Few things embarrass me more than making a mistake in my writing, even though in English, at least, everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Intellectually, I know perfectly well that that a living language is constantly changing and that yesterday's grammatical mistake is today's normal usage. But I am still at heart a language snob and a conservative. If I were French, I would probably want to write estoit instead of était and find it normal that scholars are trying to fossilize the language in a huge prescriptive dictionary. If I were British, I'm sure I would look down my nose at Americans and spell "jail" with a g (so sensible!) and say "the government are."
Back in my own country, I am having a hard time with the assault of badly spelled English on all sides. One of the biggest differences between the English in England and the English here, besides the fact that most Americans are descended from non-English-speakers, is that in England, everyone who writes for the public eye has probably achieved at least an A-level standard in English. Here, even teachers and journalists for major newspapers make egregious mistakes. The mistakes are so common that I feel sure they will become the new standard usage.
A's school here, known as a very good one, sent home a reading list for the summer in which a history teacher recommends The Perfect Mile
with "The rivalry that developed between he and Santee is riveting"
(and an academic administrator writes of a famous book, "After reading
this book I could not believe that I had never heard of it"). In
general, everyone says "from he and I" and "with she and I."
No one in the entire United States under the age of fifty seems to know how to use apostrophes or the abbreviations "they're" and "you're." Let's not even get into "its" and "it's"! English is unusually hard to spell; French is even worse. Maybe we should just adopt the German method and do without apostrophes completely. Who need's them?
Whenever I get upset about these things, I remember that the word "grammar" is related to "grimoire" (book of magic, in French) and to "glamour" and that they all come from the idea that a Latin grammar book had something glamorous, magical, and unknown about it. The whole idea that there is a correct way to write and spell is a little kooky from a linguistic point of view anyway.