It's getting worse. I read about two dozen articles online today. Every one had at least one glaring grammatical error that would have been obvious had the writer just read through once before posting. For example:
It must be nice to have a built in revenue source with very little or no cash investment required in order to retrieved the profits?
we know that a grand jury decision in one way or another is not when a solve the structural racism problem
The fresh and turkeys are injected with a basting solution
Walmart has since took down the photo
This is despite the fact that Walmart workers get use $300 million in federal taxpayer money for food stamps.
can still afford to provide that an education to its citizens
Does nobody care about public perception? When I see crap like this I have to wonder how much thought was put into the post. I realize that on occasion my posts are less than pure gold (feel free to supply supporting evidence but remember that Dani has limited online storage) but surely when posting to a news outlet I can expect a little attention to detail.
I make allowances for that here but not in news/op-ed type pieces. I expect those to be written by writers familiar with the language. These mistakes are not of the their-they're-there or I-me type mistakes. When someone writes
More than 100 hundred actions nationwide have been planned
that's the result of sloppy/careless writing. I hold those whose job it is to inform us to a higher standard just like I do teachers.
In the case of most bloggers, I agree. These people are posting in their own space. For people who are submitting news articles for publication online, I disagree. I expect that people whose jobs are, at their most basic, communicating information and ideas, to have a certain level of proficiency in their language of choice.
Believe it or not I was reading the book "Weight training for dummies" and came across the following sentence: Athletes and those who're lifting for extreme strength or bulk may do slower or faster reps depending on their goals.
It is the who're that intriges me. It's the first time I see it used in this way. Besides that it brings up some other connotations, I would always use who are here
I am not a master of english either but, I will agree that todays english is less than what most still consider proper. (IMO) The current evolution of english has been a response mainly to cellphones and text messages and the lack of time to spell things out with a side of laziness. Its much quicker to put what you are going to say in an acronym. Shortly to follow this trend was to lazy up spoken language with short simple responses followed by some with the complete lack of punctuation.
What we have here is the current evolution with language. An example (Wiki EModE) from Early Modern English, The letter S had two distinct lowercase forms: s (short s) as used today, and ſ (long s). The short s was used at the end of a word, and the long s everywhere else, except that the double lowercase S was variously written ſſ or ſs. This is similar to the alternation between medial (σ) and final lower case sigma (ς) in Greek. Another was the German spelling refirm of 1996.
Case in point, people are acknowedging (activly and/or subconciously) the current language trends, this specific descussion has been going on for more than a year with almost 500 responses...
I think it must be remembered that the evolution of a language is inevitable. Throughout history, English was shoved down the throats of the downtrodden and the vanquished. Now that the world has become such a tiny place, with its new-fangled technology, that legacy has come back to bite the English on the arse. It is really quite ironic. They shake their heads in dismay on hearing their children spout the latest Americanism. England rushed to build her Empire. You reap what you sow.
Leet and the like will, I'm sure, confound matters even more and at a greater pace than ever before. Not only will countries be separated by a common language, so will their generations.
Its much quicker to put what you are going to say in an acronym.
That brings something to mind. LOL is an acronym. TTYL, BRB and the like are not. To qualify as an acronym, the term must be pronouncable as a word like SCUBA or LASER. I am generally opposed to changing the meaning of a word that is in wide use other than for the purposes of slang where the new definition can be inferred by context (and where the redefinition usually falls quickly out of favour).
There is a great scene in The Newsroom where Jane Fonda says (and this is not an exact quote), "The Webster's Dictionary has recently redefined the word 'literally' to mean 'figuratively' so when I say I will literally burn this newsroom to the ground before I turn it over to you, you really don't know what I mean by that."
Guess I should have said abbreviation instead... Well, brb, I'm going to go blind a fish with my light amplification stimulated emission of radiation while wearing a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. Ttyl lol yolo!
I'm taking a technical writing course at university right now and we've had 4 quizes that have revolved around grammar. I've been averaging about 85% on the quizes and would be higher but some of the phrases to fix have been difficult. What surprised me were the number of people that have been failing the tests. At least 1/4 of the class has been failing. Well, I guess I'm not too surprised.
The best technical writing teacher I ever knew was Ron Blicq. I was lucky to be able to take two courses from him: Technically Write and Administrattively Write. The first was on how to write clear, technical prose, and the second was how to write clear, effective memos.
Even more abhorrant than bad grammar is deliberately unclear writing. For example, the following text under a work of art:
Sim subverts the classical male nude, substituting the pretense of traditionalized 'pose' for a posture that employs a gentle subjugation, replacing canonical fine art media with a medium that is makeshift and extemporized.
was actually saying:
the artist made a quick sketch of a nude model, choosing to use a simple ballpoint pen.
Isaac Asimov wrote an excellent essay on this titled, "The Unforgivable Sin". I cannot find the article online and, while I have a copy, I cannot post it here due to copyright.
It is indeed more easy to write an email, which you can correct while composing before sending, then "send" out your spoken words, which once pronounced, cannot longer be corrected.
I thought by myself phew! Did I do that? A Dutch speaker writing such a long sentence? But at the same time, I felt there must be something wrong with it.
I let my daughter(who studied English at university) overlook it.
She came with the following:
It is indeed more easy to write an email, which you can correct while composing before sending, than to "send" out your spoken words, which once pronounced, can no longer be corrected.
This feels more "English" I guess, because she corrected the grammar!
English is for most people an easy language, but with a very subtle grammar!
Well, according to non-native English speakers, English is hard to understand. IMO, as long as you make a conscious effort to speak properly (and correct yourself when making mistakes) that should be appreciated.
On the other hand, I have little tolerance for native speakers who do not know their there's apart.
I do not think English is an easy language for most people; if it was, English born people would be better speakers and writers. In my "professional" world that I work in, I see grammatical errors from a lot of colleagues on a daily basis. I do not sit and correct people, even though I would like to. Instead, I take it all in, figure out what the intent is, and then shake my head. I get poor english skills for texting but letters and emails, there's no excuse in my opinion.
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