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William GrimesMr. Crystal, in arguing that "eternal tolerance" should replace "eternal vigilance," chooses his examples brilliantly. Those of us who tut-tut when "nuclear" comes out "nucular" need to be reminded that polite Victorians pronounced balcony with the stress on the second syllable, like baloney. Not so long ago, correct English did not permit a sentence like "John is being promoted." The progressive passive of "is being" was despised by refined stylists. Students do need to learn the rules, just as they need to understand computer protocols, as a means to an end. Standard English, and the basic rules of grammar and syntax that govern it, have to be taught. But Mr. Crystal assigns no particular value to "are not" over "ain't." In fact, he likes to sum up his vision of the future of English, or Englishes, in one cheery, defiantly ungrammatical American sentence: "We ain't seen nothin' yet." Full speed ahead to the 14th century.
— Thke New York Times