The Generation of Why You No Rite and Reed Good?

I have been stewing over this concept for months in particular, but I’m sure it has been years for people who have been alive longer than I have. The truth is that Generation Y, children born around the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s, are disappointing. Considering  this is my generation, I feel that I have a unique understand of this sensitive issue, in addition to being  an exception to this conundrum, with a love for writing and learning to improve it.

write

The issue: why young men and women from Generation Y as a whole have lost the passion and drive to read and write. As a disclaimer, there are obvious exceptions to this generalization, but it is difficult to deny the pattern that started from the generation of Millenials. For the dozens of people I have discussed this issue with, only one question rings true from every conversation.

englishsdsHow did it get this bad?

Now the American education system is less than perfect, and we could use a couple trillion dollars to improve the quality of each child’s education. Yet, in the age of the internet, it isn’t difficult for the majority of children to gain access to the necessary information needed to learn the basics of their own language.

At the same time, I see mistakes like the following example or the cartoon to the left plastered over social networking sites without any indication of the internet being at fault for the gross misuse of the English language.

Example 1: well i think it time 2 meet new ppl and maybe get some new friends 2 im going to still be friends with my old friends but sometime its a good thing get 2 know ppl

 

It is 2012 and almost everyone who has access to the internet and able to post on Facebook and Twitter should have passed third grade. So why are the majority of the people who have graduated high school, currently in college, or already having children unable to form complete sentences? Even for non-English majors/writers/readers, this is a horrible example of English, and it bothers me to know that people out there don’t care enough to think before they press post.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask for the people who were raised in an English speaking/English writing house to remember what they were taught back in Elementary school because they should be using it every day. There is no excuse, other than learning disabilities such as dyslexia, etc., for people who were born in a predominantly English speaking country not to know how to write their native language. Call me a idealist, but it seems appropriate to expect people to use the language they’ve been speaking for 18+ years properly. At some points it becomes a need to show people what they’re doing incorrect because it sickens me to see how easy their mistakes are to fix in the first place.

english comicFrom the misuse of their, there, and they’re (which urks me the most) to the lack of punctuation or capitalization in sentences, I am losing hope for the future of my generation. Lisa Mazzie from the Marquette University Law School seems to agree with my discomfort as I’m sure it is shared with thousands of other conscientious people writing in English. She expresses the importance of grammar in her article, So You Think Grammar Don’t Matter. If you need some validation in each time you smack your head from seeing a friend’s terribly written post, then please check out the article.

For those haters who think Grammar Nazi is offensive, the believers know the truth. Grammar, spelling, and common sense are not to be taken lightly because we use writing every day, in every profession. Why if we use it all of the time would people only put half of the effort into forming clear sentences to get their point across. The Grammar Police provide the answer. Although there aren’t laws for grammar rule breakers or horrible writing, there is an obligation to your education when there are hundreds of children who will never have the chance to learn how to communicate through writing or have the pleasure of reading anything let alone this blog.

Please children of the 80’s, 90s, 2000’s come forth and enter into an era of renewed hope for the English language. Let me introduce you to the world of homophones, subject-verb agreement, and the wonderful book called the dictionary. The water is fine, jump on in!

Happy reading/writing! Feel free to share your pet peeves about bad writing in the world today.

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Generation of Why You No Rite and Reed Good?

  1. I see two big forces at play here as to why this situation is so bad: lack of time and lack of respect.

    As you note, we do live in the Internet Age, which puts all writers under demands (real and perceived) that they need to answer and state their opinion right away. With the average turnaround time for human reaction from stimulus to response about 2.6 seconds, which is often far shorter than how long it can take to compose a thought, let alone write a proper sentence to state it, it is no wonder that writing is coming out as jumbled as it is under such conditions.

    Add to that the historic lack of respect for education that has plagued the US for most of the 20th century. We have stubbornly held to the idea that local school boards know best how to set curricula, which in an increasingly interconnected world is proving to be a fallacy. The failure in setting a strong academic standard for all communities actually hits the Gen Ys hardest; in 1981 President Reagan suggested abolishing the Department of Education (which had only recently been made its own cabinet position after being bundled under the Department of Health,Education and Welfare), setting the tone ever since by putting the image in some heads that DE had a big tempting target on its back.

    The answer may sound simple, to make a stronger US Department of Ed with real power and force people to take three minutes to catch a breath before logging on, but some answers are easier pointed to than carried out…

    • Jdanryan, I am so glad that you responded. That response is exactly what I hoped someone would say. It’s true that we have become forced to respond in a shorter amount of time, but that can also make lazy writers if we aren’t careful. While the expectation is to respond immediately the people who take their time to spell check or just read through what they’ve typed once can really help how their writing turns out, but that only fixes the problem of internet posting.

      For college students, I’ve seen too many with a lack of understand and respect for writing that just astounds me. The English language may not be simple, but sentences in an essay have the time to be formed correctly. Simple rules such as fragments and possessive agreement aren’t that difficult to remember if you were conscious during the first three years of education although I guess that’s too much to expect. I don’t think we, as writing lovers or perfectionists should lower our standards just because the education system isn’t as reliable as we would like or when students say they don’t care. It is not about a preference of if one likes to write or likes school. It is instead about people who are willing to live up to their potential as cognitive creatures who have the chance to change the world with words on a piece of paper or computer screen. Even if the words are in an informal blog or research stats in a lab room, writing is necessary to being intelligent human beings and communicating with each other.

  2. Excellent post! It usually starts with docking out a few letters, then gradually numbers are used where letters should be, and people find it difficult to write a two letter word. It’s disappointing to say the least. I especially can’t stand those errors shown in the Oatmeal comic. I just don’t get how one can mix up these words!

    • It’s true! I saw a grammar meme that read, “Every time I see somebody spell a word wrong I look down to see how close the letter is to the letter that’s supposed to be there, to see if it’s socially acceptable to misspell that word.”
      While I agree the shortening of words is to cut time, it just makes me mad because the only acceptable excuse for misspelled words in the world of Google Chrome, online dictionaries, and spell check is dyslexia or some other form of reading disability. If I can sit here and write an entire blog post in less than an hour without missing any apostrophes and letters, people can take a few more seconds to spell really instead of rly in their facebook posts. It isn’t hard to be smart.

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