What is going on with the written word in this country?
Simple responses like “OMG”, “SMH” and “LOL” have not only trimmed reactive phrases to abbreviations, they have become part of every aspect of writing. Even without a Twitter-like, 140-character limit, things like emails and text messages, even Facebook posts, now regularly contain these abridgments. I guess it’s just a cute way to acknowledge your feelings and, to be honest, I’ve indulged in the practice.
I don’t have a problem with these acronyms. Granted, their are way too many being used for me to keep up with, and I admit, sometimes I need to “google” them when presented with a puzzling one. Many of us know “BRB” (be right back) and “BTW” (by the way), but what about “IMO” (In my opinion) or “TBH” (To be honest)?
Deciding to utilize complete words in you’re emails, texts or Facebook posts, requires using the right ones. The English language can be ridiculous sometimes, throwing in silent letters, or using identical spelling for completely different things (homonyms). The spoken word does not require the orator to know how to spell or punctuate, but when putting words to paper, those traits matter.
Please understand, I am not a member of the Grammar Police, nor have I ever won a Spelling Bee. I think spell check is one of the greatest innovations of the 20th century, right up their with electricity. But as many of you know, as long as you spell the word correctly, even if you are using it in the wrong contest, spell check won’t alert you.
When I was a young pup, the most feared person in any newsroom was the dreaded copy editor. Worse than any mythical English teacher you have ever been saddled with, nothing got by the sharpened sickle of a good copy editor. As a nubile writer, you never wanted the editor to return you’re printed work with red scribbles all over it.
I’m sorry, but I can’t keep this up any longer. There are at least five words in this column so far that are completely misused for the context. Did you spot them? Did the little hairs on your neck stand up when you read them? You may have missed them, either not detecting the error or, what may be worse, not really caring anymore. Have we become so anesthetized to written mistakes that we just accept them and move on?
When a word is mispronounced, someone may take the time to correct the speaker, but do you notice how indignant people get when corrected?
Try stopping someone mid-sentence, explaining that the word “irregardless” doesn’t exist in the English Language. It’s like telling someone you support Trump.
I believe the written word should be protected at all costs. It’s a legacy passed down through generations. You wouldn’t want to get a tattoo that says, “Your Stronger Than You Think!” or “No Regerts”, would you?
The written word is forever, and that goes double for you bloggers out there. Writing a blog is no excuse for not knowing the difference between “their”, “there” or “they’re.” Posting on Facebook using “your” instead of “you’re” more than once in the same status update, shows that you don’t know how to use it properly. When composing something with your name attached, shouldn’t you take the time to read it once or twice before hitting the “Submit” button? What’s the rush?
When I am engaged in reading something online and come across an obvious misuse of the language, that ruins it for me, showing a complete disregard for the reader. It’s kind of like trying to enjoy a piece of fish filet after I’ve found a bone. Apparently, it’s no longer important for writers to know how and when to use contractions.
Although people no longer seem to appreciate the print media, it is rare to find a grammar or spelling error. For that, you can thank an editor.
I’m sure my editor, Joe Catrone, is going to have a fit trying to edit this column while intentionally leaving in all the mistakes. I hope you, my dear readers, enjoy reading this column and occasionally LOL. I’m sure Joe’s response is going to be more like, SMH…