Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's happening here?

Technology is one of those things that is inevitable in a society. People surf the Internet on cell phones and make phone calls with the Internet. Chatting, instant messaging, and texting are three ways that adolescents and kids communicate the most with their peers (and even family members). However, I can't help but think that this influx of communication through technology is hampering the English language and perhaps degrading it into something that may be permanent. Most languages are fluid and constantly changing. For example, the OED adding words like "cyberslacking," "screenager," and "grrrl" and if a language doesn't evolve then it may very well die, but where is the line between growing to benefit society and growing to encourage an uneducated society?

Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter status updates are full of typos: "your" instead of "you're," "then" instead of "than," "2" instead of "to," "c" instead of "see," and "u" instead of "you." The problem is that these aren't once in a while mistakes, I've seen these as constant mistakes and it appears that those who create the mistakes don't really care. I think the ease of spellcheck and the fact that no one corrects these mistakes really is hampering the younger generation. I don't mean to take on a slippery slope, but what happens eventually when these kids (and even adults) submit homework or reports to bosses and it's riddled with grammatical problems? Will someone correct them or will someone just figure it's easier to let it go? What will happen to the way we write and speak if people continue to disregard the correct usage of our language that have, thus far, evolved into something great? What would classic writers like Poe, Twain, or the Brownings say about what is happening?

My point is that perhaps we need to be mindful of what is happening when it comes to communication and what the potential outcome might be. Perhaps if people stand up and point out what's happening, a degradation of our precious language might be staved off for at least another generation.