We care about proper grammar as much as the next person — maybe more, in fact, given that the person sitting next to us is notorious illiterate Kois — so we were intrigued by today's "Thursday Styles" exposé about Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones books. The piece, in the what's-hot-now section of the Times, explores the dangers of introducing the little ones to the fifteen-year-old children's book series because the main character — little Junie, who's currently in first grade — does not speak perfect English. "Her adverbs lack the suffix 'ly,'" writes the Times' Anna Jane Grossman. "Subject and object pronouns give her problems, as do possessives; she usually isn’t able to conjugate irregular past tense verbs; and words like funnest and beautifuller are the mainstays of her vocabulary."
“My dad doesn’t like the grammar,” said the Bartells’s youngest, Mollie, 9. “And I guess that’s important, because maybe when you grow up and you’re at work and you say, ‘I runned,’ people will get annoyed at you.”
Now she just brang up a good point, but banning the book from libraries? We've never heard anything idioticker! What about Winnie the Pooh? He spells honey "hunny"; plus he's fat, and the Times just told us that fat people are contagious. Is he next? And anyway, parents, if you think Junie B. is damaging your kids' grammar, just wait until they discover LOLCats. —Lori Fradkin
Is Junie B. Jones Talking Trash? [NYT]