Brock Haussamen, author of Revising the Rules: Traditional Grammar and Modern Linguistics (2000) and Grammar Alive! A Guide for Teachers (NCTE 2003), has been teaching English at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey since 1969. He is president of the Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar ( <>), an assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English. In this piece, Haussamen asks us to rethink grammar and its place in our written texts. Instead of considering language as right or wrong, he asks us to think of it as conforming (or not) to public expectations or conventions, to what the average literate person would consider non-stigmatized, appropriate, educated language. It is the public’s expectations that shape public grammar. But there is another dimension to grammar that characterizes our private language, a language that might not conform to the public’s expectations, yet is still as valid as the public language. If one’s private grammar and public grammar are vastly different, the contact zone between the two can be filled with tension—and that is the tension that the public often labels “bad English.”