Reading the paper today while convalescing from a nasty flu, I came upon an article that confirmed my fears of a few years ago. The English language is dying a slow and horrible death.
Feel free to call me a fuddy duddy or old-fashioned, but I am a strong believer in the Queens English. I shake my head when passing a fast food outlet and I feel temped to use the “Drive Thru” or feel the need to go to “KFC”.
Why as a people do we feel the need to be so rushed that we can’t even use proper English or the proper name for a business? At first what I thought was just poor grammar for the price of a quick dollar has trickled into our daily life and sadly into our educational system.
The University of Waterloo in Ontario, requires its applicants to take and pass a basic English literacy test. Sadly a full third of those tested are failing. Now these are supposed to be high school students who earned top marks to even be considered by the U of W.
Students who are frequent users of such internet social sites such as Twitter seem to be among the offenders. At Simon Frasier University the director of academic advising, Khan Hemani reports that professors are horrified that academic papers are handed in with web jargon such as smiley faces and abbreviations. Other offenders that rank high in the list are “cuz” instead of because, and “alot” instead of a lot.
In my humble opinion we could blame the academic proving grounds that teach our children. But really as a society we have let our collective guards down.
When McDonald’s needs to become “McD’s” there is something fundamentally wrong with the pace of our society. Yes, I know that over time the more a short form is used the more acceptable it becomes. But really why do we need the short form in the first place?
Language is really one piece of the puzzle that can enrich our culture, would Shakespeare have made such a great impact on literature, if Romeo would have texted Juliet? Somehow “Romeo oh Romeo, LOL my fair Romeo…BRB Phone”, just doesn’t have the same bite.