Thursday, October 1, 2009

Irritated by spelling, bad grammar

I admit it. I'm a bit of a grammar snob.

I don't profess to be an expert on the dictionary, the thesaurus, or even punctuation. And I definitely wouldn't make Suzanne's Grammar Police force. 

But I do understand the difference between you're and your, it's and its, too, two and to, and effect and affect

Today's youth (and yes, I am stereotyping a little) care little about spelling and grammar. I blame technology to some extent. Even with a full cell phone keyboard, who wants to spell out "Hey, what are you doing?" when "hey, wot doin" takes far less time and energy (and fewer characters.)

Sadly, youth aren't the only ones plagued with bad prose.

The decline of good writing began when the writer stopped wielding the pen and found the keyboard instead. Spellcheck replaced the dictionary, and the green squiggly lines under the sentence alerted you when your grammar was wrong. But spell check doesn't catch the difference between your and you're - and we've become so accustomed to the green squiggly lines, they are mostly ignored.

Further decline occurred - yes, even with adults - when the world discovered Facebook and Twitter. How many status updates do you read where the spelling is atrocious and the grammar is laughable? Far too many, in my world. And I'm not talking about the kids, either.

Life itself is partially to blame. In today's fast paced society, we've been forced to show emotion through status updates and emoticons, rather than compose a real letter to talk about how we feel, or even thanks in an email. Handwriting is a lost art and email isn't far behind.

None of this is news, of course. Maybe I'm just trying to figure out why "sexii boii" is now annoying, but not nearly as annoying when written by a teenager versus his or her parent. 

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