Grammar Rules That Have Changed in the 21st Century

Grammar rules in English language are ever-changing. Today, it has even changed more drastically, thanks to social media and the forms of writing that have emanated on these platforms. A number of these trends have found their way into the English language, and has caused the extinctions of a number of renowned grammar rules. However, to speak and write better English, it is important that you know the previous rules that guided these grammar situations.

New English Grammar Rules

Here are a number of grammar rules that have changed in the 21st century:

  1. The most common grammatical rule that has been changed in the 21st century is the rule about splitting infinitives. The conventional grammar rules state that you should never split an infinitive. An infinitive is a sentence that contains a “to” and a verb. For example: to eat, to die, to dance. However, this rule has been consistently tampered with in the 21st An example is this: To slowly eat, to painfully die, or to aggressively dance. Even though it appears as if this has always been a part of the English language, it would have been wrong to say this in the 19th or early 20th century.
  2. The use of period/full stop: Before now, the full stop was only used to signify the end of a sentence. This means that when a full stop is used, it immediately indicates the end of the sentence. However, the 21st century has seen the full stop being used for emphasis. This act has become so engraved into the English language that it is now used by creative writers. A perfect example is this: Wasting. My. Time. Also, periods and full stops are now being used to create shorter sentences, e.g. “Okay. Thank you.” This would have been originally written as “Okay, thank you.”
  3. Do not start a sentence with a conjunction: This is one of the most popular grammar rules, and one which is still taught in schools today. In spite of this, it is safe to say that this grammar rule is outdated (Learn about outdated grammar rules). This is because it is now professionally correct to start a sentence with a conjunction. An example is the use of “but” to start a sentence.
  4. The use of each other and one another: Conventional grammar rules state that each other is used when there are two parties involved, while one another is used when the parties are more than two. However, this rule is disappearing in the 21st century after Janet Whitcut and Sidney Greenbaum argued in their book that there in fact exists no basis for this rule. The Merriam-Webster dictionary also claimed that this rule has been ignored by the greatest writers since the 16th It is now accepted now that these terms can be used as one pleases while ignoring the rule; this is because even linguists and grammarians today use these terms interchangeably.
  5. The word none can now be used with a singular verb. Standard grammar rules before now clearly stated that it is only correct to say: None of them are mine. However, in the 21st century, it is now correct to say: none of them is mine. This makes use of a singular verb, as opposed to the plural verb the rule advises.

Conclusively, grammar rules are ever-changing, and there are more indications that show that more grammar rules will change in the coming years. Why is this so? Language generally is becoming more fluid, accommodating and less rigid. This will cause the extinction of certain grammar rules which might seem limiting or unnecessary (Also learn about “word order rules”).

Changes to Grammar Rules

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By David Adewusi

David is a blog writer who likes writing about literature, English grammar, and editing methods. He has also worked as a copy editor and proofreader. He has written excellent blog posts for Scientific Editing.

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