Saturday, June 12, 2021
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Wren & Martin … Rest in Peace

The onset of Internet is telling on the receding grammar, with the tide of changing times. A godsend, Internet is the solution to the cries of millions of frustrated letter-writers and telephone users. Phone calls were expensive and penning letters were too time-consuming. The answer: Internet, the miracle.

As with any profound social movement, language evolved and jargons emerged. English, as a language we knew, has been steadily surrendering its remaining shreds of purity towards shortcuts and cyberspeaks. For instance: HI DiS IS JACOB, OMG, I Am So HaPpEy 4u wRiTmEbAk U LOL ByE :).  This is not Latino, nor any programing language. It only tailors into the domain of English treatment. This combo of letters, acronyms and signs registers as a code. Logical enough, considering that friends have spoken in code for ages. But this is no secret parlance between mates. This fence line illiteracy is widespread amid the English speaking people all over, more specific within the young population.

A bulk of any online society employs the same literacy “style”.  Call it spelling deficiency or whatever, except writing.  Anti-grammar/spelling is the trend.  We are facing it.  There are good number of good spellers who have an eye and acumen for purity and as to how a word would appear on paper.  Many struggle with syllables, sound out a word phonetically till a logical result is reached. When spelling deficiency reduces a student to a lower level, we need to probe how much of this godsend, Internet, truly has impacted the  semantic change.

A website emerges, bragging news and articles, but is there anyone to authorise its contents? People misspell basic and simple words a lot.  Those who adhere to the dictates of classical grammar are dubbed as “purists” or “primitives”. Given the current linguistic trend, a grammarian is unstable.  When an English professor or Editor confronts a writer’s essay or article riddled with faulty diction, the writer dismisses the advice as antiquated. Again, since the word is nearly archaic as Latin itself, he is more likely to exclaim “Nobody ‘conversates’ like that anymore”.  The editor has the last laugh at the ardent intensity on the non-existent verb.

Instead of entirely indicting on the cyberspace for this rapid slide into functional ignorance, we should equally hold our educators whose grading standards have shifted to the changing scenario. Students rejoice and spell-checkers everywhere go into dormancy as this mode of writing renders technical execution stale. How can grammar thrive when college student writers no longer concern themselves with “typos”. We must take a stand against this rampant apathy. To begin small, proofread E-mails and instant messages from friends. Give mild reprimand for an obligatory “LOL”.  Rearrange the sentences for them if they end with a preposition. Initially, you could be shunned for your efforts.  This could eventually be the beginning of an uprising.  Someday, the world will be a better place.

C.S. Krishnamurthy

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