Are We Preventing International Communication In Insisting On English Grammar Rules?
By Lance Winslow
Not long ago, I was discussing the challenges of new English speaking folks posting articles and blogs online. You see, they have trouble with the complex grammar rules for English, even when they learn simple English (750-words) to communicate or speak the language. If we enforce our grammar rules too hard, and disallow search engine listings for articles which do not follow proper grammar as per an algorithm, meaning we delist those words, blog posts, and articles then we will in fact prevent communication and disenfranchise individuals from those nations.
My Asian acquaintance is having challenges with his “tenses” and various other things which are not easily understood in his language. Although he is trying, and earnestly working on the problem, trying to educate himself in English grammar for which he has no real basis or perception – he still can’t get a number of online article directories to post his work or websites to post his stories. That’s unfortunate because we all lose a little bit not knowing his point of view or his insight from his cultural perspective. You see that point?
What I’m saying here is that we are preventing international communication by insisting on perfect English grammar, insisting that those rules be dutifully enforced at all turns. At some point we need to realize that it’s a lot tougher than it looks for someone just starting out, but that doesn’t mean the person is stupid or ignorant, they might have something very important to say, and we all ought to listen. However, if the gatekeepers of grammar are preventing these thoughts and this information from becoming available then we are defeating the purpose of the Internet.
The Internet is to share information, it has been called the greatest communication device ever created, and it needs to give a little if it wants to get all that it has promised out of the pipeline. We cannot expect people to have perfect grammar, or perfect use of the English language right off the bat. What if you had to write in their language, few even know what all those characters mean? Imagine how difficult it would be for you to share your knowledge with them, knowledge and experience that they need in their culture, as much as we need to learn what they have to say.
Now then, I’m not the only one obviously who understands this to be a problem. Many of the folks at the search engines, and computer science departments are working on translation technology to help people translate their work, ideas, and concepts into our language, allowing us to do the same there’s. Let’s not be too harsh on those who are trying their best to write in English. Remember, it has taken us many years to become proficient, and we were born into this society, and we’ve been doing it all of our lives. Please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on the Future of Education. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net
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