Loss of Grammer in written langauge

@emeraldisle (13158)
United States
December 10, 2006 10:43am CST
I've noticed more and more lately the loss of correct spelling, punctuation, and tense in written communication lately. I know in chats it's often easier to write abbreviated words and I can understand it there or in text messages. However when we are talking about someone who is from a country where English is the dominate language why does this happen. I see it in e-mails, posts in groups, and discussions. I have even seen it spreading into school work being turned into teachers and memos in inner office communication. Is it so difficult to type out was instead of wuz or you instead of u? Is it so hard to use a ' when using a contraction so that you spell out can't and not cant. Let alone adding in periods, commas and other punctuation to make it easier for people to read what is being said. The occasional misspelling or typo we all do and that is not what I'm talking about. I am talking the constant mishandling of words and sentences Have you noticed this trend as well? Is there any chance of explaining why it is continuing to be done? Can we fix it at all?
66 responses
@meeoww (1174)
• United States
11 Dec 06
It has taken me YEARS to use "r" & "u" and all of those shortcuts. The only reason that I'm using them now is because of character limits on text messaging. I either have too much to say, or I'm spelling everything out fully, so I run out of room and have to back up to figure out where I can shorten it. I do, however, like the "lol" & "roflmao" stuff because it really shows the emotion that one is experiencing. And particularly, "IMHO", since it really is an unnecessary interjection to a sentence which I do use frequently. My biggest problem is that I use slang such as "gonna'" or "helluva lotta". But I think that's mostly depending on the tone of my writing. And that brings up another point. Webster needs to stop adding slang into the dictionary. The more people understand it as a proper word (which is what dictionaries are for), the more people will tend to use it and think that it IS proper. aloha!
• United States
11 Dec 06
I use a lot of the shortcuts in my chats and when playing online games, but not in my emails to friends. However, I do use a lot of slang (likes the ones you mentioned) when I'm emailing friends..."LOL", "gotta" and "gonna" are some of my favorites. The more slang words that get added to Webster's, the more slang words that we'll see every day. I just don't like to see slang or shortcuts in business letters and such. Aloha to you also.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Oh I do know what you mean. I use some as well because it shows emotion like LOL and ROFLMAO, especially in chats. When I first saw "ain't" in the dictionary I almost dropped the book. How are we to tell kids to use proper words when these words are in there. Most of the ones with English as a second language I have noticed don't use the abbreviations like "u" or "r". They write them out. The sentences might be broken but they are at least attempting to use the language correctly.
@meeoww (1174)
• United States
12 Dec 06
Oh, gracious! I didn't know that "ain't" is in the dictionary. Can someone please tell me what it's a contraction of? Okay, the "n't" is from "not". What is the "ai" from? "Are is"? Ludicrous!
@claudia413 (4284)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I honestly don't believe kids are getting the proper education today. It's either that or they're just not paying attention. It seems like there is no emphasis on correct spelling, punctuation or grammar at all. I'm sure there are some who were forced to leave school for one reason or another before they could complete their education. However, I just hate to see a long paragraph of run-on sentences without absolutely any punctuation, not even a period at the very end. I receive thank you notes from nieces, nephews and neighborhood kids that have the worst misspellings, etc. I can misspell words at times and have been known to have a few typos because my mind works faster than my fingers at times. When my grandkids send me an email or IM and I can't understand all their shortcuts, I just type "Say what?" and that's it. But they think it's "kewl". I have no idea how this trend can be fixed. We sure can't go around correcting people all the time. That's just rude.
• United States
11 Dec 06
One thing I forgot to mention is that when we had younger people apply for secretarial jobs in companies where I worked, some of them couldn't even spell the name of the city right. We never hired people if their application for employment was filled out poorly. We didn't just accept a resume' and presume they prepared it all alone. I know how many I prepared for friends over the years. In some places, we even had them type a copy of another letter we'd sent out...they couldn't even set it up right. Yet they wanted a secretarial job. We did try to explain to them that maybe they should look for a different type of employment since they didn't have quality secretarial skills.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
It might be rude to correct them but it is so tempting to do just the same.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
To your second part you are right. Many employment places do such things to make sure that people applying for jobs can actually do the written part correctly. Especially now a days when so few secretarial skills are taught in the schools.
