A Recorded History of the Death of the English Language, Part 1

I’ve become convinced that the English language is dying. Not evolving, as some may be saying, but being brutally murdered on cell phones and message boards all across the globe.

It’s “for” not “4”.

It’s “could have” not “could of”.

It’s “too” not “2”.

It’s “someone” not “sum1”.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point clear enough. I have a massive amount of respect for written words; my kind is a rapidly declining breed. Texting and typing have slaughtered both our collective intelligence and our ability to differentiate words. They’re called homophones, people. They’re all spelled differently. Please use the correct word in a given situation, or I will immediately think less of you. It pains me in every sense of the word when I see someone trying to prove their point while using nearly illegible speech. If I have to take an extra few seconds to decipher what you’re saying, then clearly you haven’t put much thought into it and I’m already dismissing your argument on that basis alone. I am often referred to as a grammar Nazi, though I’m not sure why. I don’t correct 99% of the mistakes I see, and the ones I choose to edit are for the sake of education. It’s not a big deal if you can’t spell it. There’s plenty of words I don’t know how to spell.

For instance, I used to constantly misspell “ridiculous” (which I wrote as “rediculous”) and it wasn’t until my cousin corrected me that I realized I was erring. Did I get mad and call her a Nazi? Of course not, that’s preposterous. I listened to her and I haven’t misspelled it since. I learned from being told I was wrong and now I apply that knowledge every time I use that word, and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I’m not asking for much here. I’m not saying everyone should know how to diagram sentences properly or pick up a thesaurus just for the sake of learning a new word (though I wouldn’t object). I’m just asking for the proper use of a homophone. Not even a homonym, mind you; that’s a whole other ball game.

For, four, fore.

Their, there, they’re.

To, two, too.

Once you’ve got that down, tackle some harder ones:

Principle, principal.

Capital, capitol.

Complement, compliment.

Or continue living in ignorance and contribute to the destruction of a language through laziness. I know it can be difficult stretching your finger to hit all the letters. I’m sure you’re far too busy playing Atari or braiding your hair, or whatever the hell it is you people do all day. Hey, that’s another one. Hair, hare. See? English is fun! Show it some respect. You can even make it more fun by inserting random profanity if you damn well feel like it.

Meet, meat, mete.

Buy, by, bye.

Damn, dam.

Oh, and try to embrace the beauty of punctuation while you’re at it. Or at the very least, capitalize (not “capitolize”! See, it is fun!) the first word of a sentence and throw a period on the end. Trust me, it goes a long way.

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4 thoughts on “A Recorded History of the Death of the English Language, Part 1

  1. I think I love you. I posted something very similar on FB a couple of months ago and caught a lot of flack for it. By the way, I must correct your English while I’m here. “Learning up a word?” You were thinking of “looking up” and “learning a word” at the same time weren’t you? “Once you’ve got that down” should be “Once you’ve gotten that down”, maintain the tense you’ve begun with. By the way, SHOULD OF drives me absolutely insane and being a voracious reader I see it all the time in books written by professional, well-known authors. I’m shocked and outraged, yes, outraged each and every time I see it. Oh yeah, another one. Use to instead of Used to. Good Lord.

  2. I was all for our language evolving like all languages do with time. Bottle is now pronounced “boddle.” Kind of makes me cringe, but it’s acceptable considering if you were to say it correctly people would probably think you were condescending or strange. But this way that, mostly young, people type and write nowadays is frustrating and embarrassing. “Wut,” “y,” “hao r u?” It makes me want to bash forks into people’s eye sockets. How do they even pass their high school essays or SAT writing tests? Not to mention the guidance of the spellchecker in almost all browsers now and the power of Google. There’s no excuse. To, too– come on, this isn’t kindergarten.

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