Sup w u? Ur sis called. C u 2nite.
This was a recent text I sent. Even though I do use this type of grammar, or lack of grammar, I do worry that proper grammar is becoming a completely lost art.
The SAT college entrance exams no longer require a written essay. I’ve started to worry about the state of the written word today. I love writing. It’s a passion of mine. But I do understand that for many, it’s a painful source of frustration. As I write this, I keep thinking about my own grammatical issues. I have a problem with tenses. I know there’s a past, present, and future tense, but did you know that there are others? There’s the simple present, the present perfect, the present continuous, and even the present perfect continuous. That’s just for starters. I have a terrible time with these. Thank God I have awesome editors who make me look good because it can get intense (pun totally intended). But as bad as I am at grammar, I now realize that there are others who are much worse than I.
If your grammar is bad theirs always someone worse and if your good at it thats because this sentence drives you crazy.
There are six errors in that sentence. As I said, I can be just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to poor grammar, but I’ve been amazed at the common errors I’ve seen out in public lately. If you ask me, some of them show just a little too much cleavage.
The following is a sign I recently saw posted online:
Seat Belts must be worn
Doors’ must be shut
Its the Law
And how about this one:
Perfection has It’s Price
How would you like to order this off the breakfast menu?
Includes eggs, toast and orange juice.
I don’t know about you, but I like my toast dry and not mixed in with my oj.
I wonder if the writers of the following sentences understood the meaning of what was actually written.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.
For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
The last three really make me laugh, but at the same time, they make me sad. In an era in which the teaching of keyboarding has replaced the teaching of cursive, has texting replaced grammar? What am I to think when I go to buy fish and they tell me that it’s “fresh frozen?” Well is it fresh, or is it frozen? And what about the infomercial touting their product as “genuine faux?” Is it genuine or not?
Test your skills on a few of my pet peeves.
Is it affect or effect?
Should you use like or such as?
All of a sudden or all of the sudden?
Who or Whom?
The good news is that my spell check tried to correct most of the errors in the bloopers I used in this piece. The bad news is that it only caught most of them.
A version of this essay was previously published at Boomercafe.
I enjoyed some of the post-publication comments. I hope you do to.
One Reader said:
My favorite would be “New and Improved!” OK, which is it? Is it new, or is it last month’s model that someone has “improved”???
Ah yes. “New and improved” is a winner. I’ll add it to one of my other favorites: stop light. Is it a stop sign or a traffic light? Where’s the “go light?”
Isn’t this fun?
Another Reader Posted:
Hi Leslie, I appreciate your passion for good writing. I love to write, too. But, it is an ongoing learning process. Also, I fight with my text “auto correct” on my cell phone and the word choices the program selects.
I feel your pain. That’s why I’m able to reply to you here. I agree. I’ll put on my boxing gloves for e-mails, but I’ve accepted my collection of tickets from the grammar police regarding texts. “Sup, u, luv, btw, etc r all grammatically correct in the new and improved genuine faux Handler Texting pocket guide to proper grammar and spelling.
Then I added:
C that, the “p” and the “g” should be capitalized. Can u feel my shame?
And Finally From a Reader:
I used to teach grammar and I pride myself on having raised a son who uses “who” or “whom” correctly.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Perhaps there is still hope for our future generations?