No Speaka da English?

In a previous post I mentioned the movie Idiocracy and how scarily prophetic I found it to be. The following is the narrative of the English languages deterioration;

“Unaware of what year it was, Joe wandered the streets, desperate for help. But the English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valley girl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.”

In today’s rant it’s all about the wonderful English language, and how we’re sodomizing the shit out of it. We’re not quite at Idiocracy levels yet, but as with all things it’s only a matter of time.

If you’re reading this I have to assume you’re pretty internet savvy and are aware of internet speak. In truth the world wide web has developed its own language over the years, most of it pandering to the laziness of its users. It started somewhere around acronyms like “lol” and has progressed to being unable to distinguish the difference in meaning between words like “you’re” and “your”.

Peruse sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Answers, or various messaging boards and you’ll be amazed and how many people seem to have given up on spelling or grammar completely, with sentences like:

Wut r u meaning I not stoopid your stoopid u jerk.

So much is wrong with that sentence, I’m not even sure where to start. First, I hate it when people use single letters in place of the whole word. “U” and “R” may be easier than typing out “You” and “Are” but it just makes you look like a lazy asshole. The blatant misspelling of “what” and “stupid” is another indicator of laziness, as is not using the appropriate context of ‘you’re’. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the general idea.

Lex Luthor

Even in texting, rather than using “LOL” to say “Yes good sir, I found what you just said to be entertaining”, I say “Hahaha” or “Bahahaha”, depending on my mood and how mischievous my laugh is. Sometimes I’ll even throw in a “Muahahaha” to portray that I am currently being my alter-ego, Evil Lex.

I understand that not everyone is going to take the time to be a star linguist such as myself but come on people, try a little.

Also, watch this guy, he’s from here in KC. Warning, there is strong language.


214 thoughts on “No Speaka da English?

  1. You are absolutely right and I could not have said it better myself. Thanks for sticking up for the English language, sister. I will never survive if it fades away. LOL

  2. Wonderful and simple post. I have also had similar thoughts and there has been times when i actually couldn’t make out what people intend to communicate. It was ‘okay’ in the beginning. Gradually it came down to ‘OK’ and now in Kerala my friends just say “k”. Helpless !

    • Yes, I’ve developed my own kind of ‘language’ with friends too. In some cases it’s because we’re lazy, other times we just find a more entertaining way to say things. Ah well, at least we can still distinguish you’re and your (and are quite proud of it!)

  3. THIS is exactly why I chose online dating. While engaging in casual conversation in a bar, you can’t tell whether a guy thinks “your” and “you’re” are interchangeable — until you get the disappointing first text a few days later: “Hey freaky deak, your hot.”

    Crap. Two hours of my life I’ll never get back.

    But in a full-on dating profile, you see that…and so much more. I found a guy who likes festibals. Seriously.

    I met a “Match” online — and three years later, we’re engaged. And he knows how to choose “there” or “their” or “they’re.” It’s the ultimate aphrodisiac! 😉

  4. I’m not a prescriptivist, and hence I tolerate the ‘u’ and ‘r’ as part of internet lingo, but using ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ is just stupid. And misspelling words—not deliberately to shorten them or something—is lazy. Especially when every interface that takes text input has a spell check. How these people ignore the squiggly lines under their literary transgressions I’ll never understand. They drive me nuts.
    So, even though I’m not a prescriptivist, I am afraid about where the English language is headed as it’s being sledgehammered into netspeak.
    Nice post. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed.

    • Thank you so much, and thank you for the comment. The squiggly lines drive me crazy as well, which can become frustrating since I do love using words like ‘snarky’. How is snarky not a word?

      • In On Writing Well, William Zinsser talks about the time he was on a panel that was deciding whether to include some words and phrases in a new edition of some dictionary. He observed that while most people were lenient on new words or portmanteaus or simply modifications of words, what they reacted harshly to was the deliberate violation of the rules of grammar and spelling.
        Using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ doesn’t save you paper or time. It’s just being a dick. Fighting for the right to use ‘u’ or ‘r’ is just childish. But words like snarky have a meaning that’s accepted by many.

  5. I’m so used to seeing spelling and grammatical mistakes that when I do see one, I always look at the keyboard to see if it’s a typo or just laziness. Often, when I see people in documentaries whose second language is English, they will speak much better English than someone from the middle of London! I’m glad someone wrote a post on this subject!

    • Very true. I think the reason they are able to speak or write better is actually because it’s their second language. I’m sure it’s taught much more ‘formally’ than we actually speak it so they aren’t predisposed for all of the slang lingo and laziness that we are.

