There has been a focus recently on the standard of literacy amongst our young people.
The main focus was on text-speak, as it’s called.
I can understand people using text shorthand on mobile phones, where letter count is at a premium, but I abhor its use anywhere else. I just won’t read it. If people cannot be bothered to take the trouble to write properly, then I can’t be bothered to read their message.
They say that text-speak is lowering the standard of spelling. Slipelng is not as mcuh an issue as many plpoee thnik, as raseecrh sohws that txet may stlil be lgbeile no matter how iorneccrt the slieplng. Pvdiored the lteters are tehre, and the fsrit and lsat ltretes are crcerot, tehn the oedrr of the inrveneitng lrtetes is not that inpomtart. Msot peploe sluhod be albe to read tihs prgaparah!
I would argue that it is not the mobile phone that has led to a drop in standards, but rather a drop in the standard of education in our schools, and the overuse of television.
Simple rules are not apparently taught any more. I have heard university students using the ubiquitous “I done” and “I seen” instead of “I did” and “I saw”. And no-one seems to know the basic use of an apostrophe any more.
But what really annoys me the most, is the use of words without any consideration for their meaning. For this, I have to blame television. People are using words simply because they are in vogue. They are destroying the language by peppering it with expressions they have heard on “Friends” or “Lost” or whatever programme is the flavour of the month.
For example, “hot”, “cool” and “chill” are words that refer to temperature. How can they possibly be used to mean “good”, “good” [!] or “relax”? What does “check out” mean? How can that possibly be translated as “take a look at”? When giving directions, what does “take a right” mean? Or even worse – “hang a right”. Why are people stealing a junction, or even worse, executing it? What’s wrong with “turn to the right”? And for the sake of my sanity, please stop saying “you guys”! A guy is a rope for supporting a tent. In slang, it means a man. Now it means anyone apparently.
I love language. It has always been a bit of a hobby of mine. I never studied English beyond Leaving Certificate standard, so doubtless I sprinkle my writings with split infinitives and other grammatical errors. But I do my best.
I know language has to evolve, but let the evolution be logical. I can understand how the word “bouse” became “booze”, but I cannot understand how “good” can become “cool”.
One very interesting phenomenon that I have noticed is the very high standard of literacy amongst bloggers. It is in marked contrast to discussion forums where text-speak and general illiteracy seem to be common. That would be an interesting subject for a thesis!
And now, having got that lot off my chest, I’m going to chill out, leave you guy’s alone and go back to my own cool crap level of writing.