I have come accross a 7th grader who wrote this article for a newspaper. Reminded me of Antdude!
Grammar: The bane of a nation
By John Doe
I have noticed recently how many spelling errors and grammar errors litter this nation’s information signs, billboards, and other public displays of writing. Many of us were taught how to arrange letters of the alphabet and place apostrophes nearly as soon as we started to grasp that we needed to communicate, so all the sign-writers out there should know very well, in many more years of seeing correctly written signs and papers, what proper writing is. However, I’ve seen far too many misspelled words and misplaced periods, hyphens, commas, and especially apostrophes, even in places where they shouldn’t be, such as pamphlets. Now, I do realize there are a few exceptions for these errors. Many businesses, instead of making their sign (insert person’s name here)’s, make billboards advertising their business (insert person’s name here)s, without the apostrophe. Given that I haven’t heard too many complaints, I’ve come to accept this as normal. However, the children of this nation shouldn’t grow up thinking that “its” and “it’s” are interchangeable. I have seen this in many, many locations, even on billboards not advertising restaurants, and it is my number one pet peeve. Look it up: it’s and its are some of the most misspelled words in the U.S.A. My theory for this? Look no farther than the computer I’m typing this text on, or a cell phone, or an iPad, or whatever. Ever since Neil Papworth first texted “Merry Christmas” to a cell phone, spelling has been tumbling downhill like a pack mule on roller skates. Texting and “tweeting,” due to being limited to only 160 and 140 characters respectively, have encouraged shortening of phrases and words. When many people want to say “seriously,” they text “srsly” instead. Although it is very uncommon to see someone actually write “srsly,” other things have become for set in daily life, such as removal of double consonants to make one. Although this and others like it are very extreme and usually not seen in your average spelling bee, “internet slang” has moved in to partially replace the orderly distribution of characters that we were originally taught, especially in stories. Yes, I know I’m an tween speaking as if he was an old Midwestern cowboy rocking on his porch and reminiscing, but I do remember the days when all of my kindergarten class would write out “it’s” as a contraction and “its” as a possessive word. Back to the subject: Online, many children, and sometimes adults, don’t spell correctly at all; this has become a widely accepted “language” where apostrophes don’t matter, spelling is completely phonic, and capital letters and periods at the beginning and end of sentences are dismissed utterly. This is definitely having an impact on society: I’ve edited enough reports to know that many children either forget or don’t bother with proper spelling and grammar. It may seem that I’m just ranting about a small point in a large world, but it really can impact lives. Who’s being most impacted by this new fad? I believe children are being hit the hardest. Sure, adults can be found making obvious errors on guidebooks, but they, not playing on electronics as much, aren’t as accustomed to writing with no regard for the orderly placement of commas, letters, periods, capitals, and apostrophes that is correct. Many children are taught how to use these early, so why are they being misused? Don’t blame anyone; it needs to be fixed, not quarreled over. Would you ever get hired for a job if you couldn’t spell? Grammer (oh sorry, grammar) isn’t just a trivial thing: it’s the bane of a nation. Grammar is a tool, just like a hammer; it isn’t to be taken lightly. While you may not bang a finger, you might lose a dream job. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to malign anyone’s cell phone or the Apple company. I’m trying to alert them to a problem that, while not as extreme as the Syrian civil war or the Egyptian presidential crisis, should still be fixed-or at least treated-sooner or later. Do we want to maintain clarity in our writing and keep to our traditional American English language, or do we want to succumb to the bane of a nation and adopt a new language: internet slang, otherwise known as improper, but easier, writing? It’s your choice.