  6. If you consult the linguists, you’ll discover the true beauty of language is that it is in a state of constant flux. There was once a time whenever intelligent men disgraced using words without emphasizing the ‘e’ in ‘ed’. There was a time when ‘whilst’ was commonly used and even ‘you’ replaced the once famous and widely accepted ‘thou’. Language never began as a perfectly organized system that we have wandered away from due to common day technology, it has always been changing as our society has progressed. Remember that language’s main purpose is communication and we created grammar help us to establish clarity but there is no specific law or rule that says anything is taboo, it’s all about the message you’re trying to send.

    English comes from an extremely complex Proto-Indo-European language the Phoenicians adopted whilst in the midst of their many traveling adventures (this is a widely held theory but there are others, I encourage you to research for it is an interesting story). They learned that language from trading and sailing, moved to a different area and created a less complicated version of it and passed it to their children who cut out some of the muddiness and on and on and on and on. We are not losing the beauty of language, we are recreating the way we communicate which we have done since the era of spoken word began. I would advise to appreciate to flux and learn how to use it for your own sake of clarity (who doesn’t love some unsolicited advise?!).

    I say all of these things but I also am in love with the romance of language and it’s ability to weave together such passion and knowledge, for that is an art worth fighting for! It is clarity, integrity and beauty we must fight for, not a set of rules that everyone must follow.

    • I’m with you on this! Especially the last paragraph, very well put.

      I love how the English language is evolving & diversifying as technological & geographical barriers slowly get eroded. There can be so much meaning behind choosing to use “k” instead of “okay” — and it’s not (always) just to save on character counts.

    • Hmm. Who says the ‘true beauty of language’ can only be divined by linguists? Why can’t I, an amateur English user, decide what I think is beautiful about language?

      Yes, language moves and changes and pirouettes over time. The English we have now is different from the English we had 50 years ago, much less a millennium ago. But I think you’re mistaken to imply that all linguists fall under the descriptivist camp. In fact, linguists are divided about how the codes of language should work. Some linguists believe that, more than just describing how language works in the real world, there should be guidelines based on written and conversational customs.

      You say we should fight for clarity. When someone mistakenly (or intentionally) writes “your” instead of “you’re,” the person reading the mistake has to spend extra time parsing the sentence for meaning. In this way, it is a barrier to clarity. The problem with language is that it’s not transparent. You have to say what you mean or I won’t understand you. I can’t just look at a sentence you wrote and intuit what you meant to say. If I could, we wouldn’t be having this debate right now. The beauty of rules is that, if you follow them, the linguistic guessing game gets a lot easier, because people can refer back to impersonal and universal guidelines. These guidelines do not inhibit language from ever changing. They make the changes intelligible.

      You’re right. We should strive for beauty. While you may find garbled, murky diction ‘beautiful,’ I don’t.

      I noticed, too, that you tried to follow conventional English usage in a response which saw you arguing for a willy-nilly approach. Clearly you benefit from the rules the author is advocating for, right? 🙂

      • To colecrane:

        Ah, excellent points.

        No one (aside from Edmund Burke Camp) said you, the amateur, could not define for yourself what beauty is. I should certainly fear the day when one school of thought determines anything for anyone else. Those that speak in garbled murmurs without meaning or thought can choose to believe their thoughts are profound, however, I am with you when you disgrace the “garbled, murky diction”.

        I mistakenly generalize linguists (thank you for your meticulousness), I referred to them because I see the author’s argument as a classical grammarian against the linguists in that we must fight for the rules vs. observe and evaluate what has already become “impersonal and universal guidelines”. It is in analyzing the natural world that we can become more intelligible; disregarding or belittling is no grounds for thought and understanding.

        I do not fall under the illusion that the evolution of language happens while grasping our grammar books with a vengeance as we tap the keys (or grab our pens, metaphorically speaking, as that too has come to an end to the great distress of some), being my interpretation of the author’s posting. It will change whether you agree with it or not. My comment’s thesis did not argue against structure, rather against the danger of vanity by marrying yourself to the rules. I am a poet with no form, the first questions I ask myself before I sit down to write is always the same, ‘what is my purpose?’ and ‘who is my audience?’. Those are more important than any clench to the proper use of ‘whom’ in a sentence.

        I thank you for your thoughts, argument and perceptibility.

      • To cassafrassalass & colecrane:

        There is, perhaps, a difference between your highly informed use of language and ignorant misuse, which is what colecrane is getting at. Parsing the words of poety is a search for the careful meaning behind the words. Parsing someone’s sloppy use of language is a different ballgame.

