The Grammarphobia Blog

Enuf already!

Q: I’m mad as hell at the degradation of spelling these days. Are people learning to “spell” by reading signs and ads? I’ve had it “thru” and “thru” with “lite,” “nite,” and “alrite.” And “doughnut” is almost extinct. On the Internet, anyone with a computer gets to write publicly. I shudder to think what spellings will be acceptable 10 years from now. I grieve for the L8 English language.

A: I know how you feel. A bit of a rant helps now and then, don’t you think?

In defense of the Internet, I have to say this: at least people are writing again – even if the writing is lousy.

True, the Web has shown us just how bad the general public’s grasp of English really is. It has exposed the problem, but that’s much better than sweeping it under the rug.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what our legislators and educators have been doing since the early 1970s, when most public schools stopped teaching grammar.

I once spoke to a group of English teachers and one of them told me that she had to close the blinds on her classroom door if she wanted to teach grammar. Otherwise, she’d get in trouble with the principal. It makes you wanna cry!

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