@mbs730 (2155)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
We learn the proper way to use the English language in school, why do you think they call it grammar school? Later on as time goes on, the lazier we all become and it's not an issue if proper grammer is used unless you are in a job that requires communication of some kind. I admit it, I am guilty of it too :)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Makes you wonder how some kids manage to graduate though! =) Their language, spelling, punctuation etc etc is shocking, to say the least, in everything they do! lol I've seen some forms filled out by someone who MUST have graduated to get their current position but they still can't spell statistics correctly! (No wasn't a typo because it happens every week!) =)
• United States
11 Dec 06
You two are so right. I've been a secretary for 46 years, and many of my bosses couldn't spell very simple words...yet they were the bosses. When my husband got a promotion some years back and had to hire a new secretary, I asked him what he was looking for when he interviewed. He stated that he wanted someone who could spell correctly, knew how to set up a letter, and would make him look good. I knew he was a smart man.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
It does make you wonder about the school system I agree. Your husband sounds like a smart man. Problem is if the new generation coming up is so used to using abbreviations when working on a computer what will they do when they have to email someone from work?
@ryan444 (207)
• United States
11 Dec 06
The problem is that most people are so used to software and computers correcting their mistakes for them. Spellcheck is a perfect example. I however stride to make myself known for being educated by a public school system that has an English department. I believe the solution is to get more people properly educated on how to speak. Maybe they just do not want to put forth the effort? Why bother!
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I think that's it. That they don't want to bother. They do not seem to take pride in what they are writing.
@marciascott (25557)
• United States
11 Dec 06
We are not getting paid enough to be perfect, if we were getting paid for perfectness you would not see any mistakes. some people are not good at typing. What about the people that just started working on computers, like me. thank you! and anyway this is to time consuming.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
12 Dec 06
I'm not looking for perfection. I'm just looking for some basic courtesy to make sure that others can read your posts. It's things like this that irritate me: "wud u do on ur birthday" That was for a topic of a discussion and that is one of the better ones I've seen. I could figure it out fairly easy.
@ljmc24 (413)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I am such a perfectionist when it comes to my writing, and this drives me absolutely nuts. I have seen some responses on here that I have had to read 3+ times and still haven't a clue what they are saying.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Oh I know what you mean. I know myself now and then I will do things from chat, like hehe, LOL, OMG Overall though it drives me nuts in posts or emails to see it especially things like "wuz" or "u". That to me is just lazy.
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Ok yes I am also guilty of using OMG, WTF (only in the right context! lol)....LOL as well! =) But it just doesn't sound quite as funny to say Laughing Out Loud...and the OMG one is widely accepted as a shock abbreviation but if you actually say the words there is always the chance that someone will flame you for blasphemy!
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Oh I agree. I happen to like OMG and LOL. Those I can at least understand using because they express emotion and help to bring a point home. Others like "2" "u" "r" just seem lazy when doing them in a post. To me they are harder to type; I actually have to think to use them. I just always type you or are even in chat.
• India
10 Dec 06
it all depends on where u use the wrong grammer and spellings. obviously if u r typing in an informal place such as a blog, then u dont need to write the full spellings, but if u r writing a petition or application...etc u have to use correct grammer.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
10 Dec 06
If you expect others to read it shouldn't you at least use full words and not abbreviations? Let alone capital letters at the beginning of sentences and punctuation to demote the end of one?
@neon2000 (2762)
• Philippines
11 Dec 06
I agree with you billalalikhan.
• Philippines
15 Dec 06
i agree also, but im surethat they just forget the formality of their letters.
@arvee17 (730)
• Philippines
11 Dec 06
we cannot help it and stop it from happening.. everyday people make new words and some words even vanish because most people stop using it. and now with our technology being part of our daily lives, we can't stop people if they ignore everything from grammar, to spelling, punctuations and more. we wanna make our lives easier as much as possible. if we make everything perfect, where is the fun in that?
