The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Natural speech doesn’t line up with grammar, assistant professor says

By Thomas Norton/reporter

The way some people speak English may feel natural and correct, but this isn’t always the case, students learned at the Grammatical Dinosaurs in English speech Nov. 29 on NE Campus.“How many of us think we speak English in the correct way?” English assistant professor Urania Fung asked. “You might think people speak and write English properly, but with me being a English professor, I notice how a lot of people don’t.”

People don’t realize they say or write some sentences incorrectly, Fung said.

“Should we say ‘I slept good’ or ‘I slept well’?” she asked.

“We’re supposed to say ‘I slept well,’ but some people have a natural habit of saying ‘good,’” NE student Stefani Arthur said.

Fung said the basic meaning of the two expressions is the same.

“Good modifies nouns and well modifies verbs, so saying ‘I slept well’ is the more proper way of saying the sentence,” she said.

Comparing English to other languages such as Chinese, Fung said English uses words that are synthetic, but Chinese is analectic.

“Saying he or she in English is one word, but in Chinese, it’s put into two words,” she said.

Synthetic words are all put together to spell one word, and analectic words are separated into many words but keep the same meaning, Fung said.

“Do you think texting and the slang of today’s English is messing up the proper way of writing and speaking English?” Elizabeth Parrish, NE writing center instructional associate, asked the speaker.

Fung said it has made a big change because people are using shorthand text, and phones don’t make people use punctuation such as periods, commas and apostrophes.

“For people who are speakers of other languages, this speech can help them understand why English has so much complexity,” Fung said. “A lot of it may seem unnecessary, but hopefully this speech can help them feel better about English.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian