While I am definitely a Facebook fan, I do not enjoy what social media (and texting and the media in general) is doing to our language. it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a set of rules upon which we can all agree are necessary to follow. Because, really, that’s all the conventions of writing are….
I got this little gem from a colleague who was in the midst of grading three sections of English 101 mid-term papers. Upon completing one full section of essays, he decided to reward himself.
(I usually reward myself by eating a bag of Snickers.)
Anyway, he found this little gem and sent this around via department mail:
My colleague took pause to wonder:
Do you think if we “sexed it up” (as the British say), we could ever get everyone to use it?
Let me be the first to say that I am a Grammar Pimp and proud of it.
I use Grammar all the time.
And she has never failed me.
Grammar is slick.
She is tireless, and she never lets me down.
She has never asked me for anything, and I have only benefited from my relationship with her.
Seriously, who wouldn’t want in on that kind of action?
Grammar, you have a bag full of tricks, you dirty girl.
You aren’t afraid of anything: noun-pronoun agreement, misplaced modifiers, dangling modifiers. Colons don’t scare you and – Grammar, you little trollop – you love when people use their hyphens properly.
Yes you do.
Knowing Grammar is great.
But using Grammar is excellent.
I’m telling you: Use Grammar.
She wants you to.
If we approached grammar as if it were a reality TV show, do you think it would make kids more psyched to learn their grammar rules? Or would a whole bunch of teachers just get fired?
I am in love with this post! Gabe Doyle is a fourth-year graduate student in Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. He is a computational psycholinguist. I don’t exactly know what that is, but I believe it means he is interested in how people choose to express the ideas they want to express. Or something like that.
While I am definitely a Facebook fan, I do not enjoy what social media and texting are doing to our language. It is becoming increasingly difficult to define and get people to agree to stick to a set of rules upon which we can all agree are necessary to follow with regard to language. Because, really, that’s all the conventions of writing are – little polite agreements between communicators.
I think of writing like driving. Just as there are rules of the road created to maintain civility and prevent chaos, so too, there are rules for writers. When we write, our pens are our cars. So we zoom around our little pen-cars where it is implied we have agreed to follow the same conventions because it helps us to better understand each other. Grammar conventions are kindnesses we bestow upon our readers, so they can understand us more easily. For example: Commas are little road bumps which make us slow down. Periods are stop signs. Semicolons are flashing yellow lights. The only problem is very few people follow the grammar rules anymore, so we are starting to have a lot of difficult situations out there like when people don’t use capitalization or end punctuation and just keep going on there is no break or anything at all to indicate that the sentence is coming or has come to an end so it just keeps going which can be confusing because sometimes writers change topics suddenly you and are in outer space floating among the planets which is cucumber cool except you didn’t want to go to outer space. You wanted to go to a movie.
So check out the link to the great article above. I wish I’d written it.