Anathema to the wonderful world of writing today is the carelessness in grammar, spelling and punctuation as well as the readability, credibility, and plain, ordinary common sense – or lack thereof.
Each and every day I have reason to become more and more disconcerted at the atrocious and careless manner in which people write and, quite frankly, speak. I am not referring to just middle- and high-school students, I am referring specifically to published authors, bloggers, content writers, local and national newscasters as well as highly-educated corporate executives. Not only should they know better, they should be thoroughly embarrassed to have what they write published or broadcasted. Just as examples, the other day I reviewed a to-be-published release written by a well-known and powerful PR agency for a client of mine. I had to immediately contact the agency to delay submitting it to the newswires until I could correct the grammar and the typos. Yesterday I read an e-newsletter written by a person trying to sell his writing skills to prospects, and his content was riddled with grammatical errors and typos. And pitifully, people will actually pay him for his services. And to make matters worse, it has become generally accepted by their constituents and therefore it’s ok to write with slipshoddiness. As the author George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four) succinctly put it, “Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way.”
Is it the fault of our education system and its teachers? Is it laziness, lack of interest or concern about what they write or even how they speak? I am firmly convinced that twittering and texting, and America’s incessant need to be short and brief, are major contributions to the abomination of the English language, which is probably why it has its own designation – American English. Hopefully it won’t become illegible, unintelligible and extinct in my lifetime.