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.
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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.

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

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Walter Smith