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Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009, 06:40 pm
The decay of English--blamed on bloggers!

My work's office newsletter pulled up this tidbit from the 1 May 2006 edition of the Guardian: Internet culture spells doom for strait-laced orthographers

The Oxford English Corpus has found that "dozens of traditional phrases are now more commonly misspelled than rendered correctly in written English [on the internet]." Looking through the list, I find to my shame I am guilty of some of these infractions myself.

But I remain philosophical about it, as English is a living language that will keep evolving and changing for many decades to come. I only really rankle at manglings of English that don't make sense, like the greengrocer's apostrophe. I'm seeing more and more incorrect English creep into newspapers (who needs proofreaders when you have computers?) and while it annoys me it's important that I remind myself that
am rapidly becoming the one guilty of misusing English, because I'm not keeping up with changes through common usage.

Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
mejeep: ferrets' meeps

I too feel offended with the recent mangling of the English language, particularly since it's not becoming MORE descriptive or enabling better communication but show showing the speaker (or writer's) laziness. Scroll to the bottom of my web page for some relief from that, particularly Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation


Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 09:09 am (UTC)

Oh yea, I used to hang out with the AT&T documentation group. I have only 1 or 2 of their newsletters for encouraging better technical writing. Sadly, I have NONE of their "ZOOM" posters for Zero Occurrence Of Misuse when they were carefully defending their Unix Operating System trademark in mot just manuals but advertising, technical memos, even emails.
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Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)

You mean they spelled it incorrectly? ;-)

Actually, they called attention to that themselves. Believe it or not, "strait-laced" is now the standard way of spelling it, and "straight-laced" is the variant (not wrong, just an alternative). Historically, you'd be 100% correct, but this is an example of how language degrades evolves. Online discourse is only speeding the process up.

Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)

Eh, many of those 'mistakes' existed long before the internet became widespread.

I've been spelling it just desserts for years. Then again, I always took the meaning to be something a person would have to eat, much like crow or humble pie.

My guess is while a few of those aren't in the Oxford dictionary, others may have the allegedly incorrect spellings. I should check some of them out in Merriam-Webster.

Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)

No wai!   I never realized the correct word was "deserts" (as opposed to "desserts") until now!   Thanks!
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Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)

I think I will always spell it "straight".   I don't like change much.

Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)

all i can say is - rotflmao, innit?

Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)

seriously - I'm bnot too bothered about trifling things like this - now, those who don't know the difference between there, their and they're, and your and you're really bug me!! and I've seen lots of people write "rediculous"

Sat, Apr. 25th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)

English is supposed to be the most difficult language to learn.

When I went to school the always used to say spell it as it sounds.

Well then how do you spell Phantom, if you were to spell it as it sounds the it would be Fantom and that's wrong of course.

Spelling in school's now is not considered as important as it used to be, now they tend not to correct spelling mistakes as long as the word sounds right even if its spelled wrong.

This means when young people write there resume to get a job it can be very hard to read