Please tell me you noticed that the title says “rain” instead of “reign.” Thank you, I knew you guys could do it.
I’m going to start with a quote from John Wayne. He said that, “Life is hard but it is harder when you’re stupid.” Now, of course I find this quote amusing, but I also think it is slightly inaccurate. More aptly, it should say, “Life is hard but it is harder when you let others see your stupidity,” because let’s face it, we’re all stupid in some fashion or another. My dad once told me that he felt bad for my generation and the ones to come because masking our stupidity has become increasingly difficult. It used to be that, when you messed up, a few people in the village might know about it. Now when you mess up, I’ll bet that even your friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend’s dog has heard about it.
Today’s technology allows your stupidity to shine through brighter than ever before, and now with iPhone’s auto-correct, it can even create more sh*tepidity. Sutpen*sty. RAWR. STUPIDITY! (Now, I don’t have an iPhone, but when I see those auto-correct fails, I have to shake my head- I swear most of them happen because boys just want to “accidentally” type a naughty word to a girl and see what happens- Oops, did I just uncover your sea creature? Your secretion? YOUR SECRETARY? SECRET! MY GOODNESS!)
It is a well-known fact that employers will look at the Facebook pages of potential employees. It is also a well known fact that anything you type is recorded. I know we’ve all heard this spiel many times, but I don’t see too much evidence of that information being taken to heart. It is even easier to uncover the past now with this new “timeline” thing. Personally, I would rather not be reminded of my Grade 9 Facebook posts as they went something like this: “I cant belive u sed dat man. U lik dised im up soo bad an da techr had NOOOO clu wat 2 do ahahah”. Now perhaps the content is stretching it a bit as I was never classified as the “trouble-maker” or “class-clown” (usually the “nerd” to be honest…) but the spellings are all, regretfully, true.
Now, being in Grade 9, using those spelling variations is at least somewhat acceptable, but I’m seeing so many of these spelling variations carried over into post-high school use. Luckily for us, Facebook comes with a spell-check function so you don’t look completely incompetent when you make a post because it lets you know what is spelled wrong. However, there is no grammar-check function for you on Facebook, nor can Microsoft Word’s grammar-check catch everything.
I recently took in two resumes while working at my place of employment. Naturally, I had a quick scan and to my dismay, even on their resumes, their requests for employment in a professional environment, I found at least two grammatical mistakes on each.
I don’t really know how to fix this to be honest. Perhaps we need reminding that the way you write and the way you talk are two separate things. Perhaps we need a few more grammar lessons in English in high school. Perhaps I need to become the infamous “Grammar Nazi”.
As I’ve said before, I generally correct the grammar and spelling I see on Facebook. My friend has warned me that if I keep this up I might become the “Typo Tyrant” (love this name). The argument here is that sometimes people just make typos. It’s not that they don’t know the word; it is that their finger just slipped. My argument is that they didn’t take the time to make one quick sweep over their comment before posting. If you see a red line under a word, chances are that it isn’t a word (unless you’re like me and use words such as: aa, qat, and dzo- all words essential to know for Bananagrams: the greatest game ever). Take the 5 seconds to right click (or Ctrl+click for you Mac users- I have a Mac-user friend who just recently saw the “Click-and-Drag-Highlighted-Text” ability of a PC and was blown away- you guys are so funny) and learn how to properly spell the word. Take it from me that essays take significantly less time to write when you know exactly which word to use and how to spell it.
I had another friend tell me to, “just let some things slide.” However, I think he misses the purpose of my corrections. They have a dual-purpose (threw that one in just for another friend- weird eh? Correct everyone’s grammar and I still have friends… for now…). The first is to, obviously, let the person know their mistake so they can learn from it and not make the same one again. The second, however, is to send a small message to people; a message that some people do care about grammar and are mildly irked by your blatant disregard for correctness. I get that it’s Facebook and after all who really cares about grammar on Facebook (Oh oh! Pick me! Pick me!!), but with the amount of time that the average teenager spends online compared to writing formally or for fun (God forbid someone write for fun!), I’d say that they are spending proportionally more time not using proper grammar than using proper grammar. I’m already seeing the detrimental effects of this worrying guesstimate.
So, once again, yes I will correct the grammar I see on Facebook because it will be a quick reminder of the way you’re supposed to write. I will also correct your typos so that, maybe, you’ll start proof-reading your messages. I feel that the language has lost so much elegance over the years. However, maybe that is the way language is headed; just quick little snippets of information in short-form, used to convey the simplest of messages. Soon, “popping the question” will be simply, “WUMM?” with a simple reply of either “(Y)” or “(N).”
For now, however, long live the Typo Tyrant and all his subjects, who honour him when they mete out grammatical justice to those who tarnish what the Typo Tyrant and his subjects hold most dear: the sustentation of the abstruse pleasures of the English language.