If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things.
~Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grammar Wars

I love languages-the constant evolution of verbal and written communication. I can't speak for other languages, but English changes so rapidly that I can barely understand what kids are saying sometimes.

I spend a fair amount of time on Youtube- watching old MST3K episodes, Craig Ferguson, SYTYCD, The Voice, etc. The commentary left by other users is amazing at times- amazingly incoherent and ignorant. I read posts like this and nearly shit myself:

Diz shit iz fer realz.

U r 2 ct, grlfrnd.

ThIs ShIt SuX!

Why, for the love of all that is sacred, why?! I am okay with text speak- when you are texting. Emoticons are fine (almost) anytime- I use Lol and :) in my writing blogs- it makes it easier for people to know that you are joking/being sarcastic. Keep in mind the examples that I provided are just basic sentences. I have read entire paragraphs of this, my brain threatening to leak out my ears as I struggle to interpret what the writer is saying.

The last example throws me through a loop- why do people type like this? Alternating upper and lowercase letters- what possible purpose does that serve? It takes much longer to type and just looks as if you have way too much time on your hands.

I don't get it- do people want to sound uneducated? Or do they really think that proper spelling and punctuation don't matter? I can guarantee that it will matter the next time that they fill out a job application, apply for a loan, or do their homework.

I have also gotten into strange debates about homophones and homonyms. Homophones are words that are pronounced the same, but vary in meaning and spelling. Homonyms are spelled and pronounced the same but have different meanings.

The last 'arguement' was actually quite funny because the person (man/woman- I have no idea) had commented on a video that they didn't get a joke that a comedian made about having no idea that there was an apostrophe in the word taint. (By the way, their comment was thumbed up 38 times) I said it depends of which meaning on taint you are using. He/she said 'I don't get it.' I had to explain that taint has at least three definitions.

Taint- to corrupt/contaminate
'Tain't- slang for it ain't (isn't)
Taint- the area between the testicles and the anus

I could have been more precise but the comment box only allowed for a certain amount of characters. I just have to wonder about people sometimes... If you are sitting in front of a computer and read something that confuses you, look it up. It only take about 30 seconds and -Presto!- instant knowledge.

On a side note, I detest when writers change the spelling of any word that has 'man' in it. Womyn, wimmim, herstory, etc. It immediately turns me off of whatever they are writing. For fuck's sake, just leave the word the it is supposed to be spelled.

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