It’s no big secret that I’m very anal about language. I get pissed off when people use “u”, “r”, and “2” instead of “you”, “are”, and “too”. I get offended when people don’t capitalize the first letter of my name. I get upset when people can’t spell properly (for the love of God, have you heard of spellchecks?) I can’t stand people who replace c’s with k’s and s’s with z’s.
Point is, I’m honestly willing to bitch about the misuse of language for the next hour, listing things you probably never even thought of, like the fact that I think that people who don’t bother capitalizing the pronoun “I” don’t have any self respect and that I think people who get overexcited with punctuation should be shot.
Ah, God. This is making me sound like a complete control freak, which I’m not (just check out the state of my bedroom), but when it comes to what I’m reading, I can’t help it! Among today’s SMS messages of “helowz robz,am goin4cofee,want2cum?” and instant messages along the lines of “roobee i told u that b4!!!!!”, Roba, or Roobee, or whatever you want to call me, is going absolutely crazy.
But wait, you think that’s crazy? Think again, my love. Here’s someone who’s a lot more anal about language;
It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading your local rag, surfing the net or trying to make heads or tails of someone’s inane blog — the quality bar is set lower than ever, which is saying a lot considering it was never set very high to begin with. …
Any number of my acquaintances excuse the bad writing and atrocious punctuation that proliferates in e-mail by saying, in essence, “Well, at least people are writing again.” Horse droppings. People have never stopped writing, although it’s reaching a point where you wish a lot of them would.
The very nature of e-mail (which, along with first cousins IM and text messaging, is an undeniably handy means of chatting) encourages sloppy “penmanship,” as it were. Its speed and informality sing a siren song of incompetent communication, a virtual hooker beckoning to the drunken sailor as he staggers along the wharf.
But it’s not enough to simply vomit out of your fingers. It’s important to say what you mean clearly, correctly and well. It’s important to maintain high standards. It’s important to think before you write.
See? I told you I’m not that crazy. Admittedly, this article made me grin, it made me grin real big (although the bits that involved dissing out technology hurt the technology lover side of me), but I’d never describe newspapers as “rags”, and people’s writings as “horse droppings” and “vomit out of fingers” (probably because I don’t want to get hate mail).