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I don't want perfect. I know I'm not that. I just want to be able to read everything without needing a code book to decipher the post.
@marciascott (25557)
• United States
11 Dec 06
If you can read it don't read it!
@Ambur25 (1007)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I agree completely. Proper grammar - spelling, punctuation, etc, are HUGE pet peeves of mine. It drives me insane to try to read someone who says... wot av u dun 2day wowz das rly kewl i lyke u alt u shud com 2 my hos 2nite I mean, my Lord. Are we really that uneducated??
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Well it only took me two times to read that sentence but I was able to with some doing. Seeing it though in a normal post would drive me crazy. I'd want to find a way to correct it.
• Australia
11 Dec 06
If I saw that I would go two ways...if I was in a good mood I would just leave the thread without replying...and if I was in a BAD mood - watch out thread owner! lol
@rakeshdas (428)
• India
11 Dec 06
Dear friend, i think in times of communication its very much okay. Look in ancient periods humans invented the language to communicate. That language budded and flowered as today's language. So language is used by human for them. So if human needs faster communication with short expressions I think we must not have any problems. But certainly it is not expected that poet/authors start writing with that type of code language. their books are the place for proper spelling and grammer of language .... "To be or not to be" not "2 b or nt 2 b" :)
@meeoww (1174)
• United States
11 Dec 06
"To be or not to be" not "2 b or nt 2 b":) Now THAT'S funny!
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Shakespeare would roll over in his grave.
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Unfortunately I think it's because it's "cool" in today's society to not be able to spell or use punctuation...I'm guilty of the occasional typo but I never use abbreviations like 'u' and '2' - just can't do it! And if I go into a post where those are over the top I just don't bother replying...if you can't be bothered typing at least half your sentence properly then I can't be bothered typing ANYTHING in response.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
That could be that they have to be cool, in style, or as we said when I was growing up, hip. I couldn't agree more with the discussion starter. If I see it in the subject I don't even bother. I'm guilty of the typo and misspelling now and then, it happens. My brain works faster then my hands at times.
• United States
11 Dec 06
Silver and Emerald, I think you're both correct. I'm sure they think they're being "kool" as my granddaughter says, but I sure hope they don't use it in business dealings or when it really counts.
@Mickie30 (2636)
12 Dec 06
It annoys me as well because it shows a decline in English language and that people are not thinking about what they are writing. English is being taught in schools but, more and more people are being lazy and using slang instead of ordinary good English. I think the problem is people have become lazy and maybe they are being allowed to get away with it.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
12 Dec 06
That could be very well it. That no one has bothered to call them on it and demand that they make it so we can read what is being written. So long as they can get away with it they will continue to do it. Until people start to tell them, "We can't read that" they might not realize just how hard it is to decipher.
• United States
12 Dec 06
I have commented on this practice in chat before, and people got in an uproar :-) Personally, I see it as laziness. I don't mind laziness; we all feel lazy at times, but it does make it difficult to follow a discussion that is filled with "u" "ur" and "ne1." Maybe it's just me, but I think it takes longer to decipher the meaning in sentences that contain these abbreviations. I think it's meant to be some sort of "cool" "hip" shorthand. So, maybe it's my age that is the problem.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
12 Dec 06
I agree it does take longer and for myself I have to actually stop and think to use it. So it takes me longer to type it out. I don't expect people to be perfect or to double or triple their posts but there are some things they can do to make it easier on the rest of us to read what they write. Using full words is one of them.
