Take this, you English-mangling, bumbling writers blending in your regional dialects, oddities of phrase and grammar in your writing. A pontificating pundit from The Hindu ('India's National Newspaper') laments the death of good English in Indian writing, and herself commits more than a few cardinal sins in the process.
What does one make of a sentence that reads:
"Ever since the functional approach has taken over, thumbing its nose at grammar, syntax and structure are no longer vital. Worse, we encourage redundancies such as pleonasms and tautology, and lock essentials like sentence construction and punctuation into oblivion. It's a different matter when learners learn the rules first and then break them with their skill, creating something new and artistic."
And here I thought that I was the unchallenged champion of the run-on sentence and mixed metaphors.
Madam, I bow down humbly to your superior achievement. You not only mix metaphors and ramble on with gusto, but you are definitely engaged in a love affair with commas and quotes. Or at the very least, your copy editor is addicted to them.
"Ironically, this trend, rather than bridging the gap between the ‘elite' and the ‘masses', is widening it instead. The readers for whom English is a second language, or a foreign language, will never acquire the skills or the finesse of the ‘elite' (first-language learners) if they never strive to learn the correct language. The gap will never be bridged."
(For other gems, please read the original article.)
Compare and contrast with this story straight from the mouth of a small-time barrel-drink vendor on the streets of Trinidad. It may not be 'Correct English' per the terminology of linguistic snobs, but it has all the charm of Trinidadian English, conveying a palpable sense of the girl and her life, more so than polished sentences that the grammar police might have preferred.
" Is 12 children in my family. I’s the last girl. Two boys after me. The last girl is a special child but I never got spoil up. The eldest is 33. Most of them in the States. My mom and dad still around. But they separate. I get along well with my mother. Not my father. He careless. I come up in Picton now and I going COSTATT. I learning to be a nurse. My favourite subject at school was maths. I could add and subtract real fast. Nobody can’t rob me."
Of course, the little strangenesses that result from non-native speakers attempting to translate from their mother tongues into English are well known and the source of much amusement for those of us lucky enough to be 'fluent' in it.
But if someone like Tricia isn't going to have her story told just because of the way in which she tells it, the publishers who complain about the standard of English in the manuscripts they receive may be ignoring or missing out on another Baby Halder.