means “a discussion of the true source of a word ; " but, by writers on language, its meaning has been extended to include the classification of words, the consideration of their changes of form, and the history of then- growth.

Syntax:

An account of the ways in which words are properly combined to express our thoughts and feelings. This is known as Syntax; the term literally means "a putting together."

Phonetics:

 An account of the Sounds and Alphabet of the language—how our spoken words are correctly sounded, and how they are represented by letters. Strictly speaking, this subject does not form part of Grammar, which, as the term is now generally understood, consists of Etymology and Syntax; but, as it is of importance in connection with a discussion of the formation of words, some knowledge of it is necessary. In Grammar these divisions will not be kept quite separate, but will be taken up in parts when it seems best for the presentation of the subject.

Why English Grammar is a Valuable Study?

English grammar is studied for a variety of purposes, of which correctness of expression is only one, and a secondary one—by no means unimportant, but best attained indirectly. It is constant practice, under never-failing watch and correction that makes Why English Grammar is a valuable study.

 Grammar can help but chiefly in the higher stages of the work. It must not be supposed, either, that the writer of a grammar makes- the rules and laws for language; he only reports the facts of good language in an orderly way, so that they may be easily referred to, or learned. Then, again, many of us want to learn other languages than English; or we want to learn other forms of English. Nor are we content with merely using language; we want to know something of what language is, and to realize what it is worth to us ; for the study of language has a great deal to tell about the history of man and of what he has done in the world—as, for instance, what we know of the Arians. And, as language is the principal means by which the mind’s operations are disclosed, we cannot study the mind’s workings and its nature without a thorough understanding of language. For all these purposes, we need that knowledge of language and grammar to which the study of English grammar is the easiest and surest step.

Ardhendu De

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