Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

You’re not just what you write… You are the way you write.

I know that boat loads has been said already about grammar and punctuation going all to hell with the rise of the internet. I might as well put my two cents worth in here too…

Never in my life have I seen a language degenerate like our beloved English has not that "virtually" (pardon the pun – though none was intended) everyone is now online is some way, shape or form. Before, when virtually all of our written language was on paper, be it in print, typing or simply someone’s scribble on a piece of paper, it would be fair game to make judgments on things like punctuation and grammar. Now, it is virtually against the law to correct the laziness that is all around.

Back in the 1980’s, when rap exploded onto the scene, poor grammar and pronunciation became "okay" and even enviable. The rise of the internet – and we can’t pin this down to a generation – has made it possible to write an entire book without capitalizing any proper nouns or words at the beginning of a sentence. This is more than a tip of the hat to e.e. cummings as I would assume that 99.99% of those who are doing this haven’t the fainest idea who he is. AND THEN THERE IS THE ‘ALL CAPS’ CROWD. To me this sucks just as badly. One of my secret pet peeves is to see western Europeans who will put their family names or the name of their hometown or company in all caps. They have a huge habit of that and many haven’t the faintest clue why they do it if you ask them. If you ask me, and nobody is, I still say it is most uncalled for.

Though I don’t believe in all certainty that people who are typing this way are always poor thinkers. Many believe they are only taking shortcuts. But these short cuts are just laziness. And it leads to laziness in other things as well. The way your think. The way you double check. The way your write.

I haven’t met anyone above the age of twelve years old who hasn’t heard the old adage about first impressions. Well, why do so few people tend to care when it comes to their writing? It really beats me, to be quite honest. I also know that I seem to be in a minority here. I have mentioned this to several fellow writers and people who are just friends. Many of them think that this is one of the ways that language is simply changing. If this is the case then I want to be on record to say that this is a negative change.

If you are one of the ones who are guilty of dropping your guard on proper capitalization and punctuation then I urge you to re-think what you are doing. I dare say you are making a poor choice with your writing, your thought process and your all important public image.

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