Grammar Indicates Intelligence, Kind of (oh no a dangling preposition)

In class today, a lot of class time was spent bemoaning the idiosyncrasies of grammar.  As a class, we tended to agree that using correct grammar was important to the extent of conveying one’s message in a coherent manner, and beyond that the class was split.  Some felt that certain grammatical errors should be chastised, while others offered up the notion that potential differences in educations and cultures manifest as “bad grammar” may account for these errors.  I don’t think anyone in class sits entirely on one extreme, however people were presenting contrasting sides to an argument for fairness’s sake.  Personally, I do believe there is a correlation between intelligence and grammar.  A native speaker with good grammar is more likely to have received a better education and come from a better family with a stronger support system than is a native speaker with poor syntax who grew up in an underprivileged and undereducated environment.  My belief relies on two acceptance assumptions however: intelligence and education are closely-related, and on a whole, lower class people receive worse educations than middle and upper class people.  Everyone must be reviewed on a case by case basis however, because what I posit is much too general to disqualify an individual from something like a job on grammar alone.  In this sense, intelligence is linked with opportunity, and opportunity is linked with one’s socioeconomic class.  No, it’s not terribly fair.


One thought on “Grammar Indicates Intelligence, Kind of (oh no a dangling preposition)

  1. I agree that more educated people use better grammar, since you have to learn about grammar rules in order to abide them. I would also agree that education generally gives rise to intelligence, but you can learn valuable things regardless of opportunity. The pursuit of knowledge is more of a personal mental decision than anything, and with the internet now, everyone has the opportunity to learn.

    Above all, articulation indicates intelligence. If someone can communicate a complex thought in detail, even if they are using the worst grammar in the world, that someone is very likely to be intelligent.

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