Not only on the internet, but also in academia, and everyday life I see more and more people who lack either the intelligence, ability, or drive to spell words correctly and use punctuation.
I know I make grammatical errors, but I am far better than what I see everywhere around me.
* There are people who don’t know the difference between there, their, and they’re.
* To, two, and too seem to be too confusing also.
* Let’s not forget the difference between right, rite, and write.
* Others frequently use ‘are’ when they mean ‘our’.
* Even more don’t know the difference between no and know.
* Where and wear are not left out of the confusion either.
* Pretty much any of the homonyms that exist in the English language.
Add to that spelling that is atrocious! When posting on the internet, when you misspell a word, if it does not automatically correct it, you get a red squiggly line below the word informing you that it is not correct. Try typing misspell on the internet with only one ‘s’ and see what happens. Since it is a commonly misspelled word, most computers will automatically correct it for you. If not, all you have to do is right click the word and it will give you options for the correct word, people don’t do it? The only reason I can come up with why someone would be too lazy to do it is, they’re lazy!
This rant is partially brought on by a commercial that has been running locally (as far as I know it is only local) where they have an animated knight telling people to use his service to deal with the IRS. At one point the knight says he can help get rid of tax levies. As he is speaking bullet points appear next to him for what the service can do if you use them. The print says “We get rid of tax levis.” Tax LEVIS? Are people who owe taxes forced to wear blue denim jeans? I don’t know about you, but I would be horrified if that was for my company!
Then there comes the lack of punctuation. I see sentences that run on and on without any commas, colons, or semi-colons. When I was much younger, a famous writer said “Write like you speak. If you pause when speaking, put a comma in when you write. If you are going to list items, put a colon right before you write the list and a semi-colon after each item. Along this same line is people who don’t use apostrophes. Then there are some who try to use them and don’t know where to put it. Just remember in compound words the apostrophe goes into the slot where the letters are deleted.
The last peeve I’ll hit on in this post is emoticons. You know, those little smiley faces and other icons that people like to use on social networking. On social networking if someone wants to use a little smiley face, an icon of a sheep jumping rope, or whatever; so be it. However cute you may think they are, they do not belong on papers turned in for school! I have seen this done at the collegiate level and find myself stunned on how anyone can think they are appropriate for an essay or report required to be turned in for a grade.
The only thing I can think of as to why all of this is coming more and more common is technology has rendered the human mind feeble. I remember back when I was in elementary, middle, and high school we had to turn in assignments without the aid of a computer. We did have typewriters in high school, but to be able to use them for classwork, you had to take a typing test first. When doing math computations, we did them by hand, no excel worksheet to do the computing for us. Basically, we had to exercise our brains daily and even though we thought of it as a pain to do so, it helped us as adults.
We are now on our second generation of people who have had technology to replace imagination, critical thinking skills, and communication skills. When corrected for spelling or grammar, these people retort with labelling us as spelling or grammar police and/or calling us spelling or grammar Nazi’s, instead of taking our corrections to heart and trying to improve themselves.
I will now step down from the soapbox until I can no longer refrain from ranting about whatever comes next.