The Internet is a medium in which we communicate and share information. It has it’s own language in which people choose to communicate. There are many discussions and arguments about the positive or negative effect the Internet has had on the use of the english language. I can see both sides of the argument, one being that the Internet language is corrupting the proper use of our language and the other being that the forms of communication over the Internet are unique and not destructive.
I feel that I am one of the different cases that you don’t hear people talk about. I feel that the Internet has improved my writing and grammar because it gives me access to all of the information I need to expand my vocabulary and ensure correct form of language. This is because I value the quality of my writing and I also have the desire to learn and grow as a writer. Not all people share my values about this, and that’s perfectly ok. It’s not my place to force my values onto people. The Internet provides a medium for individuals to access and share information in an informal or formal manner.
Before the Internet, if one made a grammatical error, it was far less public for the world to see. The Internet publishes our mistakes and misunderstandings to the global environment. This mass exposure can be seen in many other situations. For example the volume of people being diagnosed with mental disorders. Some may believe that there is a higher percentage of autistic people is than in the past. It doesn’t mean that not as many people had autism before, it may mean that it wasn’t being diagnosed as often as it is now. The same goes for grammatical and spelling errors. What seems like a growing problem, may actually be a more publicized problem that is being interpreted as an increase.
It is to each their own. I believe that people are becoming ignorant to the misuse of language. This has to do with more than just the Internet. A problem similar to this travels way back in time to how that individual was raised. Yes, there are many grammatical and spelling errors on the Internet and I see this in the things that I read, but I was provided grammatical education and this is why I can find those errors. I agree that I am seeing people my age making grammatical errors that blow me away. This especially bothers me when they have children. — I must stop myself because this is not meant to be a rant about parenting skills, but rather an analytical post on the effect the Internet has had on language.
There are many people that share my opinion, one blogger writes, “Though people tend to use poor grammar more often on the Internet, it will not make good grammar obsolete” [source]. They go on to say that good grammar is still needed and used in books, medical journals, company websites, and so on. If a company were to use improper grammar that would reflect very poorly on them. I feel that many people’s mistakes are due to laziness and or ignorance. Some people take social media and their image seriously, while others do not. The same goes for how we write on paper, some people make scratch notes and use their own slang because their Intention is to quickly write something down that they will be able to understand later. Personal purpose and perception are key elements that must be considered when making judgements on this matter.
In the ‘old’ days, if your writing was to be published it was edited and read over by many other people before it was made available to the public. Today, that is definitely not the case. Anyone can put information on the Internet and this immediately becomes viewable to the world. Even Wikipedia allows random people to make edits to their pages, but being a large organization it has monitors who can edit and take down any improper grammar or incorrect information. That is today’s world. So, my point is that there have always been people who make spelling errors or don’t know the difference between there, their, and they’re, we just weren’t exposed to their writing in the capacity in which we are today. It’s easy to assume that the Internet is the cause of the poor use of language… Take a deep breath, be patient, and realize that not everyone that accesses the internet is a genius. Cut people some slack! I will correct people in a nice way, not meant to shame them, but more-so in light humour. I do this because if I make an error in my spelling/grammar I would like someone to tell me!
The Internet has a language of it’s own.
There is a difference between Internet slang and incorrect grammar. I am all for the use of Internet slang, but I do not support improper grammar. I am not a grammar expert; I make grammatical errors, but I am quick to learn and I will correct myself when necessary. If I am unsure of something I will look it up and find the correct way to say what I am trying to say.
Internet slang has been around for decades, ever since Usenet was created in 1979 [source]. The recent news about the new editor of Gawker demanding that his writers use correct grammar and no more internet slang makes me LOL. I used to have a hard time accepting change, but after fighting it for so long with no relief, I now have learned to embrace it. It is not incorrect, it’s a new form of communication; almost it’s own language. With certain social media sites, such as Twitter, allowing a maximum of 150 characters per tweet, people don’t really have a choice but to abbreviate their words and use slang in order to deliver their message.
Let us look at one more thing before we conclude,
Keyword here is INTENTIONALLY. The purposely misspelled words and improper use of grammar is part of the humour of this meme. The people who make these memes are knowingly using bad grammar, which means they would have to know proper grammar.
So what’s my point?
My point is that the Internet is not the perpetrator here. The Internet is merely a canvas for individuals; each having their own sense of humour, style of language, diverse background, and most importantly intentions. The world we live in has changed, with the integration of social media, blogs, and so on, anyone can publish their writing without having it reviewed and edited. People have been making spelling mistakes and grammatical errors forever, this is not a problem that was spawned by the Internet. In today’s world those mistakes are just more visible to everyone, therefore it seems as though there are more errors, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The problem is when OMG LOL WTF IDK begin to appear in the academic writing of students, our future leaders. Being able to differentiate the context of language is crucial to conserving formal writing ability. The Internet is not the problem. People should have the right to post whatever they choose, in whatever context they would like on the Internet, but need the skills to formalize when necessary. My question is, do you have the skills to do so?
Thanks for reading my post, please leave comments below 🙂