We are a society of uber communicators, frantically texting while driving on the freeway and filling My Space pages with tomes about every subject under the sun.
You would think that with all the writing practice people get on a day-to-day basis (thank you, Internet!) that their emails, articles and web pages would become grammatically tighter. Instead, I believe the art of writing (from an American perspective) has taken a turn for the worse.
Most people simply have never been taught how to write. It's a shame--and I don't know whether to fault parents, the school system, El Nino, Mother Nature, Father Time...?
I'm not talking about occasional typos, either. After all, I'm not above making the frequent faux pas myself.
Heck, I'm a freelance writer and I still ask myself, "Does a comma really belong there?"
Maybe I'm simply getting old (there's no "maybe" about it... I definitely am), but when I see "there", "they're" and "their" incorrectly used, I can't help but rant.
Has no one caught on that Microsoft Word's built-in thesaurus won't catch these kinds of errors?
Again, let me repeat that I am no angel.
I am not perfect.
I make mistakes, especially when I'm scrambling to meet a deadline, it's 3:15 a.m. and a stink bug (we have those in Pennsylvania and they are a pain in the tookus, but that's for another blog post) buzzes annoyingly around my head.
However, I innately realize that "to", "two" and "too" are NOT interchangeable.
I'm currently working on a book to help business professionals who want to become more proficient writers. Unfortunately, many of the worst habits I regularly see (such, as, the, comma, that, appears, everywhere or the insertion of "whom" when it doesn't belong) are so deeply ingrained that writers must be deprogrammed to start on the path to writing excellence.
Heaven help us if the generation growing up now only knows how to abbreviate (that definitely won't make me LOL or LMAO) and insert emoticons.
All I can say to that is a resounding