The Language â€” She is A-Changing by Grant Leishman I'd like to talk about something that's been niggling away at me for a while and that is the assumption that writing is and always will be, a rule-defined, structured, and tightly controlled exercise. I've had a few discussions about this with several people and there is this prevailing attitude that all books for sale, must conform to a set of rigid structures, as regards style and grammar, in particular. I want to challenge that assumption somewhat today. I went to question why, a living, evolving language such as our own beautiful language should be hide-bound by arbitrarily decided structures and styles. It seems to me and indeed to some of my colleagues and friends that this insistence on uniformity is stifling some of the incredible creativity that is out there, in the independent author world. I started thinking about this a while back after I had been given the opportunity to read a novel from an unknown, young author. My initial thought as I plowed through his tome was that this was utter rubbish. It didn't conform to any writing standards I'd ever been brought up to follow. The dialogue wasn't attributed properly, I just felt the grammar left a lot to be desired and the language of the street was like a foreign tongue to me. But then, I stopped myself. This young man was in his early twenties, he'd grown up on the streets of New York and lived in a totally different world to me. Who was I to criticise his writing style, so dismissively? That got me to thinking: Who decides what is "right and proper" in the written word? Who determines what is the style, format and grammar for published books?
The answer was obvious, it's our education system and the big-five publishers. So that led me on to consider what is the demographic of the people that hold the power in the Education System and the Publishing Houses. Again, the answer was obvious US! The Baby-Boomers. We are the ones who have determined what is proper English and how it should be presented in the written form. Our generation has been the most prolific readers in history. Our access to education and to books has been unparalleled. Certainly, in the West, libraries provided us with untold opportunities to read and most of the people I grew up with, like myself, were prolific readers. It's hardly surprising then that we