Friends of the Dickens Forum,

     There is more than one reason why standards of English grammar have 
changed.  Walter Smith <[log in to unmask]>
reflects on a major change and its cause:                             
                     (pjm

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> Dear Patrick McCarthy:
> I  learned years ago that  uneducated people are the ones who primarily
> change our language and are not concerned about it. The educated ones try
> to uphold the standards of grammar they were taught.
> However, I was wondering what the impact of woman`s rights and their
> struggle for equality has had in changing certain rules of grammar in our
> language, such as "their" for "his" and the lack of agreement in number and
> gender. I was taught that a back reference took the masculine form and was
> a matter of grammar not gender.

> I believe the academic world has accepted such non-gender changes, and I
> must discard my old grammar books and seek [new] ones.

> Walter Smith
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