        It’s not unlike the difference between a Jackson Pollock and someone randomly throwing paint at a canvas. Once you have mastered the skills of the art, then you start doing jazz riffs on them.

  7. Nice post…I couldn’t agree more.

    I spent a bit of time here perusing your other musings…I think I might follow you…(not literally, you don’t have to keep peering over your shoulder looking for me.)

    By the way, I spent a lil time in KC a few years ago…cute chicks and great bbq!

    • I was a little worried there for a minute, thank you for clarifying that you wouldn’t be literally following me.

      Also, in case you haven’t heard, Google Fiber is currently in the works here in KC as well. Just one more reason to love it!

  8. Oh, so true …
    Sometimes I it is so bad that it is unintelligible. Poor use of punctuation irks me as well, as it can result in a completely different meaning to that intended. I try my best as regards grammar and punctuation and often get it wrong.

  9. I completely agree with your post and think that we are making ourselves dumber by not challenging one another to think. I work at a world renowned University and it still amazes me some of the stuff I hear the students say! They can get perfect scores on their SATS, yet speak as if they were uneducated! Sometimes I want to shake them and say, “You don’t need to say ‘like’ every other word! It makes you sound like an idiot!’ Okay. I’ll step off my soapbox now too =P

    • I think Debate should be a required elective these days. It taught me how to speak (and write) in such a way that I don’t make a complete ass of myself. It’s as if they think they’re ‘cool’ or rebellious to be writing/talking like baffoons… I just don’t understand it.

      • I don’t think they’re thinking at all! I agree about Debate, though I hadn’t thought of that before. I think it will also take a little bit of dismantling popular culture, which pays people to act like idots = positive reinforcement (i.e. Paris Hilton, Jersey Shore, etc etc etc)

  10. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. It’s actually harder for me to write something that way than the way it’s supposed to be done. My best friend sends me texts like that all the time. More than once, I’ve had to call her and ask “What the hell did you just say?”

  11. I could not agree more! I feel that the English language has been brought down to an all time low. I feel that it will get even worse with the future generations. There are more examples of how words have become shorter and shorter within this technological age. I agree that not spelling certain words makes you look extremely lazy. How do you think we should remedy this epidemic? It would seriously take a person a second longer in order to type out the word what instead of wut. I cannot stand that people use that shortening of words in any type of writing. If I were at a job and received an email with incorrect spelling I would be appalled. I would also bring it to that persons attention that emails should not be in the same format as your daily text message to your friends. Do not respond “k” instead of “okay”. I hope that more people read this blog as it gives a lot of insight into what not to do especially using LOL too much.

      • It’s a book that came out a couple years ago, and the final chapter is annoying to some people because two characters (in the near future) keep writing to each other in futuristic text language. Your post reminded me of it,not because your post is annoying (it’s not), but because of your topic.

  12. Thx 4 this, its really gud!

    (Please know I am, of course, joking in the very worst of taste and mean to say, “I, too, can’t stand people misusing words so blatantly unless they are doing so to be deliberately ironic or irritating without actually believing that their words are proper or acceptable.”)

  13. I definitely agree with your post, society has become a butcher when it comes to the English language. Funny you should use that term the_lunatic…My friend told me that the other day, her thirteen year old sister called her ‘the grammar police’ when she commented on someone’s incorrect use of ‘your’. Like her I was quite surprised, I mean surely it’s just correcting someone? Why is it sometimes seen as a bad thing to use full words rather than use da english lang lyk dis?! Rant over 🙂

    • Thank you! I’ve been going crazy since about lunch time. My phone started going off like a popcorn maker (every new email notification) and my only thought was “It’s begun…. dun dun duuuun”. I’m trying to make my way through all of the comments and follows to tell each and every person how much I appreciate it. It’s a daunting task but I feel SO blessed.

      • Girl, I completely sympathize. My blog exploded and I spent hours this past weekend responding to comments and emails. It’s daunting, to be sure, but oh so sweet. What I especially love is that I met you because I got Freshly Pressed and bam! So did you! It’s pretty cool and I hope you enjoy the attention and validation. You’re a great writer and a cool person, so it couldn’t have happened to anyone better. Congratulations again, Lex. I’m proud of you 🙂

  14. Awesome blog, you took the words right out of my mouth; only you said them better. I detest the laziness that has become our English language, and I fear it will only continue to deteriorate even further with future generations. I really enjoyed your post, I DO believe I’ll be checking out more of your writings. And congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!

