What happened to spelling and grammar?

@bonbon664 (3470)
Canada
December 13, 2011 2:37am CST
I recently had reason to go through resumes submitted by potential employees. I was completely astounded to see the rampant misuse of they're, there, and their. Another one that stood out was than and then. There was one that had sentences in "text speak". Did they seriously think they would be considered for employment? What happened to basic language skills?
7 people like this
21 responses
@enelym001 (8333)
• Philippines
13 Dec 11
If they're applying for a good position that requires them to meet clients or create correspondence then you really have to be careful. But if one is applying for a position that doesn't requires those work, I don't think we have to focus more on the spellings and grammar. There are skillful people in IT that works better than those people who speaks and writes perfect English. Employers abroad (I'm not talking about Middle Eastern people, I'm talking about Western employers) don't even care whether your spelling is perfect, they want your skills. And as long as you can express yourself in a manner that people will understand you when you speak, plus a good experience you got from your past jobs, then you're hired. Good day!
1 person likes this
@jaiho2009 (39019)
• Philippines
13 Dec 11
I agree with you enelym...not to mention with the way it is pronounce. We cannot understand the way they speak due to wrong pronunciation that always give us wrong definition. Unless we are use to it- or we lived there for sometime then we get to know with their pronunciation. Communication job (such as Customer care) need an almost perfect grammar,intonation, the high and low (diction) and also spelling for non-voice account (Customer care)
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
14 Dec 11
What business is this? I'll apply..lol I said that because I need a job and I hate to see the misused words of there and their. I do admit there is one I struggle with and that is affect and effect, but I rarely use those words. I am also a big "Must spell it right" writer. I was told when I wrote my story to not worry about grammar or spelling, and though I was able to forget about proper grammar, I couldn't just spell out a word without knowing it was spelled correctly..lol I am surprised though, are these applicants from high school or college? It has been years since I was in high school, so I don't know how much the teachers allow the student to get away with, but I am taking college classes now, and yeah my major is writing, but the instructors do let the students know every grammar, misspelling, and punctuation mistake made..
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
15 Dec 11
The vast majority of people are college graduates, some, with a masters degree.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 11
Wow, I can only say that they did not major in writing or they don't care.
• United States
13 Dec 11
I know what you mean. I worked a hospital and we had to make notes on each account when the patient came in regarding whether they brought insurance cards in, their orders, who brought them, etc. We had one girl who ALWAYS wrote WUZ instead of Was. OMG It annoyed the mess out of me. I'm not be good with than and then but I do know they're, there and their.
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
14 Dec 11
I bet that WUZ very annoying....LOL.
• United States
14 Dec 11
IT killed me! The girl was about 17 so she should have KNOWN better. Every time I looked at her notes it was WUZ this and WUZ that. GRRR!
@Jess1991 (77)
• Indonesia
13 Dec 11
It depends on what jobs you are applying for. If you are fighting for a position that do not require you to communicate with the customers such as ITs or Accounting or Finance positions, I do not think they consider too much. However, if you are applying for Sales, Marketing Executive, Human resource department or even personal banking representative, then you are in big trouble. I think so.
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
13 Dec 11
I don't think it matters what position you're applying for. If a person can't take the time to proof read a resume, they obviously are not very careful, and pay no attention to detail. It reflects very badly on them.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
13 Dec 11
What Bonbon says is true, Jess. The care you put into your application reflects a lot on the type of worker you might be. ALL employers care about that regardless of the position you are applying for.
@garson (886)
• United States
4 Feb 12
The example you gave is a very common mistakes. After growing in another country, I was amazed with the common mistakes many people US made when they write paper, e-mail message, design websites, etc. Unfortunately, many of them never bother to learn from mistakes even if other people tell them or point them out. This makes me wonder about how English has been taught in schools. I would be interested in knowing which kind of people learn English better. Who knows, non-native speakers may learn English much better.
