One of the most popular topics on the web is that of English grammar and usage, but not all of the â€œexpertsâ€ out there know what theyâ€™re talking about.
To give you an idea of the sites that offer advice on English, here are the hits I got when I Googled the following terms:
English Grammar: 31,100,000
English writing tips: 12,600,000
English vocabulary: 20,200,000
English Usage: 119,000,000
Correct English: 98,600,000
A lot of them are excellent sites offering accurate information. Some of them are not so reliable. Some examples of unreliable information or inappropriate expression Iâ€™ve seen on some of these sites:
â€¢ incorrect definition of â€œpassive voiceâ€
â€¢ misspellings of common words
â€¢ incorrect pronoun use
â€¢ rabid denunciations of words or constructions that are not particularly objectionable
â€¢ teaching suggestions that can do more harm than good
â€¢ really angry tirades against English spelling that seem to regard the historical development of the Â Â language as a sinister plot against humanity
â€¢ attacks on the intelligence of the poor mortals who persist in using constructions the writer Â Â Â dislikes
Scarily enough, parents canâ€™t even rely on the biggest, most respected and influential organizations to give consistently good advice. TheÂ International Reading Association is a staunch defender of the â€œlook/guessâ€ reading instruction that cripples thousands of children every year.Â The NTCE (National Council of Teachers of English) discourages the practice of teaching formal grammar as a foundation for writing.
Shop around before settling on your favorite English reference sites. Get acquainted with the AmericanEnglishDoctor, a site dedicated to explaining the basics of literacy without the use of jargon or ridicule.