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A Pet Peeve

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to write at the moment. But something that came to mind while looking around the internet this morning is one of my pet peeves of the computer age: the degradation of language (and I’m assuming it’s not just English that is suffering) brought about by e-mail, blogging and texting. Over the years of reading articles and opinions on the Internet I see  how the Internet generation (and even people who aren’t that young) are losing the ability to spell, use proper punctuation, capitalization or even make a coherent sentence.

For example: one of my biggest irritations when reading on-line discourse is the use of ‘your’ when the writer means ‘you’re’. I’m sure everyone has seen it a hundred times. “Your going to love this restaurant” using the possessive pronoun in place of the contraction for ‘you are’. This is the one I see almost daily on the web. Not that I’m a paragon of grammatical correctness. Like, are ‘web’ or ‘internet’ considered proper nouns? But that’s what’s so cool about The Internet; you can look something up instantly!

But gosh folks, this is pretty basic stuff!  And don’t get me started on ‘there’ instead of ‘their’; ‘were’ for ‘we are’, and so on. They must still teach this stuff in school, don’t they?! Or are we just getting too impatient or lazy to write correctly?

I know the Web and instant messaging have spawned a whole new level of abbreviated jargon (lol, wtf, omg!, etc) but it worries me that in fifty years (or less) people may be speaking as well as writing in strings of staccato code that used to be the English language, just because our culture, our brains are programed by sound bites (bytes?) and quick-cut editing and our obsession with experiencing and expressing more and more information in less time.

I suppose that’s a subject that deserves a lot more extrapolation than I have time for now (ironic, huh?).

But just watching kids cartoons, compared to what I watched as a kid at the dawn of the TV era, is astounding. Everything is so frenetic and hyperactive!  Not to mention the story lines that make Bugs Bunny look like Shakespeare in comparison . It’s enough to give my addled brain a dose of ADD, I wonder what hours of exposure to this crap does to the developing brain of a five-year-old?  Suffice to say, our kids are not watching a lot of this stuff. Thank heaven for PBS!

Just look at popular movies these days (Transformers 2, for just one example) where the hyper-action quotient just keeps going up and up. People outrunning explosions, CGI effects that happen so fast your brain can’t begin to process it. I just wonder where will it end? Of course with that in mind, I have to say I really enjoyed ‘Avatar’, but that’s a subject for a future entry!

I guess I just want us to slow down a little! Take time to actually communicate in complete sentences. Take a leisurely walk. Look at the sunset. Talk to your kids. To each other. Slow down.

“I have only three things to teach: simplicity, patience, and compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” – Lao Tzu

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Categories: General Ramblings
  1. Wife
    January 30, 2010 at 2:11 am


    An interesting site that you might enjoy.


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