Friday, January 27, 2012

Observations on Mangled Language

The theme of this little nugget I’d stashed away is New Year’s resolutions. However…

a) It’s still January, right?

b) The message is appropriate every day of the year.

CNN.com writer Doug Gross posted an article titled “Resolutions! Five Tech Behaviors to Drop in 2012.” Second on his list:

Mangling the English language on Twitter

We get that Twitter is meant to be quick. And that sometimes you have to tighten up the spelling to get your words of wisdom down to 140 characters or less.

But for the love of Bieber (16 million followers), take five seconds to get "it's" and "its" or "they're," "there" and "their" right.

You'll probably hold onto more followers in the new year if your tweets don't hurt their brains. And, if you're a celebrity, take the time to avoid reminding us that your clever dialogue came from a screenwriter or those meaningful lyrics were penned for you by a songwriter.

Touché, Doug.

The following comments, while interesting and somewhat entertaining, do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog - or maybe they do. Your call.

Commenter “dot71965” (whose icon is a picture of Einstein) said:

If it wasn't for poor grammar and poor spelling then I would have no way to determine which comments are worth reading.  Perhaps if everyone had to take an IQ test prior to signing up for any online forum or social media site then everyone's comments could be grouped accordingly.

To which commenter “BandTeacher” replied:

The correct wording of your remark about "poor grammar" should be "If it weren't...".  This is the subjunctive mood. A verb is in the subjunctive mood when it expresses a condition which is doubtful or not factual.

I agree, poor grammar is a serious problem, and anyone posting on the internet should be required to take an IQ test, Einstein.

Commenter “Joseppi” chimes in with his view of modern society:

Bad grammar is a staple of the internet…I'll admit, I'm a grammar-na.zi [sic] that won't hesistate to point out your mistakes while laughing at my own, but it is convenient when separating intelligent posts/tweets…from a jumbled mess of sentence fragments, run-ons, excessive punctuation, and misspellings from someone banging away on their keyboard. Honestly, you can tell a lot about an anonymous person just by studying their typing habits.

My favorite comment, though, has to be from “oldsmobile”:

I have a T-shirt that says "I'm silently correcting your grammar" on it. It's accurate most of the time. Other times I'm doing said corrections out loud.

I need to find one of those T-shirts… :-)

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