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.
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.
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.
From 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.