It seems that social media has revealed how much some people didn’t pay attention when they were being taught grammar in school. It’s amazing how people sometimes type the way they talk. Plus, understanding grammar and sentence structure is key to getting good understanding of scripture.
Think about how much one comma totally changes the meaning of this sentence…
Luke 23:43 (NKJV)
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:43 New King James Version (NKJV)
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise.”
The first example is written in the NKJV. It implies that you will be in paradise today.
In the second example, I moved the comma. It implies that the statement is being said today, but not necessarily that you will be in paradise today.
Saying or writing ‘mines’, ‘these ones’, or I seen is never appropriate, but even at that, there are still at least 4 instances when bad grammar says it best…
When you quote someone, you can’t clean up the grammar to make it sound better. That’s not what they said. We must always work to quote people as accurately as possible.
2. CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE
In some conversations using incorrect grammar is simply more appropriate. It just doesn’t make sense to try to clean up cultural clichés, colloquialisms and idioms. Sometimes ‘y’all’, ‘you guys’, ‘up in here’, ‘alls I know is’, etc. makes more sense. Can you think of others?
3. MORE IMPACTFUL
Sometimes it’s just more impactful to say “I ain’t gonna do it” rather than “I’m not going to do it”! Plus, it can help prevent one from using profanity and unclean language to be more impactful.
4. IN A SONG, POEM OR WRITING
Many of our favorite or classic songs, poems, and literature would be ruined by proper grammar. Think of how silly the old spiritual, “Down By The Riverside” would sound if it said, “I’m not going to study war any more”. That language gives us the history, time, culture and context of when that song was created. Can you think of a song, poem, book or work of art when good grammar would totally mess it up?
It’s good to sound smart, but let us never be too smart for our own good.