[Another] thing English teachers realize is that correcting students' papers is tremendously time consuming. I constantly do battle with myself to spend less than 20 minutes on a paper. At meetings, instructors are often urged not to exceed 15 minutes, but I frequently end up spending double that. This can be a genuinely frustrating experience: 50 papers stacked on the coffee table, 10 in the finished pile, and an entire afternoon gone.Read the whole thing. It's tempting to opine at length about the lazy younger generation and why won't its members ever apply themselves long enough to learn something as essential as grammar, dagnabbit. Truth be told, though, my own grasp of the language in which I write and speak is less tight than I would like. I don't think I stray into any of the errors Miller mentions. But I can never remember what a predicate or nonrestrictive descriptor is without looking it up in my grammar book, and dangling modifiers still throw me for a loop. That's troublesome, because if I want others to delight in the words I write, oughtn't I to know better the rules that govern my mother tongue?
But I can't help it; there's so much to correct. Subjects don't agree with verbs. "Its" and "it's" are used interchangeably. "They are" is confused with "their." And facts too often function as topic sentences. Many of the students whose work I correct are smart, motivated, and quick to incorporate suggestions. But they have either forgotten the rules of writing, or they never learned them in the first place.
(Picture: CC 2008 by photobunny; Hat Tip: Writing, Clear and Simple)