Why do I teach American grammar? As my mother constantly asks, “Didn’t everyone learn it in school?”
Well, first of all, no. We didn’t all learn it in school, and there are several reasons for that. Yes, the teachers tried, but there’s a huge difference between teaching and learning.
Second, the last time most of were exposed to grammar was about eighth grade, after which we were often told by our creative writing teachers that we should just express ourselves and not worry about those pesky details.
In eighth grade most of us were 13 or 14, our hormones were raging, and we were likely much more interested in the cute boy or girl next to us to listen to any lessons given by anyone over 25.
How could we have known then that we’d grow up to care about the stuff teachers taught us, especially things like grammar? We weren’t listening back then; it’s been maybe 20, 30, or 40 years since “back then”; and we often decide how to write or speak based on “what everyone else does.”
Am I right?
And third, American grammar is different from other variations of English grammar. We have some rules, some spelling, and some usage differences that are just part of our system. As we are more and more a global community, we often see articles written in a variation, and if we’re not sure about our own system, we can get confused.
I teach American grammar and usage so my clients will look and sound as smart as they are. It’s that simple.