Dwindling interest in grammar?

“Copy editors are the very heart of the media organization, supplying the lifeblood for healthy existence and serving as gatekeepers of the news for the public,” says Creative Editing. Without copy editing, we would have countless errors in the media, resulting in potentially severe miscommunications. Yet, what happens when students stop caring about grammar?

Sharon Remington leads a class on English grammar.
Photo courtesy of The Detroit News

Sharon Remington has taught the ins and outs of the English language for 26 years to continuing education students at Marygrove College in Detroit, according to an article from The Detroit News. Her students could range from high school kids who want to brush up on grammar to retirees who want to write memoirs. Students can pay $195 to register for her eight-week Saturday morning class on English grammar.

However, for the past two semesters, so few students have registered that Remington has been forced to cancel the sessions. As someone who has worked with grammar her whole life, Remington is shocked. After all, Remington has spent her life writing and editing, as shown by her two degrees in English. She teaches the class simply for the satisfaction that comes from improving people’s grammar in writing and speech, while she works during the week as a proofreader for print work and television commercials for an ad agency. When it comes to English grammar, Remington is an expert.

So why do people not hold the same value for grammar? Financial reasons could hinder people in registering for Remington’s class, or perhaps the mass media does not do enough to emphasize its importance. After all, you’re more likely to hear about Taylor Swift’s latest breakup instead of a discussion on the necessities of verb agreement. Is our society gradually losing the value of English grammar?

Only time will tell. Hopefully the lack of attendance to Remington’s class is not an indicator of a worldwide phenomenon. Even if no one registers for her class, perhaps there are enough copy-editing aficionados out there to keep the media free of errors.

Works Cited:

Bowles, Dorothy A., and Diane L. Borden. “The Copy Editor’s Role.” Creative Editing. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub., 2000. 1-16. Print.


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