Column by Drew Blakely
With Twitter and texting shortcuts on nearly every word in the English language, many youths have taken to incorporating these into every day life. This, in turn, has led to society lessening the importance of teaching and maintaining proper grammar and spelling.
Atrocities such as spelling “you” as “u” and failing to grasp the differences between “there, their and they’re” hurts our society as a whole by reverting us to pre-civilized times of saying the bare minimum to get our point across.
Convenience is the number one answer that any Facebook friend will give you when you ask him or her why he or she spelled something incorrectly, or shortened a word.
The problem with the convenience factor is the words someone shortens regularly on social media sites will work hinto regular vocabulary and it will become the norm for that word.
That means if people aren’t careful, they could write “u” instead of “you” on papers in school or for important documents. This could become a huge failing point for many soon-to-be employees. Nobody wants to hire someone who can’t grasp basic grammar.
I have a friend on Facebook who absolutely refused to spell “you” correctly. She has come up with the most dreadful variation of the word that should make anybody with any awareness of the English language physically ill. Her genius variation is “yu,” which means she has cut out the “o” in the word for convenience sake. The appalling thing about this is that this has become part of her basic vernacular. What if she lets this travesty to the English language slip on her résumé? Her potential employers will laugh themselves into a coma and throw the résumé in the nearest trash receptacle.
It’s an easy mistake to slip up and use a shortened term, but if self-control is your thing, you go ahead and type some Twitter slang into the status bar and go about your day, if you can sleep at night that is. The problem here is the basic grammar is no longer understood by the current generation of tweeters. Further than that, failing grammar has become socially acceptable instead of being looked down upon.
As Pradeep Kumar Debata, Head of the Department of English at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, acknowledges in his academic journal, “The Importance of Grammar in English Language Teaching – A Reassessment,” grammar is a challenge to learn, but when learned, it benefits and allows greater understanding of the language and the people who use it. Debata’s journal focuses on learning English as a second language. If you’ve ever tried to learn a second language, you know how important using grammar is in regard to that language, and English is no different.
The ideal situation is not for shortcutting language to go away, but rather to know the difference between a shortcut and correct spelling and grammar. If you have the knowledge that what you’re doing defies the rules of grammar then you still have the right to do , so for convenience sake and let the haters like myself hate, then show them that you can out-grammar them anytime, anywhere.