The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – September 6 – Lemme Ax You Sumptin’

Yes, I realize that just from the title, I’m going to get a lot of interesting responses to this QOTD, and I’m ready for them; please, say what you need, and don’t hold anything back. But first, let me remind you of one thing: when responding to an article about proper grammar, please use proper grammar.

I teach junior English. That means the majority of my students are 16 to 17-years-old. They should, realistically, be able to speak with proper phrasing, and write with mostly proper grammar. I understand that there is a difference between the language that is spoken within the walls of my classroom, and the colloquialisms used among their friends and family; however, doesn’t there come a time when everything should be spoken as properly as possible? Doesn’t the world of lazy speech inflections ever change? Would you ever “ax” your mother “sumptin'”? I wouldn’t treat her with such disrespect.

This is not an “ethnic” issue, nor am I insinuating any ounce of racism with this post. I have white, black, brown, pink, orange, and polka-dot students, and too many of them cannot seem to bring themselves to properly pronounce the words that come out of their mouth. What’s even worse is that they aren’t dumb. These students do not have an excuse to speak as they do. In fact, when corrected – which I will do every time – they have no problem speaking with proper syllabic speech patterns. So why can’t they do it every time?

I will be following this up with an additional article, so I’ll leave you with the QOTD:

Why are so many people lazy when it comes to proper grammatical usage and pronunciation?

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

One comment on “QOTD – September 6 – Lemme Ax You Sumptin’

  1. Austin Simas
    September 6, 2013

    I don’t feel like people are lazy when it comes to the use of proper English, rather they’re handicapped and unconsciously incapable. Media and society plays a lage role in shaping teens and students. Today’s norm is all about new hip words like rachet, swag, swerve and etc. it seems to me that a lage population conforms to the use of this new form of English however, give it some time what’s groovy and hip today may not be as tolerable and accepted tomorrow.

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This entry was posted on September 6, 2013 by in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , .

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