Was once again looking at Facebook and saw a post from someone who had recently been let go by their employer. You can imagine that she was angry and had posted some vitriolic statements to that regard. Well at least I think they were based on my translation. Sum is some, wit I believe is with, wnt in this case I think means won’t. You get the idea, I have to stop cause I just can’t type that way. Reading more posts by this person and you see the same stuff, misspellings, text speak and so on. It boggles my mind that this person even had a job to get fired from.
How is this kind of writing even possible today? We have spell check, auto correct and even grammar checkers. Back when I had to write papers in highschool we had to actually use dictionaries with paper pages to make sure we spelled things correctly. We had teachers who taught us how to put sentences together with punctuation so we could communicate using the written word in a coherent manner. With the innovations I listed above, you’d think we’d have people who could actually communicate with the written word in ways to rival Shakespeare. Sadly this is not the case.
I understand typoos (see what I did there) and I’ve had plenty. I have even fallen victim to the dreaded autocorrect feature of my phone. I hate that stupid thing. The problem I am seeing now is the declining ability of people (mostly young) to write a decent sentence. I realize I’m not perfect, I know there likely will be a misspelling somewhere and my grammar may not be at the top of the game, but I’d like to think that I’m getting my point across. I do at least know the difference between your and you’re. Unfortunately we seem to be heading to a point where that ability is getting rarer and rarer.
One thing I can’t understand though is the willingness of people to show this inability to the world. Once again, I understand the joke post or the occasional rant that leads to no sentence structure and bad spelling. But, it’s the ones where you scroll down past those and you see every post with the same kind of writing. These people post to the public showing that even with spell check and autocorrect they still can’t spell or put together a statement that is coherent.
Here’s a warning to them, potential employers will look at Facebook (whether they should or not is a different story) during the hiring process. They may overlook certain things they see (as they should) but it’s doubtful they are going to completely overlook a total lack of ability in using the English language. They aren’t going to take someone seriously who’s every post is something along the lines of “sum day i wnt to c Paris”.
What’s even worse is when this kind of thing is a regular occurrence on news websites. Granted the “sum day” stuff isn’t there but general errors are plenty. Take the other day for instance, and you’ll have to take my word for it because they’ve corrected it, in an article was the the statement “Personnel has been evacuated.” Unfortunately errors like that are way too common. I understand the need to get news up quickly, but seriously folks take a damn minute to read before posting a news story. It’s even funnier when they screw up a headline. Trust me, take a look at your local TV news’ websites and read a few articles. You’ll likely find a few errors to make you giggle and shake your head at.
One other question I have, where are the next literary giants going to come from? I admit that some of the drivel that is out there and popular now may not have great subject matter, but at least those authors still can put sentences together to make paragraphs, then pages, then a whole book. Will we be able to say that in 10, 20 or 30 years?
I honestly don’t have the answers. Maybe getting schools to teach reading, writing and arithmetic again wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe devoting less time to taking out number 2 pencils and filling in ovals of A,B,C or D wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Either way, I realize it’s a problem that’s not going away anytime soon. So this grumpy curmudgeon will just sit here and grouse.
Sew, til next time….
Originally posted November 29, 2012