Friday, July 17, 2009

Online spelling and grammar

Yo, Illiterate! Yes, I mean you. I suppose you figure that you don’t need to proofread your writing before you post it online. You think I won’t notice. Well I do. In fact, I notice it everywhere — on blogs, newsgroups, why hell, even on television station websites.

If you’re not using grammar and spell checkers, you should be. And, if you are, then you need to acknowledge their limitations. Proofread, damn it.

English is a language full of quirky rules and still quirkier exceptions to those rules. This queer old aunt of a language must be preserved in all her peculiar glory. Your wholesale online abuse of English must stop at once. If you don’t mend your ways, then no one will respect the rules of English and God help us, writing will look like this:

“Then saw I all the half y-grave with famous folke's names fele, that hadde been in muche weal, and their fames wide y-blow. But well unnethes might I know any letters for to read their names by; for out of dread they were almost off thawed so, that of the letters one or two were molt away of ev'ry name, so unfamous was wox their fame.”

That was Geoffrey Chaucer. His English is not up to modern day standards. Some of you writing on social media are destroying what remains of those. Your disregard for grammar rules is diminishing its preciseness. Your sloppiness allows carelessness to creep into your thinking and that of your readers.

George Orwell would be appalled to learn how on social media emotion laden yet fact-free phrases substitutes for thinking that doesn't go deep enough to even get wet. Reverse course, oh slipshod scribes before it's too late. 

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