Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

02-Apr-2003

u r not supposed 2 write lyk that~!!!

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:25 pm

Found via the grammar_whores community on LiveJournal:

‘Yo, can u plz help me write English?’

Carl Sharp knew there was a problem when he spotted his 15-year-old son’s summer job application: “i want 2 b a counselor because i love 2 work with kids.”

That night, the father in Phoenix removed the AOL Instant Messenger program from the family computer and informed both his children they were no longer to chat with friends online.

Granted, I can understand where Sharp is coming from— such writing is the result of the explosion of text messaging among my generation— yet at the same time, it does seem a bit unfair, as some of us do try to write instant messages in something resembling proper English.

It’s all a matter of style, and it seems that far too many children these days don’t understand the difference between formal and informal writing (remember the SMS-speak essay I blogged about a month ago?). Sure, one can write in an abbreviated, “netspeak” style in one’s personal journal, in letters to one’s friends, and the like— but one simply should not turn in a formal essay or a job application littered with abbreviations like “u” and “r”. Argh.

Edit 2003/04/03: I just noticed something even more disturbing in that article. It’s not just middle-schoolers who have difficulty distinguishing between proper English and netspeak; apparently even college freshmen have trouble with it:

English instructor Cindy Glover, who last year taught a section of freshman composition at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, says she spent a lot of time unteaching Internet-speak. “My students were trying to communicate fairly academic, scholarly thoughts, but some of them didn’t seem to know it’s ‘y-o-u,’ not ‘u,’ ” Glover says. “I wanted to teach them to communicate persuasively, but I couldn’t get past the really horrific spelling or grammar.”

More fun with proofreading

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:02 pm

Apparently it’s not just locally-made flyers that have sloppy proofreading mistakes. I just noticed a Smithsonian-sponsored poster here in the music building which reads, in huge letters:

JAZZ APPRECIATON MONTH

If you want proof, here’s a photo I took while in the building. Oops.

You’d think college students would proofread…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 9:56 pm

Heh. Shows you how much I have to talk about lately; I haven’t posted anything for a week, and my blog’s index page has actually been blank for several hours. Go figure…

Anyway, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately around Mercer’s campus. It seems that the people who make and post flyers around the various buildings on campus can’t be bothered to actually proofread their work. In the past few days, among other proofreading atrocities, I’ve seen ads promoting a late-night showing of the “lasted” movies (my friends and I suppose that the guilty party originally typed “lastest”, intending to have written “latest”, and hastily chose the first option offered by the spelling checker) and a party “sponsered” by several fraternities with food catered by “El Sombero”.

Today at dinner, I discovered yet another badly proofread delight sitting on many of the tables in the dining hall. It seems that yet another of the local fraternity chapters is going to be having a bachelor auction. The only problem is that they apparently can’t spell it.

Let’s just hope the responsible parties learn to omit that pesky “t” before they graduate with their bachelors’ degrees…

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