Having grown up speaking German and only learning to read and write in English in the 4th grade, grammar has become a pet peeve of mine, seeing how I struggled to get it right. My sister is an English teacher at a college in Louisville, KY…. This ought to interest her as well.
This is a pretty eye-opening view of literacy in students today. I was of the opinion that texting and all these brief interactions were promoting abbreviations that make me want to scream. So many people are used to abbreviations from texting that they seep into emails and other places where they clearly should have the time to write out full words. Then there’s the consistent misuses of homophones that get under my skin too.
I see it in the professional world all the time and it shocks me every time that people don’t realize they use “their” instead of “there” way too often (“too often” presumes that it’s “OK” from time to time… which it’s obviously not!). At work, there’s a copywriter that sends out a newsletter to the whole company on a monthly basis (or so) teaching the organization about a common grammatical mistake, why it’s incorrect, and how to fix it (and remember the correct usage). That is a result of lots of reports going around and being proofread for accuracy before publishing to customers. I used to see some pretty horrible writing.
Clearly I get agitated by these little negligent oversights. I learned English as a second language, and struggled to “get it”, I’m sure. Somewhere in the time that has passed, I developed OCD (on many levels?) and grammatical leniency on my part is a virtue that does not exist. I am very particular about words, their use, combinations, and SPELLING!
But I digress. The purpose of this post is to point you to an article that I read that gives me some hope. Hope for our future. I hope that I am only cynical and will be proven wrong. (While a pretty bad movie, Idiocracy is a satirical prediction of how we could end up as a society. To an extent, I can sympathize with the where the writer thinks we are headed.)
“Clive Thompson on the New Literacy”