@jeffaim (215)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I know what you mean. Your post is a prime example of the next level of loss of proper grammar. You generally spell things correctly (although Grammer is a city in Indiana and grammar refers to the rules of language usage), but you use the word lately twice in the first sentence, including at the end of the sentence. To paraphrase your post using more proper grammar: Lately, I've noticed an increased lack of correct spelling, punctuation and tense in written communication. I understand it's often easier to use abbreviations in chats or text messages. However, when the person is from a country where English is the dominant language, why does this happen? I have seen examples of this trend in school work being turned in to teachers and inter-office memos. Is it so difficult to type out "was" instead of "wuz" or "you" instead of "u"? Is it so hard to use an "'" when using a contraction so that you type out "can't" instead of "cant"? There are other basics being ignored, such as adding periods, cmmas and other punctuation that make it easier for people to understand what is being said. The occasional misspelling or typo is forgivable; it is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the constant mishandling of words and sentences. Have you noticed this trend as well? Is there any chane of explaining why it continues? Can we fix it? I'm sure that I broke some of the rules of grammar even in my paraphrasing - can anyone improve on my paragraph? I think that the root of the problem is partially the predominance of less formal written communication, and partially a general disinterest in both teaching and learning proper grammar. As the dialectic of the average American has developed over the years, the idiom of the masses has become a common denominator, and developed into the standard that is taught rather than a starting point in teaching the proper way to speak and write. Surely you concur.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Oh I agree much of the basics is not being taught in the schools. I'll be the first to admit that. As to your paragraph yes I made typos, I admit to those. Sometimes the fingers don't work at the same speed as my brain. I also have a learning disability with spelling. Usually I catch them but now and then I don't like with grammer/grammar. I do the same with calander/calendar. Also you too made a typo: cmmas and other punctuation I believe you meant commas. The only reason I didn't put the apostrophe in quotes is because it can make it hard to read.
@samaira (163)
• India
11 Dec 06
hey yes we do use shot forms during chats ....but this does not mean that we r losing our grammar....i mean its really boring n difficult to type each n everything.....so better use short forms dat can be easily understood...but yes do remember correct forms also..lolz
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Yes but sometimes it is not easily understood.
• Philippines
11 Dec 06
yeah i observe that too. but i think id depends if its really formal or just a chat. we cant blame anyone i guess cause its been a trend. and as long as the audience understood it i thinkg its ok like in your title discussion, i think you misspell the "langauge" instead of lanaguage...but i know we people doesn't forget the true meaning of language.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
You know only two have caught the language part that I put the u and the a backwards. That was a typo on my part and I admit to doing those at times. Wish they had an edit button so I could fix it.
• United States
11 Dec 06
Talking about proper grammar, you spelled grammar incorrectly
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
And thank you for reading other comments to this.
@brians (679)
• India
11 Dec 06
yes.. the same thing happened to me today when I was workin on a medical project ... I came across some simple words but was finding difficult to pronunce it and spell it... even my grammar has been worsened and just cant understand what's happening with me and my english ... well I guess I will require a brain wash once again :)
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I like the brain wash comment. I'm blonde by birth but I dye my hair red. So when I make mistakes like that I just say it's time to redo the hair, my blonde roots are showing.
@malsun (1528)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I understand what you mean. I too feel sad that such a beautiful language is being actually molested this way. And the worst is that I too sometime resort to it. I guess people use such twisted spellings just for the heck of it. There is no reasoning behind it and i can see that it is a dangerous trend.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
We all make goofs and slip ups. We make typos and sometimes in a hurry our spelling isn't the best. It does happen. However there is a big difference between that and constantly butchering the language like some of them do.
• Canada
11 Dec 06
When I see what's being written on the internet, it blows me away. I too have problems with internet shorthand and if I see a post that is incomprehensible, I just move on. I just don't see the point of responding.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Same here. Especially when it is in the subject or title for a discussion. If I see something like "Wut wuz U doing Fri nite" I just skip on by. Not because I can't think of something to post but because I just can't see bothering to respond to someone who writes like that.
@Hamlet333 (725)
• Pakistan
11 Dec 06
its really obvious that what we people are doing....its ok when we are in hurry but it is not when we are writing a letter or type some important...we should be use to write correct spelling and pronunciation and makes our youngers to do the same practice.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Especially when we are writing for people we don't know to read what we wrote, like here on Mylot. What type of image are we presenting to others about ourselves when our writing is almost impossible to read?