    • Thank you! You’re absolutely right. Language evolves with time (obviously we aren’t still speaking in Shakespearean lingo) but it seems that with each evolution it loses its eloquence. It’s scary to think it could get worse than the example I gave in the post but it most likely will.

  15. I often find myself scowling at the computer screen because of things such as this. Your/You’re is a particular pet hate of mine closely followed by to/too/two/2. I won’t pretend that my spelling and grammar are perfect but I like to see a little effort. Just a little bit.

    • Haha I’m glad you enjoyed that part, I gave myself a little chuckle when I wrote it. Promptly after getting my ‘you’ve been freshly pressed’ e-mail I thought I should take out all of the cursing… then I thought “eh, fuck it.”

  16. IKR?! LOL! Y U so smart?

    Hahahaha! Just kidding! Sorry! Couldn’t help it. It was so tempting. Anyway, I agree with you. I love this post so much that I was a bit disappointed when I reached the end of your post because I was hoping to read more! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Great post btw! Ooops! 😀

  17. While I do agree with you (and so join forces with Cicero *shudder*), I don’t think it’s much to be worried about. Part of my education was to translate at curse tablets, grafitti, slingshot projectiles with lewd sayings on them, and otherwise “unacademic” pieces from the Romans and the Greeks. At least half of that was spent scratching my head, saying, “The fuck are these people trying to say?” So many grammatical errors, so many misspellings, so much shorthand.
    But, after I had slogged through most of what I needed to do, I realized great progress has been made since these things were etched: brilliant poems written, science and medicine furthered, philosophies engineered, and entire new worlds discovered.
    The apocalypse is not nigh. Western civilization is not doomed. There has always been a rabble that tends to be forgotten over time, allowing gems to show. For now, just bask in the thought that you know how to manipulate an arbitrary system much better than your peers.

  18. I’m only 27 and I feel like there is a huge gaping hole between the generation behind mine and myself. I am completely lost for meaning in much of what they say and how it is phrased. It just goes clear above my head and out the window. I just corrected my younger cousin on the spelling of the word “chauffeur” which she spelled “shoffer”. In the same sentence, she used the word “gata” instead of “gotta” or “got to” or “have to”… “Gata” is the Spanish word for cat (feminine pronoun)! Makes me want to face palm her with a dictionary and a spelling test.

  19. I love this. But, when texting I use R and U because it takes up less characters. Unless I’m texting my mom who simply does not understand what I am trying to say. I try to save the space to save my texts. Other than that I notice it all. I have come to notice when people use correct grammar, spelling and especially the correct use of the word ‘literally’ because I am so used to seeing it all wrong. Maybe my standards are too high. I understand this is a hard language. But, when it’s our first language, we should know it.

  20. Love this post! As a High School English teacher, my biggest peeve is students writing ‘im’ instead of I’m. It makes me go crrrrraaazy at them! I’ve started going over Latin roots to give them some sense of vocabulary extension and the basics of language skills. Ah, for a Classical education!

  21. I am like you in that I have a “thing” about proper usage. For some reason, however, when I edit my own work I find just these mistakes. They are either made subconsciously or the brain cells which used to govern that particular distinction have committed suicide.

  22. There is a lot of sloppy English being spoken in the United States today.

    One time I was hitchhiking near Lumberton, North Carolina and I was sitting on my backpack on an on-ramp to I-95. These two young guys walked up to me and started talking to me. I could barely understand their speech: it was a combination of drug lingo and extreme southern drawl. I recognized one word: “stash”–they asked me if I had any stash (drugs) in my backpack. I said, “No, I don’t have any stash in my bag.”

    They would say something and then I would ask, “What did you say?” It was very difficult to understand them. I almost said, “Why don’t you guys speak English?”

    Well, they jumped me and the big guy tackled me and kicked me in the mouth several times till this car pulled up and this big guy got out of the car and told the two guys to get the hell out of there. Someone called the cops, the two guys were arrested and I eventually hitchhiked out of North Carolina by another route. Lumberton, N.C. is a rough neighborhood: Michael Jordan’s (the former basketball
    player) dad was killed 200 yards from where I was mugged.

    Another interesting note: I was hitchhiking out of Bozeman, Montana a few weeks ago and got picked up by a guy who was married to a lady from Colombia. He said that the Spanish spoken by Mexicans is a “dirty” Spanish; it is not a “clean” Spanish like in Cuba or Colombia. He said that during the height of the Spanish Empire, Cuba and Colombia were the principal colonies and that Mexico was pretty much a backwater.

