10 September 2009

Internet Speak Killed The English Star

by Morgan Barnhart

I tried making the title a parody of 'Video killed the radio star', but failed. This is a blog expanding on what Peevish Penman Editor, Carrie Bailey said over here.

Anyway, I haz relizd tht intrnt has keeld gramr & spelng. I no gud spelr but I at lest no how to spel, 'you'.

Ok, wow, that sentence took me about 10 minutes to write. Trying to find ways to misspell words does not come easily. That is why I've never understood why people find it easier to write in shorthand rather than just typing out the whole word. Example: 'You' has turned into 'u'. I mean, it's two more letters, come on people!


I'm not trying to judge, really, I'm not. I spell words incorrectly and make grammar mistakes all the time. But it's usually for a word that I don't use that often and I immediately fix the mistake. It's natural to not know how to spell a few words here and there, nothing wrong with that.

But if you're too lazy to spell 'you' or 'are' when asking, “How are you”...then...get out. Just get out.

Seriously, though, I read an article that basically said internet speak is actually a good thing and helps us evolve. I mean, since Merriam-Webster decided to make a few words from the internet into official words, then internet speak is obviously A-OK, right?

I disagree. While Merriam-Webster may say it's ok, English teachers are getting frustrated. Even though it also says in the article that teachers reprimand students who use internet speak in the classroom, does that really do anything? I mean, really. The teacher can't follow them home and reprimand them whenever they get online.

What really bothered me about this article the most is the ending when it says, "So while your English teachers may want to hold the dividing lines between proper and improper word usage taught, they should just chill (not an accepted use of that word, at least for the moment) because widespread usage eventually overrides accepted grammatical conventions."

He's basically saying to give up on trying to fix the mistakes because in time, we're all going to be saying and typing incorrectly and then it'll be acceptable.

I think it's great that our language evolves, but when it begins to dumb us down, that's where I'm old fashioned and would at least like for us to distinguish when is and is not alright to speak the way of the internet.

Am I alone in this thought process? Please tell me I'm not just a raving fool.


  1. Raving fool? No, but I don't think they mean that we should give up on correcting grammar though it sounds like it.

    I'd like to think that they're suggesting that we should adapt to the changes in our language as they come. The internet has sped the process up a bit.

    Still, standards are standards, which are agreed upon by a group of people. No one can go making up their own words or spellings and expect to be understood.

    Communication is the bottom line.

  2. I like that you said, "Communication is the bottom line", because I can't even understand internet speak half the time.

    I think changes are definitely good.

  3. This post reminds me of the movie "Idiocracy" with Luke Wilson. It actually scares me a little that such laziness in communicating with each other is so pervasive. (Yes, I know I use a lot of big words, but I use them when speaking, too. It's just who I am. I developed the habit at about age 10) As a (hopefully) future college professor, I don't think I will be able to accept papers laden with such deliberate misspellings, and I am sure that it will cause me no end of grief, but, come on, people! Get a grip and pay attention in school! That's all I have to say. Except: great conversation piece, Morgan!

  4. Yeah, Idiocracy. Ha, funny.

  5. Now I need to see that movie. Thanks for your thoughts, Lyssa! It's nice to know that a future college professor won't stand for the misspellings and what-not. =)