I recently, like an hour ago, got overly involved in a conversation about grammar pet peeves. And when I say "got overly involved" I mean I read the comment section on a thread about other people's grammar pet peeves. Yes, I read the comment sections. Yes, I know that's stupid. No, I'm not going to stop.
And before I begin my real gripe about about the snobbery of policing grammar I will say this: I get extremely frustrated when people spell definitely wrong. So in some ways I'm part of the problem - I'm the one I'm frustrated with - I'm the one who is being a giant judgmental a$$ about how people talk and write.
But, seriously, what's the deal? I've always believed (and was taught by my favorite English teacher later in life) that language was more function over form. Does something really need to be written grammatically correct in order for it to have value? When you correct me when I say "I'm good" (yes, I know "well" is what I'm supposed to say) is it that I've made it impossible for you to understand what I mean with my ghastly grammar mistake?
Grammar has its time and place. It does. In English class, in academic papers, in resumes, in cover letters, and so on. I just don't think it's necessary to be such a stickler for the rules in day to day conversation, casual e-mails, blog posts, or even in novels. I don't require the proper placing of a comma to be enthralled by somebody's writing. When I see a misuse of semi-colon in a blog posting I don't write that person off. When somebody is speaking to me and fails to use the proper tense I don't correct them. As long as on the whole I've understood what they've said - I'm good. So why do people get so uppity about it? Is proper use of grammar even indicative of intelligence? (Really, is there any good research on this? I looked a little bit on the google but came up empty-handed).
It's possible I'm trying to validate myself here. I don't talk good. When I have something to say it always comes out weird and I have a tendency to repeat the same word over, and over, and over again. Sometimes I've even made the word up. Sometimes people correct my grammar and it makes me feel dumb (and I'm not dumb). And, always, that makes me stumble over my words only making me sound worse. So, of course I feel this way. But I'm also aware when other people "aren't talkin' good" and I don't say anything. Maybe it's manners. Maybe it's empathy. But I think it's really just because "who cares?" I don't care if you are "good" or "well." I just want to know how you are - however you choose to express it. And shouldn't it be more about the meaning of the response, and the mood or state of the person giving the response, than about how correct the response is? Because I think "I'm good" might not be as correct as "I'm well," but it's certainly better than "I'm not well."