  23. You’re right. I always try to use correct grammar because if you start writing like crap, it will become a habit. I am sure you proofread your post many times for errors because writing about grammatical errors with accidental grammatical errors is a little hypocritical. haha. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  24. Nice post! I totally hate it when people use ‘internet slang’ and then elongate the word. e.g. Stooooopid = stupid. Really, what was the point?

  25. Between Spanglish and Chinglish it’s a wonder that we even understand each other. Oh, wait a minute: we don’t. Language has gotten sloppier as have our efforts. I get the acronyms used for shorthand (and to save time) but the basics of when to use your and you’re or there, their and they’re should not be confused with saving time. That’s just being lazy.

  26. Oh my goodness….This post….It’s so accurate. I do admit to being lazy sometimes on text/messengers. However, I do know how to actually spell the words XD I’m just usually trying to be fast ><'

  27. Using “your” instead of “you’re” is the visual equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard for me. I once resigned from a literary group because the woman who started it didn’t know the difference. Well, it was also because she made plenty of other errors in her writing as well–more ignorant than lazy, and, despite my efforts, unteachable.

    Even though I’d volunteered myself as the communications person for the group, she still insisted on writing some of the stuff herself, and often forgot to run it by me before sending it out. In the end, I couldn’t take it; it was just mortifying to be associated with a literary (!) group that presented itself in internal e-mail messages, press releases, website content, and event posters like a failed 4th-grade project.

    When I e-mailed her that I was leaving the group, she responded, “Thats ok I understand, your always wellcome to come back.”

  28. Have you read the book Feed? It’s young adult science fiction. (ehhh, I know) However, the commentary on today’s society, and how we use language is also hauntingly ‘prophetic’.
    I was really wary of reading it, but immediately feel in love. Honestly, it scared the shit out of me.

  29. I consider the current media at fault for creating new languages from our beloved english language. YOLO is another word which gets underneath my skin. Follow me at california remodeling for construction articles that will amaze you!

  30. Nice post (Idiocracy is a movie that both scares me and makes me laugh)! The best part is all the favorable comments. Nice to know people (some, anyway) still care. What makes me sad is how people don’t thank you for helping them improve their grammar…. quite the opposite, usually.

    • Yes, for the most part I’ve gotten positive feedback. I am a little confused about the comment that said simply “You are an idiot”. However, I’m not one to dwell. I’m blessed by each and every person who has liked, followed, commented, and viewed my blog. Thank you for being part of that ‘favorable’ group!

  31. Whilst I agree with the essence of this post, in similar language-angst I now have the opportunity to write somewhere how much American English hurts my poor English ears:

    . . . most likely wondering what the heck you’ve gotten yourself into

    (from your profile introduction).

    The play of language perhaps? (It still hurts!)

  32. I particularly hate when people use “da” instead of “the.” I mean you couldn’t just use one extra letter and actually spell the word correctly? It’s pointless.

  33. Thank you so much for posting this! It drives me crazy how bad our language usage has become. I know people on facebook who make me cringe every time they post because I KNOW that they know better, but just won’t take the time to write correctly. Way to go!

  34. Laziness will be the downfall of the English language. Period. Differences between “your” and “you’re”, “their”, “there” and “they’re” clearly don’t matter anymore to some people, which, to be quite honest is like grating sharp nails down a chalk board. Great post!

  35. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Great post! These types of grammatical mistakes make me insane. My friends make fun of my text messages because I proofread them and write out each word. I refuse to participate in the decline of the English language.

    P.S. Thanks for putting my blog on your blog roll 🙂

  36. I find myself adjusting my use of language to different situations. If I’m texting or IMing, I absolutely abbreviate whenever possible. It is a completely informal form of communicating, and I also have an ancient cell phone without a qwerty keyboard or touchscreen. I’m just not going to take the time for no real reason; my friends couldn’t care less about my grammar when they ask me when I’ll be meeting them at the restaurant.

    It really doesn’t have much to do with my knowledge of grammar. I make my living writing, and do so quite correctly when necessary.

  37. Totally deserves the Freshly Pressed.
    I feel like I am in the same boat as you, I cannot stand people using “Internet” or “L33T Speak” both online and offline. I don’t go around correcting people on their grammar and spelling but it is still enough to irk me when I see it.

    The way I see it; There are disadvantaged children and teens in the world that would love to have a better grasp of literacy, and here we see people defiling the same privilege. When it comes to these people I can only despair and think,
    “You had an education yes? You’re an educated and literately enlightened adult, act like it”.

