Stop Your Policing, Grammar Police

My two least favorite Grammar Police moves, in no particular order, are, “It’s ‘I am well’, not ‘I am good’, and “funner isn’t a word.” I’m about to go full-out Grammar National Guard, so if you thought you had the last word on this issue, prepare to have your authority invalidated. I’m not some Grammar Terrorist out to overthrow Grammarland and establish a society ruled by sentences like, “r u good i rlly need talk to u. can u call, me L8r”. I am here for your protection. When the Grammar Police aren’t doing their job properly, you have to send in the Grammar National Guard.

Let me first address the “It’s ‘I am well’, not ‘I am good’argument. In this phrase, the word which seems to be getting modified is “am”, which is a verb. What modifies verbs? Adverbs. What is the word “well”? An adverb. What is the word “good”? Generally it is an adjective. Now before you Grammar Police crow in victory, let me introduce you to the wild world of predicate adjectives and linking verbs. A predicate adjective modifies and refers back to the subject and is connected to the subject by a linking verb. As you may have guessed, ‘am’ is a linking verb, and ‘good’ functions as a predicate adjective in this sentence, meaning that ‘good’ in fact modifies the noun ‘I’, making “I am good” a grammatically sound sentence. You may be tempted to dispute the legitimacy of this assertion, but consider that sentences with the exact same subject/linking verb/predicate adjective structure such as “The ball is blue” are used by everyone every day and no one even thinks about it. Grammatically, it is entirely acceptable to say “I am good”.

Secondly, ‘funner’ might as well be a word. There is no reason semantically why ‘funner’ should not be a word. If ‘fun’ was only a noun, then there should be no comparative or superlative degrees (funner and funnest), but regardless of what any dictionary might say, ‘fun’ is used as an adjective all the time. Instead of being a tiresome pendant, allow language to be language and do what it’s meant to- communicate between two or more people, and be changed and molded in the ways necessary to make it communicate most effectively. If people never allowed language to change and be molded in this way ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ would still be words which we would be obligated to use in order to be correct. The fact that these words are now archaic and unused proves that modifying language is a time-honored tradition. Language was made for man, not man for language.

p.s. If you find a grammatical error in this post, I’m sorry.