Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Does expecting better really make me a Grammar Nazi?

I worry that, in attempting to appeal to the lowest common denominator, that the entertainment industry is dumbing down TOO much. Irony has been lost to the masses - or worse, become confused with sarcasm. People no longer understand what "bemused" means, thinking it a suitable alternative to "amused".

To quote a friend, "In our efforts to ensure that no man is left behind, we are setting lower and lower standards for ourselves. The implications of that for future generations is frightening."

Don't get me wrong - language should be a live, thriving creature evolving in new and interesting ways - for example, the irony mark is quickly becoming renamed the "snark" which, for me, is almost onomatopoeic and a wonderful proto-word, not to mention the "interrobang"! (Look it up - you can thank me later.)

However, having said that, I firmly stand by my belief:; we should not let the standards slide. I'm hardly perfect when it comes to grammar (I'm well aware of this) but I always make the effort to be readable - to be understood. And it strikes me that today's attempts at communication are becoming...

Well. Here's a "tipicle" example composed from a variety of posts I've seen on Failbook recently - "Spose she nos she realy realy gota get leaks 2 go wiv da onions bit earlia tomorow " This one makes for an odd visual too: "crossed my knives over my folks".

Doesn't that make you wince, just a little bit?

I understand that the subtleties of English sarcastic humour is lost on the American, it's too dry and delicately understated for them - but for goodness sake, we shouldn't pander to their requirements. Let's educate the poor saps on what they're missing! We need to have the thrill of learning, the choice to aspire to the better, to look up to those whom are more intelligent than we... And one writer at the BBC agrees with me - we can do better.

If we don't do something soon Idiocracy (2006) will become a reality. 

Relevant Quote of the Day: Grammar; the difference between knowing your sh*t and knowing you're sh*t. - Leigh-ann.

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