How we speak tells our listeners a lot about us. We don’t need to sound like Wikipedia, but if we sound as if we are uneducated others tend to judge us accordingly.
I find it annoying when a person has purposely taken up the habit of using bad grammar. This usually affects how the person is perceived by others, and makes a negative impression. I see little advantage to this, unless the poor speaker is desperate to be “one of the boys” (or girls). Perhaps I’m misjudging the reason for that kind of speech, but in some cases I have seen and heard, this seems to fit.
The kind of language I’m talking about is not so much the sentences with the *F* word thrown in before every noun and verb in the sentence, but rather something more common — using the wrong tense of see, come, say, go, and several other verbs.
Also notice the insecure use of “this” instead of “a” or “the,” with the sentences going higher in pitch at the end so they sound like a question.
Here is an example of a conversation with the errors marked in red:
Me and my buddy seen this ad in the paper? We rented an upstairs room in this boarding house? The first day I gets up early because I hears this noise downstairs? I come down the stairs in a hurry and I seen this guy? He’s leaving the house with this black bag in his hand?
I would’ve went after him, but I never seen which way he went. So I says to my buddy, “Hey buddy! I just seen this burglar take off with this black bag.”
“Oh, that’s just the guy that’s renting the downstairs room. Probably going to school. I think he’s in college.”
“Hmpf! Good thing we got our jobs. We don’t need no grammar lessons. I could’ve went to college but I seen the Help Wanted sign. Don’t need no grammar.”
“But your job is to be a reporter. You need good English for that.”
“Naaahhh! I’ll just get Anneli to copy-edit my work for me.”
Have you heard people speaking like this? Why do you think they do it, when they know it’s not good English?