It’s a bit of a shame that so many people belonging to my generation pay very little attention to grammar, especially when using social media.
One of the most common excuses that I see being used by people who defend their bad grammar on social media follows something along the lines of, “This is Facebook, not a final paper I have to turn in!” Except even that line would probably contain multiple errors.
I don’t correct people’s grammar just to make them mad—even though that’s a big part of the fun. I also do it because they have no reason not to use proper grammar and/or spelling. It’s silly that sheer laziness is preventing people from typing or writing correctly. And it’s also silly that, for whatever reason, they’re okay with looking stupid.
It blows my mind that people in college still don’t know the difference between “there,” “their” and “they’re,” or that they don’t know that you don’t have to put an apostrophe in every word that ends with an S. And it only makes them look more idiotic when they call people who do use the right words “Nazis.” That is, in a sense, another example of their lack of intelligence.
There are people who use bad grammar and spelling jokingly, which I guess is fine—it can draw a few laughs. However, there are those who actually don’t know that they aren’t using their language correctly, and that’s where the problem lies.
Language is something that we learn about from the first day of elementary school, and it’s something that we consistently practice, at least throughout the first few years of college. It doesn’t make sense to get defensive about being called out on bad grammar, because it’s something that we should know.
A lot of times the argument is, “It doesn’t matter because people still know what I mean.” Okay, but you still look stupid. You have to imagine all the people holding their heads in their hands and cringing when they look at what you’ve written. Just because you managed to get your message out doesn’t mean you’ve succeeded.
Bad grammar and spelling also make you seem less credible. Who’s going to want to pay attention to someone who doesn’t know that it’s “should have” and not “should of?” As for the whole “it’s not a final paper” argument, I think it’s just as important to represent that you possess the ability to use language correctly when you’re potentially broadcasting your words to hundreds of people.
I don’t mean to sound as if I’m above people here. We’re all susceptible to mistakes. But I think that recognizing and accepting those mistakes is what allows us to better ourselves. It’s what allows us to learn. When we become ignorant to proper grammar and spelling, it makes all of us look bad. And I, for one, am getting sick of feeling the need to apologize for my generation’s lack of intelligence.
I don’t expect everyone to go through their tweets and Facebook statuses checking for the right use of semicolons, but at least know that “to” and “too” are two different words. It’s just a simple matter of paying attention; remedying the improper use of language can’t be that hard. We all went through the basics in school, so there’s no reason that we should choose to ignore that education.
Just remember that when we broadcast words, people will see them. It’s beneficial for everyone, not just ourselves, if we can represent ourselves and our words in a respectable way.