With school beginning soon, it reminded me when I was young.

We used to refer to elementary school as grammar school, where we learned the three “R’s.”  No mention of grammar, but that was an all-pervasive subject. It was the bane of many students’’ existence.

We were taught never to end a sentence with a preposition, and had to memorize which words were prepositions.

If we abide with this rule and change the wording of, “This is a rule that I will not put up with,” to “This is a rule, up which I will not put,” it becomes rather awkward, don’t you think?

There are some silly rules about spelling and pronunciation too.

Why is there a “b” in the word subtle when we don’t pronounce it?

Why is Goethe pronounced “Gerta” when there is no “r”?

Email has replaced letter-writing for the most part.

Remember when we used to begin with “Dear Sir,” or “Dear Madam,” when we were not acquainted with the recipient?  They were not dear to us, were they?

TXTing and email have made us rather sloppy in writing and how we overuse acronyms like, LOL, laugh out loud, or TTYL, talk to you later, FYI, for your information, BRB, be right back, etc.

Emily Post, that doyenne of good manners and proper etiquette, must be rolling over in her grave. Formality has become passé and everything is much faster-paced than it used to be.

But I still appreciate a well-turned phrase and good writing.

Mike Royko had a great style. He wrote simply and to the point, but could also come up with some gems like the following:

In ““Boss,”” his biography of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, he wrote, “So when Daley slid sideways into a sentence, or didn’t exit from

the same paragraph he entered, it amused us. But it didn’t sound that different from the way most of us talk.”

Verbal communication has its own rules, too. When we meet people, a common greeting is “How are you?  The rule is not to answer by telling them about your indigestion.  We are told, it’s a greeting not a question.

In parting, we say, “Have a nice day.” That always warms my heart.

I hope you are doing well and that you have a nice day.

Now, let school begin.