  38. Yeah, for sure. It’s obnoxious. If I meet a woman and we start texting, the minute she types me a message using “u” or “wat”, it’s over. My friends have also gotten quite upset at my calling them out on their horrible typing.

  39. I found you from the ‘Freshly Pressed’ Page and I have to say that, as an adamant grammar lover myself, I have thoroughly enjoyed your post! Long live the you’re your debate and the understanding of ‘that’!
    I have to share with you a grammar joke a friend of mine told me recently:
    “he said that that that that that writer used should really have been a which”

  40. When I read a book or the newspaper or a blog or a tweet, I always stop reading when I reach the grammar or spelling error. I just stop.

    (I saw a sign for “Pepsie” yesterday. Ruined the whole morning.)

    So, I almost didn’t read your post because the tattooed knuckles instantly made me wonder “your next what?” Your next breath? Your next husband? Your next hangnail? WHAT?

    Glad I read past the knuckles. I am thrilled to know there are other word freaks still breathing on my home planet. Keep up the good fight.

  41. Thank you! I hate “text talk”. I love complete sentences. I am also annoyed and alarmed at how pitiful most people’s vocabulary skills are today. I volunteer teach after school in a Religious Education program during the school year. My grade level is usually sixth or seventh graders. They constantly stop me and ask me, “What does that mean?” At first I thought it was about the lesson I was teaching. It usually ends up being a word I’ve used in class out of MY normal vocabulary. Example: sixth grader; no clue what the word DUNCE meant. My last rant: I am the very proud daughter of an immigrant who paid double his wage in 1951 to learn how to speak English because my father knew how important it was to fit in. He always told us, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Eo ti ammo, papa. I miss you.

    • That is commendable, your father sounds like he was a very smart man. Like father like daughter, I’m sure!
      It’s also very admirable that you volunteer to teach after school. I love kids, I do, just not other peoples kids… And since I don’t have any yet that kind of means all of them.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing.

  42. Fascinating. Good read.
    English isn’t my mother tongue but I was brought up with the knowledge that if you speak good English, you will be able to go to places, do great things, be special. So I learned and mastered the language. I’m living outside my country in a place where they consider English as one of their national languages but most locals here can hardly speak English ‘straight and proper’, especially when you’re a newbie in the place, you’ll find it incoherent. And they would take it against you if you can’t understand them. It’s part of their culture, I know, and it’s the norm here. What can I do? Still gives me a tiny bit of satisfaction that I speak better English than them.

    But I think Chinese is the next big thing. Chinese the language, and China the country. Gives me goosebumps just thinking of that.

  43. I was just fussing at my son about this very thing. He’s 12 and I’m 32. Fortunately we still have a great relationship to where he values my opinions. I was explaining to him that he will loose what he knows about the english language and grammer if he doesn’t practice it all the time. He’s still a child, so these proper grammer rules aren’t completely embedded in him. I urge him to stick to proper grammer usage no matter what form of communication he uses.

  44. Wow, such a great post!

    English is not my native language, but I feel it’s almost as it is. Well, I think it’s wrong in so many ways that many of those people who do these things had opportunities in life! It’s not like they did not go to school…

    I think they should just be ashamed.

    BTW (hahahaha just kidding) – By the way, it was great to find out about *your* blog. I wish I could spend some more time reading other things you posted, but I will have to wait.

    Keep up the good work!

    P.s.: Although I’m from nowhere nearby, part of my family lives in Lawrence, and I went there and KC couple times. I like both cities a lot, so I’m very happy to find out that KC has such a great citizen!

  45. I couldn’t agree more. It upsets me to see how lazy people have become. It takes a measly few second to type in “You” and “Are”. I fail to understand why people don’t realize this.

  46. How timely! I just had a good laugh at a Facebook friend who had “soo much on her min it cud fill the gran cannon”. I swear to all that’s holy, I could not have made that up.

  47. For an English second language, your posting is so enlighten me..So the internet and short messages text have not only damage Indonesian one but English either…Hahahaha…

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  49. i learned English as a second language so it irks me when i don’t differentiate between your and you’r in my writing but i don’t mind other people using it so far as i can understand it though.

  50. Cool blog. You’ll be surprised how you’re history looks so different when you begin to find “reality” is under heaps of contextual & phonetic changes.

  51. When you’re old, as I am, and your fb friends are former students and former colleagues; it’s distracting to log on, and there find they’re being so careless with their word choice.

