Thanks for linking to a video with not a single positive comment on it. #fail
biased music video shoot on "America Street" http://youtu.be/PiPYv4NIOEg
Will, you refer to "the stench of Fox News". Funny how most folks can't smell their own bad breath.
"Even self-professed grammar-sticklers and professional writers make errors like these. "
No, I don't. Partially because I don't misspell very many words, and those that I do misspell are caught by the magical spell-check demons.
Now, as to the notion that there is a generational gap between the youth of today and those who are no longer the youth of today but are themselves the youth of yesterday, or perhaps more accurately the middle-aged of today or the future elderly, there can only be said what has been so often said so many times before and by so many different people that it hardly bears repeating, but without repeating these words of wisdom we might lose sight of what is really at stake in this entire conversation about the ways in which how we communicate are changing, have changed, and likely will change in the future.
If we cannot accept that language changes, then how can we accept any other changes that occur as humanity progresses from our collective yesterday into our collective tomorrow?
That, of course, is not actually the aforementioned words of wisdom about the generations but it is a rather short digression into the nature of history and progress, one which hardly matters to the matter at hand but may become germane in some generic matter later on in this essay. How it will come to be more important is not as large an issue now as it may be later, or may have yet already been. What is important is that it has been placed between one rather long and grammatically correct yet almost completely incoherent sentence and this paragraph, which consists of shorter, yet only slightly less inscrutable sentences which are projecting a sense of academic grandiosity which is hardly borne out by the content.
This, then, is the ultimate paradox of good communication: Often times people have wonderful things to say but fail utterly in their attempts to communicate them. Other times, we must suffer through the most high-sounding and technically perfect writings only to realize that we've been led along a merry chase toward no real grand conclusion. Then again, I'd almost rather read an idiot's well written opinion than a genius's half-assed one.
Oh, and those words of wisdom? Yes, now is the time.
Every generation has complained about the one before and after it. This is the way of the world.
You didn't make an error, you made up a word.
Julia, you are absolutely correct. Thank you for pointing out my mistake. Even self-professed grammar-sticklers and professional writers make errors like these. Which is why waxing poetic about the good old days is inherently flawed. Poor grammar is not an attribute of the current college-aged generation; it's something you see in people of any age.
Hippocracy?.... I think you meant HYPOCRISY, dear.
A mistake like "historical makers" for "historical markers" is more in the nature of a TYPO, something that came out wrong on the page because your finger or eye accidentally slipped over something that you DO know how to spell.
A spelling mistake like "hippocracy" substituted for "hypocrisy," on the other hand, is an example of simple ignorance.
How embarrassing for you.
Hippocracy...government by hippopotami?
You wrote, "Many of my students demonstrate an indifference to proper grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure...."
You forgot to mention their indifference to history, etiquette and morality.
Yeah but he has an excuse: He's senile.
(So am I).
Will, as a stickler for proper grammar and a graduate from the Communication program at the College of Charleston, I'm appalled at the hippocracy and misguided attempt at admonishment to my generation. I'd like to point out the fact the there are grammatical mistakes in your own article. Firstly, you work for the College of Communication, not "Communications" as you cite in your article. I'd also like bring your attention to the fourth paragraph and the spelling error you made in the sentence referring to "historical makers." Surely, you meant "historical markers?" Please take a look in the reflective glass hung on the wall of your ivory tower and you will see that your own generalization is staring right back.
Let's eat Grandma.
Let's eat, Grandma.
"Hey, guess what."
"Yes, guess what!"
"Ok, I'll guess."
Without proper punctuation, this conversation would make no sense, and for a writer, it makes all the difference in the world.
Dear Mr. Moredock,
Language May be the single greatest invention humanity has come up with. It allows us to share our high level of intelligence with others. It is why things like fire and the wheel caught on. It is how we were able to sail across the oceans and walk on the moon. But language is a fluid idea. Look how many different languages there are, all of them started with a neanderthal pointing at something and grunting distinctly. Then another repeated the grunt and it became a word. Latin is a dead language, but not really because it birthed english, french, and spanish. Spanish birthed portuguese. French and english combined to make creole. How many other examples are there all stemming from that first word? Proper english may be dying and punctuation may be going with it, but nothing is forever. Change may be hard for you Mr. Moredock, but its why dinosaurs don't rule the Earth. The hardest things are the most necessary. I would have thought that you, as a writer, would appreciate the evolution of language more. How many times have you written about technology? Would the terms email or cell phone have meant anything to you or your readers thirty years ago? Ain't was not a word thirty years ago and it is not a word today, unless you talk to one of the three hundred million people in this country that use it. But if it makes you feel any better I did take a quick scan through this post for any blatantly obvious punctuation errors before I hit enter. I hope that I got most of them for you. =)
Did someone say strippers?
I consider myself somewhat of a grammar and spelling Nazi, but I don't lose sleep over the expression "Guess what?" It's kind of like we were told in school that "y'all" isn't a word, and neither is "ain't", but both are accepted parts of the southern vocabulary. Quite honestly I use all of these slang words/expressions in my writings. When it's done consistently and on purpose, I think it adds character to one's writing style.
I could not agree with you more, Mr. Moredock. I also am a teacher on the college level, and some days I worry about our future leaders, who seem to neither know nor care about analytical thought, much less proper writing skills. Not knowing the difference between a statement ("Guess what.") and a question (Can you guess what?") is the precursor to knowing not the difference between a fact and an opinion. I explain it this way to my students: strive for clarity and effectiveness. Sometimes, that comma changes the meaning of your sentence. ("We invited the strippers, J.F.K., and Stalin." vs. "We invited the strippers, J.F.K. and Stalin.") Once they catch up to what used to be eighth-grade English standards, then hopefully they will learn to appreciate the artistry of the written word.
Grammar is important, but so is not missing the forest for the trees. I'm more concerned with teaching clarity, paragraph construction, and varying vocabulary in my classroom than the sort of prescriptivist dogma that seems to bother Will here. Sure, "guess what" is used far more often as an imperative statement rather than as a true question, but I find it hard to believe that this "mistake" confuses anybody.
Love this article! The Kanye reference made me chuckle.
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