On the continuing decline of the English language (even among people who should know better)

A while back I wrote this post , which started out being about Peter Jennings’ alarmingly Yoda-like pronouncements, but degenerated into a diatribe about the inability of e-mail correspondents to actually spell words properly and use proper capitalization and punctuation.

I’m sorry to say that things aren’t exactly taking a turn for the better. This semester I am working with a class as a Writing Fellow (which means I work with students to improve their term papers by reading rough drafts and giving them my comments, both written and in conference). There are two of us Fellows working with this particular class, and we were e-mailing back and forth to set up a time to meet the professor and talk about the schedule. And you know what? There is definitely something wrong when three people are having an e-mail conversation and I am the only one who is not channeling e.e. cummings. Even the professor wrote his e-mails entirely in lowercase! What is this world coming to?

Oh, sorry. That last sentence should be:

omg!!!! what is this world coming to?!?!?!?! lolol

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2 thoughts on “On the continuing decline of the English language (even among people who should know better)

  1. Yes, well around here things have got to a similar stage, and then there is spelling. I think a large percentage of the population really does think that the plural of ‘you’ is ‘youse’, and the past tense of ‘ask’ is ‘arxed’, as in ‘I arxed youse what youse wanted to do’.

  2. Yes! And the other thing that slays me is people who use idiomatic phrases incorrectly. I work as a writing tutor at the University, and I once had a student write that the main character in a book had had “a tough road to hoe.” I guess she didn’t do much gardening — a road would indeed be a tough thing to hoe!

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