  52. Internet Service providers are the cause of all the maladies you have noted. They dictate the Space and Price. Users comply minding the amount of money at hand. The poor language is from our global drop on educational quality and emphasis on the worship of money. Romans 12:2 BE YE RENEWED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, now applies.

  53. Couldn’t agree more!
    This is from my best friend’s facebook:
    “coOliooo….il b back da Middle a SeptemBErrr…il keep Ya pOstED…..came hOme 4rM MagAlUFF yEstERdaYYYY…….VERY UPSET….eeekkkk………HOpe Ur suMMers GoOddd….see ya sOON!….:)”
    Why would anyone write like this?

  54. We are lazy assholes sitting behind the screen after all.
    If this is the case, why shouldn’t we manifest this truth in our typing skills!
    Namaste, sweet angry soul. 🙂

  55. Alas, I am also guilty not of just word shortening, but “lolspeak”. I blame the lolcats!
    Incorrect use of your, too, loose, there, as well as overuse of the word “literally” give me brain spasms.

  56. You hit the nail on the head with this one. I must admit I do like the Muahahaha and have used it *hangs head in shame* LOL…sorry…congrats on Freshly Pressed and thanks for cheering me up on this miserable morning :D…

  57. I text ‘LOL’ a lot, but I’ve never said it on WordPress. It just doesn’t seem appropriate on here. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  58. I used to agree and used to be incredibly annoyed at this phenomenon. But then, languages have always changed. Whether English has evolved or devolved because of technology and how fast this is happening is up for speculation in my opinion. Maybe it’s just good that more people are communicating, tho what they say often doesn’t seem terribly meaningful. But then, we have to start somewhere, no?

  59. I completely agree. I’ve always felt the same way when I read some text messages or stuff on FB (& other sites). Awesomely written. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  60. I am so with you on this! I have staunchly refused to use “LOL” on anything anywhere. I would rather type out “This made me laugh out loud”. However, just to be hypocritical, I did try to start a new LOL/LMAO trend with COMSL (choking on my spit laughing).

    • Just because you’re awesome and I so much appreciate that comment, I am going to start using that in texts/status updates. I’m sure people are going to be responding with “Wtf Lex, Y don U mke since*?”

      *please note, though it’s less common than the ‘your’ & ‘you’re’ phenomenon, I do actually know the difference between sense and since. Many of my Facebook friends, however, do not.

      • I have to admit, I’m completely guilty of that one. However, I will look it up if I’m not sure which one I’m supposed to be using. Sometimes I’ll get lucky and just happen to type the correct one without thinking. I actually just recently read that blog from wordpress Daily Post. It was helpful!

  61. good post.
    What you’re saying goes hand in hand with another major problem: that people nowadays are unable to read a lengthy text and fully understand it, its main idea or tone. That not being enough, they usually can’t understand half the words either.
    I think that the saddest part of this whole language-massacre is that it has been promoted by English-language native speakers. If you read any of the blogs written by foreigners whose first language is not English, you’ll see that they are usually quite well written.

  62. Awesome post! So relevant!

    I also hate using “lol”.. I feel like “hahaha” is much more genuine. And, lol has become an expression to use when we have nothing else to say. These internet slangs are diminishing the effectiveness of human communication. We take spoken or written communication for granted and continue to misuse it.

  63. Totally agree! So many times I’ve heard people react to something funny by saying “lol”. I think to myself, if you want to laugh, you can actually do it…we are perfectly capable because “lol” doesn’t replace that as effectively. I find it awkward to even type “lol”…I usually just use the haha or hehe variation.

  64. Love the article, and I agree to a point, but the reason that I love the English language is because of how it’s always changing. Hell, contractions used to be a sign of lazy and stupid English, but they’re(Hehe![Sorry, I’m the kind of kid that laughs at his own jokes]) so common nowadays that most people don’t even think about it. Sure, it seems stupid and lazy to us these days, but in a couple of decades I’m sure it will be the norm, and the current generation will be the angry old folks talking about the good ol’ days. But these are just the musings of a kid, so take em’ with a grain of salt.

  65. The English language is a thing of beauty, which is why I find it difficult to understand why some people choose to bastardise it. One of my pet hates is the use of the word ‘ain’t’

  66. Great post, I wish there were more people who could be bothered to learn the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, it’s not rocket science! 😀
    Although, I still struggle with the ‘affect’ vs ‘effect’ you just mentioned. Everytime it’s explained to me I forget a couple of days later – I have some sort of block on that one.

