Writing, author, books, editorial, philosophy, kindle

Sister Semicolon and Uncle Underscore

For the sake of clarification, the title is derived from an activity I did some time ago. It involved advice to the grammatically challenged and my title was similar to this one.

One of the sites I recently visited talked about reaching out to the “poeple.” Without a lot of work, it’s easily assumed that the person doing this copywriting was trying to say “people.” Either they haven’t established a reliable editor or it’s a country for whom English isn’t a first language. It doesn’t matter. I continue to be surprised at the junk I see published.

Yes, I know that I’ve been on this bandwagon before and that some get tired of hearing about the importance of being right. But if you don’t remember or need a refresher, it is crucial that we pay attention. It’s not a surprise that our language has evolved or devolved since the first people landed at Plymouth Rock. Why do we need to help the process?

As an educator, I am quite particular about the language that my kids use in their essays or paragraphs. That is not age or grade specific. If you are going to write for others to see, it should have the correct punctuation, spelling and grammar. I hear you asking why. If we want to continue communicating with each other, we need to have prototypes and standards. Otherwise, we can choose our own spelling. Words, sentences, paragraphs and entire documents will not be understood.

For instance, if you saw “poeple” or “taht” or “beleiv” in the middle of other non-words, would you have a clue as to what they meant? Maybe. We see all sorts of junk on social media that suggests we are geniuses if we can read a series of gibberish words and know what they mean. Why needs more proof than that of the genius status?

The English language is worth preserving. If you object to my editing, proofreading or correcting, that’s entirely up to you. But words are the most viable tools we have for communicating across distances short and long. If I commit errors, they are not by intention and you may assume that I am always hoping for correctness. Shalom.

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