Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The end of grammar

Spotted on Twitter:
"Someone on my Facebook thinks 'dads cooking' doesn't need an apostrophe, a charity wants me to 'save the worlds species' ...

... Is it national Down With Apostrophes Day today or something?"
Seen on a lighting store's web site:
"Please visit our expended showroom."
Seen on a résumé:
"Recipient of a plague for Salesperson of the Year."
If not dead, grammar, punctuation, and spelling, are breathing their last. They have lost many rounds over the years, but social media now has them on the ropes.

I feel that I am witnessing the bludgeoning of some old friends.

Some will say that, in the era of OMG and LOL, this concern is snobbish and irrelevant, that these things only matter to novelists, playwrights, and professors of English.

I recently read newspaper interviews with several young people who had won distinction by graduating from high school with grades of 100%. Two young men, headed respectively for studies in engineering and science, said that they hated their English classes, didn't see the point of them, thought them a waste of time.

It is painful to hear this from our brightest students.

They fail to grasp that there will come a time when they must convince people that their marvellous engineering concept or promising scientific research is worthy of support, when a business case must be made, or venture capital obtained. They will need grammar, punctuation, spelling, and compelling language then.

Or maybe they will just be getting a tattoo, and prefer to avoid "typos."

Please, dear friends, there must be verbs. They are not optional. There must be commas and apostrophes, and they are not to be scattered around at whim. A semicolon is not a medical procedure. 'Accept' and 'except' are different words.

There are two good reasons to comply with these rules. First, it ensures that you are understood. The second is that people make judgements about you based upon your facility with the language, and those judgements can affect your success.

So if yore seen alot of sign's out their of pour grammer an if their to bad oar missplaced comas or colins send too me an ill put them in a futour bog posit. Thanx for yer assfistence.


  1. I suppose it isn't grammar but i was horrified to see a store selling 'punkins' last week.

  2. Hear, hear!
    Everyone should read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" for a humourous (but useful) lesson on punctuation.