@garson (886)
• United States
4 Feb 12
Nobody is perfect. When I review my submission, I always find that I leave few words including the above.
@jaiho2009 (39019)
• Philippines
13 Dec 11
When applying for a job that requires a lot of communication or writing,yes it is a must. Sometimes people are confused when to use the right word like what you've wrote "they're,there and their". Same as, where,were and we're.
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
14 Dec 11
Yes, another great example!
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
13 Dec 11
If they don't care enough to check the spelling on their resume, perhaps they won't care about the mistakes that they make if they got the job? Dothey not kow what spell check is?
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
14 Dec 11
Here here!
@kaypow (69)
• Canada
14 Apr 12
Hi, bonbon, I think that the major problem in this case is the school system. Instead of drilling grammatical rules into students' heads (which I firmly believe needs to be done, and from an early age) or having spelling bees, schools now put forth the idea that any writing, no matter how atrocious, is okay, as long as the reader can understand what is being said. Additionally, parents whose spelling and grammar is no better than that of their children are no help when it comes to fixing this problem. They do not care about the proper use of their language, and they do not see why their children should, either. The thing that really floors me is that, in this technological age, one would think that spelling and grammar would improve, instead of going into this downward spiral. With so many dictionary sites on the Internet, it is now a matter of seconds to look up a word and ensure that it is being spelled correctly. There are hundreds of grammar resources as well, and they even offer the option of having an email sent to you each day with new information, so that you can learn day by day. Anyone with a computer should, it seems, have no trouble checking up on his or her spelling and grammar, at least to a reasonable extent.
@KrauseHome (35034)
• United States
16 Mar 12
Personally it has become interesting especially with the younger generation the way that they talk, and when they write they do tend to use the Text type of writing etc. I see it on Facebook all the time, even with people older than me, and it does make you wonder. Would be nice if some things could get more back to the olden days but since the School systems are trying to rush people thru instead of teaching them anything anymore, it is a really hard thing to endure for sure.
• India
3 Feb 12
The English both written and spoken is getting bad here, seems no one cares for the spelling and the grammar, i have taught Physics in colleges for 45 years, was Principal for many years, some lecturers even don't know how to write a leave application correctly.
@stvasile (7317)
• Romania
28 Jan 12
I think young people have big spelling and grammar problems. There are more causes, but I think excessive use of internet instant messaging and cellphone texting play an important role. Because people want to be quick, they skip letters, use abbreviations, don't capitalize any more, etc. And it won't be a problem if they stick to altering words like that when they communicate to each other, but they get used to it, and don't realize or don't care when they use this kind of crippled language all the time. They also get used to this manner of writing because they are not corrected by the rest of the people, and their wrong use of language is tolerated a lot. The problem is that if some of these expressions become usual, they will be accepted as the correct form, leading to an involution rather than an evolution of the language. It's already happening in my country, where the Romanian Academy had accepted some erroneous forms that have become common during the past few years...
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
2 Jan 12
I blame technology and the mobile phone for people's inability to spell, and it spells laziness to me. Everything is created for people to get lazier and lazier and what example is this setting for children growing up and learning? When most children are given a mobile they are taught that it is acceptable to text speak, how far is this going to get them in the real world? I have always prided myself on my spelling and being a secretary many eons ago I had to be word perfect and knew how to spell. I cringe when even the most basic of words are incorrectly spelt. I certainly wouldn't entertain any resume done in text speak regardless of what qualifications they had! I now wonder if text speak would be allowed in exams? I hope not!
@peavey (16640)
• United States
2 Jan 12
Not just on job applications. It seems to me that web content is getting sloppier all the time. I've seen all kinds of mistakes on some of the biggest web sites. You'd think they could hire a proofreader or at least an editor to catch the worst I wouldn't hire anyone who couldn't fill out a job application without making a mistake.
