02/18/2013 12:54 EST | Updated 04/20/2013 05:12 EDT

Does Proper Grammar Still Matter?

I REFUSE to allow my children the usage of the word ain't in everyday conversation. So. Of course Littlest One says it as much as possible. Every time I turn around, actually. There it is. Inserted into every response, comment or answer she gives me or any other family member.

And I know this word is not unexpected for the five-year-old vernacular. Whatever that means. But I just feel so icky when she uses a word not accepted as grammatically proper. Ain't. Sends shivers up my spine. Call me a Grammar Nazi. I'll take the label. I just can't handle a word that brings to mind poetic lines that conjure up images of mothers fainting and dogs calling the F.B.I.

And don't get me started on poems with tail rhymes.

But seriously. Is it just me, or is the general consensus among the speaking public no longer in favor of proper word usage? And should I really care about this little grammar faux pas when compared to the greater schemata of more serious and pressing life concerns? Concerns for me which would include sibling rivalry and parental disrespect?

And as I am a blogger, even more interesting is this: the importance or unimportance of grammar in this literary milieu. My writing world. Where often anything goes and all is acceptable. And where one word is frequently a sentence. Added for emphasis.


A world where solitary words are substantial enough to stand alone in their very own paragraph. Pretty empowering stuff, this blogging business.

In truth, I am still forming my opinion about the connection between ideas and grammar and that ever-evolving relationship that entwines the two. The jury is still out for me on whether or not bloggers should be held to some form of higher literacy scrutiny. So as to validate those of us who take this form of writing half-seriously.

But when push comes to shove, I feel saying that word is actually perilous to my health. And I'll let the following example of genius from my imagination express in poetic language exactly why this is so.

Don't Say Ain't

Don't say ain't.

My heart will faint.

My stomach will feel like it's full of lead paint.

My liver will fry.

My 'blood-pres-sure' will rocket to the sky,

And my sanity will wave bye-bye


So there you have it. Don't say ain't. It's bad for the health. Don't say I didn't warn you. Hope this little public service announcement eliminates all usage of that puny little word. Which simply serves to confuse the listener into trying to figure out if it is am not, is not, or are not. Confusing. And unacceptable in my world.

Just stop saying it already.


(And I ain't gonna say it again.)

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