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Old Yesterday, 09:52 PM
 
Location: SoCal & Mid-TN
2,163 posts, read 2,068,513 times
Reputation: 2508

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Were people always this stupid and we're just seeing it now because of the internet? Or is this a new thing? Even simple words are misspelled. I'm not talking about typos - the best of us make typos from time to time. And too often the wrong words are used. Examples I've seen lately on the internet:

The one that really takes the cake was someone selling wrought iron on Craig's list - except they spelled it "rot" iron.

"Beech" instead of "beach". "What is a nice beech on the California coast?"

The constant their, there, and they're errors.

The list goes on and on.

And forget grammar. Capitalization and punctuation are often almost non-existent, especially when people decide to use “text” speak. No concept of the paragraph, just huge blocks of text full of run-on sentences. And what I really see a lot is the $ sign on the right instead of the left (example: 100$).

I actually had resumes and cover letters submitted for an office assistant job that were written in “text” speak. Amazing. I’m sixty years old and when I was in school spelling and grammar were drilled into us. We were proud to know these things. Now it seems no one cares anymore. It is very disheartening. Do people not realize how stupid this makes them look?

 
Old Yesterday, 09:52 PM
 
5,915 posts, read 3,641,633 times
Reputation: 14995
Be sure to check the spelling in your post title.

Sometimes these things are not a sign of ignorance, but simply typos. Or a failure of auto-correct.
 
Old Yesterday, 10:35 PM
 
6,187 posts, read 3,316,430 times
Reputation: 16421
Some of it I think is typing on a phone and "autocorrect." I've been amazed when I get home and read some of my posts on the big screen. Amazed at the strange spelling and wording that appears in the post. Certainly not what I thought I was typing on my phone.
 
Old Yesterday, 10:56 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,723 posts, read 17,864,616 times
Reputation: 31655
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Some of it I think is typing on a phone and "autocorrect." I've been amazed when I get home and read some of my posts on the big screen. Amazed at the strange spelling and wording that appears in the post. Certainly not what I thought I was typing on my phone.
No, I first noticed it in the 1980s. The apostrophe was everywhere. Then people starting mixing up their, there, and they're--and all the other words that sound alike. I worked in an office at a large university and the freshmen couldn't write. They'd hand in a few straggly sentence fragments with misspelled words and consider that a term paper! The colleges had to start offering remedial English because the kids were so poorly prepared that they couldn't even write.

As this was pre-internet, computers were not the cause. Back in school, we had spelling tests and we learned proper grammar but by the 1908s it didn't seem to matter anymore. This could be due to "reforms" in education. Probably kids were taught that spelling and grammar didn't matter. Just spell it any way you want to.

It's only gotten worse over the years until now it's hard to understand what some people are trying to say.If you look at the ads on Craigs List or some signs on store windows, you'll be amazed at how poorly people write and spell today.

I'd be interested to see if anyone can shed some light upon why this happened. Was it a deliberate act on the part of the schools to dumb the kids down like this? What's the reason for the decline of proper English spelling and grammar?
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Old Today, 07:29 AM
 
4,199 posts, read 1,806,898 times
Reputation: 11697
It's because no one ever cracks open a book and reads it.


If you spend thousands of hours as a child reading books which (at least in my childhood) had been subjected to proper copy editing and thus were free of errors, you can tell by inspection whether something's right or not.


If you spend thousands of hours as a child staring at the screen, opening a book only when required to by your school, you will probably spell everything phonetically; thus the "three theres" and "three twos" errors. As for apostrophes, if you only see incorrectly typeset signs and incorrectly written social-media posts, you'll probably get the idea that the apostrophe is a sort of English black pepper, to be sprinkled wherever it seems helpful.
 
Old Today, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
20,074 posts, read 9,487,929 times
Reputation: 19181
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
No, I first noticed it in the 1980s. The apostrophe was everywhere. Then people starting mixing up their, there, and they're--and all the other words that sound alike. I worked in an office at a large university and the freshmen couldn't write. They'd hand in a few straggly sentence fragments with misspelled words and consider that a term paper! The colleges had to start offering remedial English because the kids were so poorly prepared that they couldn't even write.

As this was pre-internet, computers were not the cause. Back in school, we had spelling tests and we learned proper grammar but by the 1908s it didn't seem to matter anymore. This could be due to "reforms" in education. Probably kids were taught that spelling and grammar didn't matter. Just spell it any way you want to.

It's only gotten worse over the years until now it's hard to understand what some people are trying to say.If you look at the ads on Craigs List or some signs on store windows, you'll be amazed at how poorly people write and spell today.

I'd be interested to see if anyone can shed some light upon why this happened. Was it a deliberate act on the part of the schools to dumb the kids down like this? What's the reason for the decline of proper English spelling and grammar?
Come on now..."a deliberate act on the part of the schools to dumb the kids down".

Your little error in the second paragraph -- about the 1908's (by the way, shouldn't there be an apostrophe in there?) actually made me think about what I'll call trends in education. I would hate to think what our education system would be like if we used the same strategies and techniques in teaching writing skills as we did in 1908. Let me give you a very good example. In the 1950s and 1960s, as a student, I benefited from strategies such as sentence diagramming. Over the years, diagramming sentences fell out of style. New strategies took precedence. The problem was that some students -- like me -- benefited from learning to diagram sentences. But at the same time, there were other students who found diagramming sentences mind-boggling. The only way we make progress in teaching all students is to continually look for better ways to teach things. Sometimes those "better ways" turn out to not be better, and can actually be detrimental. But if we don't continue searching for better ways to teach for all kids, then we never make any real progress.
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