We live in an age of technology where connectivity and communications have effectively shrunk the world. It’s now so easy to stay connected to friends and family. With the rise of social media, instant messaging services, chat engines, blogs, yada yada yada – anyone and everyone with an Internet connection can use these services to great effect at lower costs. That’s part of the beauty of it, but it also has an ugly side.
It took me only recently to notice that the level of English used around the web has been effectively deteriorating. And it’s not an overnight process either. It takes a while before slang words and their effective usage become common place but that’s not what I’m ranting about. I am lamenting the blatant disregard of proper basic grammar (which also happens to include punctuation and spelling) when writing for the web or anything else for that matter. I understand the need to be quick in our fast-paced lifestyles, but even so it’s no excuse for throwing grammar out the door. Writing lets you get your message across but if it’s hard to understand, your target audience may just spend more time trying to make sense of the message before eventually giving up. I’ve experience times such as those and honestly, it’s gotten to the point of great irritation – even rage.
Look at it this way; it took a lot of time and effort for learned men and women to lay down the rules for writing in any language. These language rules define our civilised evolution and by disregarding them, in my opinion is an insult to their genius and dedication.
I really feel that English teachers, especially in Malaysia where the majority of students are bi-lingual (in some cases tri-lingual or more), should make it a point to teach the students the importance of using proper grammar so that they have a concrete foundation for written and verbal communication. And it shouldn’t stop at schools. Everyone regardless of age should practice proper grammar to lessen the exacerbation of the English language. Time and practice is all it takes to form good writing habits. Remember, writing and speaking in proper English is not an unachievable feat.