Glee’s Chris Colder authored a book that is currently number one on the New York Times list of best-selling children’s chapter books. The 22 year old hyphenate leveraged his success as television actor to land a two-book deal with Little, Brown and make a dream come true. He is the new poster boy for over-achieving.
Colfer has been quoted as saying that J K Rowling is his religion. Like Rowling, Colfer demonstrates skill at plot development and removing the tarnish from worn character stereotypes. Also like his role model, his command of grammar is that of a speaker, not of someone who writes to be read. Participles dangle and them is used when they would have been correct.
I’ll presume that neither Rowling or Colfer were willing to accept their editor’s corrections. Perhaps, the corrections weren’t made. The more I read by authors of a younger generation the more obvious it becomes that grammar rules are evolving. No textbook or educator can keep abreast of tsunami-like evolution.
There is a segment of youth writers who use a version of the verb “to sit” so frequently that I wonder when, not if, I will see it become commonplace. This sentence: The young man was seated on the bleacher. It is being written: The young man was sat on the bleacher. To my eye and ear the new version sounds wrong. There is no grey area for my response, with the exception, perhaps, that the new version is dialectical?
Dr. Johnson wrote that language once codified is out if date, because language is alive, changing with the times. Are Colfer’s dangling participles indications of a major shift in English grammar rules?