proper grammar not pedantic

Joseph E. Laferriere josephl at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
Thu Jun 27 13:59:25 CDT 1996

Once again, I appear to have had some role in triggering a debate I have
come to regret.
   Just out of curiosity, are the people suggesting that it should be
acceptible to use substandard grammar in scientific writing the same ones
who a few months ago were insisting that English rather than French,
German, or Esperanto be regarded as the sole proper language for
scientific communication? If someone from Paraguay, Benin, or Tadjikistan
can be expected to learn standard textbook English, why cannot a native
of Brooklyn, Liverpool, or Brisbane? Conversely, opening the literature
up to nonstandard grammar and vocabulary would require residents of
Ecuador, Laos, and Zaire to study not only textbook English but also
Appalachian, Yorkshire, and Transvaalian dialects as well. Insistence on
proper grammar is hardly pedantic nor elitist. Its use is necessary to
facilitate comprehension by readers of all nationalities and backgrounds.
   I repeat my previous suggestion (echoed by Jim Beach and Robin Leach)
that we drop the subject.
Joe Laferriere

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