A Recorded History of the Death of the English Language, Part 2

Yesterday I criticized the usage of incorrect homophones in specific situations. It is quite possibly my biggest pet peeve in the world and I could easily write a few thousand more words on the subject. But since I’m not one to beat a dead horse, I’ll move on to something equally important, something I touched on yesterday without going into any great depth: spelling.

Like I said, I’m not the best speller, but I’m far from the worst. I sincerely expect people my age to be able to spell certain words without a second thought, but it appears that is not the case. I used to think it was another form of shorthand typing, but now I’m wondering if they’re just so used to spelling particular words that way that they’ve become irredeemable.

Some examples that come to mind:

“My sister just had a babby.”

“My fone is being stupid.”

“I lyk everything xcept that.”

“I was gonna go home but den I got lost.”

“I definately misspelt that.”

“I’m so kewl.”

Seriously, come on.  Is it incomprehensible that “PH” can make a sound like an “F”?  Because if you can’t wrap your mind around that, you should go back to phucking school.  And the irony behind misspelling “misspelled” never fails to amuse me.

Which reminds me, how do people that type like this pass any classes anyway?  When I was younger, these words weren’t even an issue.  We had to focus on words that were actually challenging, like the one day we had a substitute teacher and she thought it would be fun spending the entire day teaching us how to spell pneumosilicovolcanoconiosis (which I don’t even think is an actual medical term, but I digress).  I’m sure there were days where I had to learn words like “dog” and “child” but that was probably in the first grade.  If you can’t spell “phone” then my logic tells me you haven’t made it to a first grader’s level of intelligence.

Saying that spelling isn’t beneficial to you is like asking how math is going to help you later in life.  It is an invalid argument, immediately dismissed by every adult in the civilized world.  Misspellings can lead to accidental meanings that weren’t your intention, just like failing to learn how to do math can result in you getting audited or being the unlucky winner of a speeding ticket.  It is the fundamental element of language: without letters there are no words, and there are no words if the letters aren’t correct.

So I urge you, learn how to spell.  If not for yourself, then do it for others.  Have some respect for yourself, and I might learn to respect you in turn.

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.