@millertime (1398)
• United States
19 Dec 11
I have to agree with you. It seems like there has been a steady decline in language skills over the last few generations. It's not only in the written word but speech as well. It makes me cringe when I hear people mispronounce words repeatedly. Instead of saying "nuclear", they pronounce it nucular, or they use supposubly for supposedly. I hear these mistakes made by people that have college degrees and it just amazes me. I see the mistakes you mention all the time also. I think part of the reason it's so common is that people depend too heavily on the computer's spell check. It won't catch those types of misuses since the words themselves are spelled correctly, just not in the context that they are used. People need to depend less on spell check and do a little more proofreading. Why someone wouldn't take extra care when preparing a resume though, is beyond reason. There is no excuse for errors on a document thats sole purpose is to showcase one's skills. As for the use of "text speak", it's just absurd that someone would think it acceptable. If I received any resumes with such glaring errors, they would get the fast track to the trash can. I do fear that as time goes on in our techno-society, we will see further declines in the quality of the spoken and written word. It's a shame but eloquence isn't as revered as it once was.
@AmbiePam (49113)
• United States
14 Dec 11
Before my mother was prematurely diagnosed with dementia she was an Enlgish professor. She used to be amazed at the spelling and grammar her students would use in their papers. Text speak was prevalent, as were run on sentences and the like. It's like basic English skills were never even taught.
@urbandekay (18312)
13 Dec 11
What annoys me is the superfluous insertion of a comma immediately prior to a conjunction. All the best urban
@krajibg (11939)
• Guwahati, India
13 Dec 11
Hi bonbon, Nice observation indeed. There is a myth of learning in 30 or 60 days with the title of 'Spoken English'. No grammatical nor lexical cohesion, but they think and talking English. There is an associate professor in our college ( name not mentioned )who just simply does not have the knack to write an article in his own English and then you see. English is murdered, cut into pieces and chopped and they know English.
@jsmalong (109)
13 Dec 11
When I was working abroad, I have this officemate who speaks English fluently but cannot write a simple correspondence, inspite of having studied and lived in the States for 13 long years. When he writes, which is very rarely, it is full of grammatical errors and misspelled words. But he's got lots of interests in his job,very good communication skills, and gets along well with people. Here at home, we give much importance to this borrowed language. Employers expect you that your facility in the English language is not just good but close to perfect. I agree that if you are good in communicating your ideas and understanding others, this will make up for your lack of proficiency in the English language. Further, I agree that we must keep improving our English skills, not because it is an international medium of communication, but also to have greater opportunities in improving our lives.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
13 Dec 11
Hi Bonbon, I work in a convenience store and I hear my boss complain about this all the time. He said he can overlook a misspell or two but quite often it goes way beyond that. It is as if some of them don't really care. The text speak is just ridiculous and then some of them are so sloppy that you can barely read them. Like he said, it more often than not says a lot about the person. Once in a while he has been surprised. He called in this one kid for an interview. He said he had some apprehensions. There were no misspells but the hand writing was horrible. When he called, this kids answering service picked up and the recording was something pretty vulgar. He shook his head and went, "now who would put a recording on like that knowing that a potential boss could be calling?" Well, the kid came in and appeared very clean cut and was very polite. I knew the kid and knew he was a pretty good kid. My boss hired him and he turned out to be a great worker. Most of the time though, the application itself does give many hints as to how a person will be as an employee.
@megamatt (14330)
• United States
13 Dec 11
You know, a job resume, you'd think that people would take a little more care of writing to the best of their abilities, in proper English. I mean text speak is something that you wouldn't really do in a professional setting. I think that one would assume that there would be a much higher set of standards of writing than there would be on an Internet forum for example. It is really a prudent thing when writing a resume, to really have another set of eyes to look over it as well. Because even those who do take care, will make some mistakes in the best of times. On the Internet, I wouldn't really care, as long as I can understand you, but for a job, obviously that would be more important. Of course, there are some who obviously don't care.