Is it just my imagination, or is written English slipping in quality, even among writers? Is it that less attention is paid to the end results than to the actual “getting it out there to be read by others”? I just returned to my blog after taking a jaunt around WordPress Land; the blogs I visited, I went to with good will, interested to see what others are thinking and writing about. But I have to admit I couldn’t understand half of what was written. Half. Now, I’m an English teacher and writer and all that, and yes, I’ve been living in a non-English speaking environment for a quarter of a century. But has it really deteriorated to the point of not only miscommunication, but of downright gibberish at times? I’m not looking down my nose at those who are trying to communicate (something); I am simply throwing out this question into the cosmos and asking if I’m the only one who’s noticed this?
Where is the satisfaction of a job well done in a sentence that looks like it was fed through BabbleFish a few dozen times? Where is the pride in having written something well, communicated the heart of the matter, and allowed others a glimpse into the mind of the writer without confusing them with poor spelling, syntax and punctuation? I find myself editing more than reading sometimes, and that does not bode well for the writer. As a writer I take my job seriously, in all its aspects, from research, to presentation. If we as writers don’t set a good example to follow, how will the next generation know right from wrong, or rite from wong?
A few simple rules I follow:
1) Read your text aloud before you hit that “post” button.
2) Have a good dictionary available (such as onelook.com), and check those words you’re unsure of.
3) Do NOT trust a spell-checker! Learn the basic rules of spelling, punctuation and syntax, and if you’re still not sure, double-check online with reliable sources.
Let’s swim against the tide of laziness and stagnation in writing; let’s expand our vocabulary instead of relying on the same ol’ same ol’; let’s set an example of good writing, even though it may not be perfect every time.