Write first for yourself ... only then can you write for others. I have a question for you. Does good spelling and grammar mean anything to you?
I seem to be confused and I don't think I'm alone. Our country is full of higher education institutions that teach literacy and the art of prose. Yet the very same student who pays tens of thousands of dollars to learn the mechanics and music of authorship, then writes an email, or even a thesis, riddled with sloppy errors and "grunt grammar."
Now I realize we are basically in a two-world text society these days. What exactly is that, you ask? In one world we expect our book authors, magazine article writers, and other literary luminaries to display excellent writing skills and spell most everything properly (although I strive for the everything, I know accidents happen ...).
On the other hand (literally), we have our ubiquitous cell phones and iPods, swiftly texting in monosyllables and acronyms that bear little-to-no resemblance to proper English (or whatever language you happen to speak). I know that "time is money" and writing in "cyberlanguage" is quicker (though not easier for those of us who learned how to type -- on real typewriters).
What I'm concerned about is that the two worlds of writing will collide and explode, dissolving into our guttural utterances of eons ago, when language was new and naked ... and so were we. Before we spent tens of thousands of years honing, refining, and beautifying it/us.
How can we be so blind? Blind to what?
Another trend that seems to be aping our language degradation, is the "dumbing down" in moral and societal attitude that matches the lack of polished grammar. You see, it isn't that we simply created more sophisticated language as simply a matter of evolution -- it echoes our lifestyle of the eras.
Did our languages evolve along with our more gracious, developed and progressive societies? By the same token, if we allow our communications to revert to a form of its original basic structure, then shall we disintegrate into base human beings once again?
It would be my hope that the two-text worlds will be able to co-exist, complementing each other in their usefulness and power to influence. But where once, those who did not write for a living or avocation strived to learn or ultimately engage a proper editor, they now flaunt their ignorance and even scoff at the importance of elegant prose.
I say, life without elegance is merely a romp in the pigpen. What's the point? Why did we spend so many years learning to walk upright and creating our intricate (though admittedly, sometimes unwieldy) languages, only to drop back to the ground in a pile of muck?
So ... I ask the question again, "Does good grammar and spelling mean anything to you?" Feel free to comment here ... then head over to my page at SurveyMonkey.com for a few more questions to tell me what you think. (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=m_2fsI0mMOEu7pJxoA5y7z_2fw_3d_3d)
Is our language changing profoundly, in a way that it hasn't in a millenium? Is it for the better ... or worse? Inquiring minds want to know. :-)