I guess it’s a sign that I’m getting on in years, but I miss the old grammar rules.
I always thought it was easy to determine the intelligence and education, not to mention the acumen and taste, of various people simply by reading what they wrote and how they wrote it.
If they showed they didn’t know basic English grammar -- when to use “it’s” and when to use “its,” for example (see above title) – I thought I had them pretty well figured out as people, even though I had never met them.
But all this has changed. Seated at my ‘pewter and logged on to the web, I can see that an entirely new language is being created. It’s a strange dialect, presumably based on English, which has taken over, and it pays no obeisance to, or even recognizes, rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling, not to mention capitalization or other outworn concepts. In addition, it relies heavily on acronyms and emoticons.
And yet, the internet folks often seem quite intelligent and manage to communicate very effectively using this new vernacular with their chat friends.
During my pedagogical years I was at times dismayed to find that such usages as “IIRC” and “IMO,” among others, were occasionally used by students writing their term papers. (No one used an emoticon, however, I’m pleased to add.) So are acronyms and emoticons, accompanied by a total lack of rules of English grammar, simply a short-term, ephemeral phenomenon, specific to internet communication, or does all this represent the real future of our written English language?
By the way, scientific research has established that “ACRONYM” stands for “A Crazy Reminder of Names You Misplaced.”
Question is, is this where our language is headed? Will this rough-hewn, stripped-down internet argot become Standard English one of these days? What’s your opinion?
1 year ago