For generations and even until today, the grammar that is taught in schools is often based on outdated or arbitrary prescriptive ‘rules’ that do not reflect the actual usage of English- speakers today. Here are just a few examples:
Use ‘whom’ instead of ‘who’ when it functions as an
Use the nominative form of pronouns (‘I’, ‘he’, ) instead of accusative (‘me’, ‘him’, etc.) after that.
Do not end a sentence with a
Do not split an
Do not begin a sentence with a
From the perspective of modern Linguistics, the grammar of a living language is not fixed by arbitrary ‘rules’ passed down from generation to generation, but by the actual usage of its educated speakers today. Therefore, a valid and up-to-date grammar of English can only be formulated by analyzing a sufficient body of real English as used by real users today. The availability of large corpora such as COCA and BNC has made this possible.
Singapore English is a new variety of ‘World Englishes’ which (like Indian, Malaysian, or Philippine English) exhibits its own distinctive features of phonology, vocabulary, grammar, and discourse. It is the job of linguists and applied linguists to analyze and discover the linguistic features of Singapore English (and other varieties of English), although the line between ‘features’ and ‘learner errors’ is not always easy to draw, depending on how prevalent a given feature is in the usage of competent users of the local variety of English.
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