  67. Idiocracy has to be my single favorite comedy ever, I watch it at least once a year just because it always seems to get better. I sometimes get it if some one is driving, lazy, in class or what not and text ‘lol’ to be quick but when people say it out loud they are just limiting their ability to express themselves. Lol has become such an overused work it has almost lost any meaning to me.

  68. I completely agree with you! I also type “haha” when I find something amusing instead of “lol.” I am not “laughing out loud” most of the time anyways. Very funny (and sadly very true and telling of our future) post!

  69. Haha I love this… so true. I’m growing up in this unfortunate, Internet-driven generation at the moment, and people regard me as an alien just because I like to write with capital letters and correct punctuation over social media. I am a Grammar Nazi… I see ‘their’ ‘spelt as ‘there’ and I go into a state of perpetual shock, then proceed to abuse the person for neglecting their spelling. We are doomed.

  70. Brilliant!! I have raised my kids in three different countries with three different languages and believe me when I see my sons texts to me or posts on Facebook I freak out! Although I use “lol” myself these days instead of my usual ahahahahah. I worried about my children being in the habit of using “letters” instead of words while they were going to school in America. I watch them write papers and it kills me the damage that has been done. I scream and yell the best I can hoping they will pull it together one day! I myself living out of the states for more than 20 years and once a great writer, have also had to re-learn the English language and as you can see am still a bit hopeless. Thank you for a great rant!

  71. I agree.

    When I was using facebook I didn’t pay attention to my grammar and spelling (not words like stupid and what.) I got teased for it… Bully’s will be bully’s.
    When i read a comment about grammar, it was never written like this blog has been but instead the comment had been written purely to express that the person thought people who dont use correct grammar cant ever be taken seriously and pretty much don’t deserve a voice or opinion.

    I think that while people on the internet are getting lazier, the way people speak on facebook, twitter, tumblr etcetera wont change – no matter how many self proclaimed grammar police men/woman parade the sites. But it should be something bought to attention in school – if teachers who use facebook took notice of the way their students write comment’s and status’s on the site then maybe they could stress more about grammar e.g. ‘you wont be considered cool on the internet if you don’t use correct grammar’

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  79. I am irritated by the number of newsreaders (and they should know better) who now say ‘sickth’ instead of ‘sixth’. WTF??

    Grammar is the difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you’re shit…

  80. Wow, holy smack… I had to do some serious scrolling to get to the “Leave a reply” box!

    I rant all the time about the English language, “here” and “hear” etc… I also REALLY hate typos when they’re in articles that are posted on news sites or professional websites, where professionalism SHOULD be paramount… But it happens all the time.

    INTENTIONAL typos like “stoopid” just make me want to throw backhands.

  81. Seen many times on the backs of vans and trucks (I don’t know if this is only a UK thing or if it’s also prevalent in the US);

    ‘HOW AM I DRIVING? Call 0800 – XXX- XXX .’

    This makes me want to call the number immediately and say ‘You’re pushing the pedals and turning the big wheel. Do I win a prize for knowing?’


    • hahaha… I live the U.S and i have seen that …. I almost did call one time wanted to see what would happen if …. I actually reported someone for bad driving …highly doubt anyone calls at all…

  82. This would only be a natural progression for the language. People decried Shakespeare in his day. He was never above bathroom humor, or making cross dressing a major plot point. He never shied away from inventing his own words whenever he felt like it, either.

    Much of our current language is taken from the outsider slang of carnies, circus folk, gamblers, underground homosexuals, and thieves. There has never been an Official English Language, and I hope there never is one. That is exactly what make it so beautiful and complex. The scenario of Idiocracy is somewhat true, there will be some Valley girl, hillbilly, and inner-city slang remaining; but, it will be an enrichment of our already questionable linguistic heritage.

    We will keep the terms that serve a purpose — those that express something more adequately than any of our former words, and forget about the rest. The future will probably have it’s same share of grammar Nazis, and teenagers/outsiders saying things are barely recognizable.

    The purpose of language is to communicate, and the wonder of the English language is that we allow it to grow with our experience. Research has shown that language actually shapes the way the mind works, why should successive generations and outcasts let their language dictate how they should think?

    That being said, all these things irritate me just as much as they do you, which only makes me feel passe and mainstream.

  83. You are hilarious! I couldn’t agree more. To me there’s nothing more obnoxious and insincere than an “lol”. Sometimes my mom sends me a text that includes the capitalized “LOL”, and even though I’m alone I feel suddenly embarrassed.

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