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H2H: Is Technology Ruining People’s Writing Skills

Eric Bailey
Startup Stock Photos

Parkin: Proper Writing is a Forgotten Skill

Writing haz been a big part of our lives for generations. No matter if u r writing 4 a class paper, a resume, texting bffs or sending emails 2 professors, writing is constantly used in our everyday lives. As more and more people post on FB, Insta or Twitter, something quite shocking, tbh, haz begun to occur. Spelling, grammar & proper sentence structure haz been completely forgotten by humanity, or so it wood seem. either we r abbreviating words like lol, wtf and nvm, spelling words wrong like l8ter, cuz, who and whom or simply forgetting that the 1st word of every sentence is capitalized and that periods belong at the end of a sentence to avoid the sentence from running on forever cuz when we do that we tend 2 get off topic + right information that is not even relevant to the point.

Proper writing skills are becoming a lost art. Society has become lazy with communication, and it needs to change. Proper communication through writing is more crucial and necessary than ever before. Grammar, spelling and correct sentence structure can either help or damage professional careers and can help make communication with others clear and easily understood. Let me explain how.

Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover, in a recent Harvard Business Review blog, put the importance of proper writing skills in obvious terms. He said, “If you are a native English speaker and never learned the difference between it’s and its, especially given access to Google, an employer might wonder what else you’ve failed to learn that might be useful.”

Unfortunately, it’s common these days to think that misspelling or abbreviating words are a cute and fast way to get points across. However, when it comes to professional careers, those abbreviations and lack of proper grammar can lead to unemployment. Companies, no matter what the business, strive to portray a professional and reliable appearance. Communication through emails, billboards, advertisements and contracts require written communication. If poor grammar, spelling or sentence structure is seen by the public, that business’s credibility decreases.

Writing and speaking correctly makes one look more credible, not just in the professional field, but in friendly communication as well. Renee O’Farrell says that “Whether you are messaging a colleague, writing to your manager or crafting the company newsletter, your writing skills can boost or hinder your career easily, even if you do not have a ‘writing’ profession. Basically, writing skills make a difference in how you come across.”

Appearances don’t just apply to visual first glances. Due to our technological generation, how individuals are seen by others applies to media encounters as well. How one writes to another individual can change how they view you personally and your education.

To give an example, imagine you get a text from an individual you are quite attracted to and interested in. Excitement would build inside you due to that fact that both of you are starting to communicate more. However, what if all they ever sent you were short, abbreviated and quick responses like “thx,” “lol,” “not much. u?” or just simply, “hey. waz up?” This would be considered “small talk” and not genuine communication. Eventually, you would get tired of their lack of effort to connect with you, and you would stop texting them back. What the other individual has made you feel was that you were not worth trying to truly connect with. You felt unimportant in their eyes. As a result, their written communication has made you view them as one who does not value your time.

This type of communication can also lead to individuals jumping to conclusions and misunderstanding each other. Communicating through writing can be challenging at times due to the fact that we cannot see others faces or hear the tones of their voices. Arguments have started among individuals due to short comments, typos, sarcastic phrases being read in rude tones, misunderstanding sentences and more.

Johnson College of Communication released an article regarding this lack of communication. They say that “Without good grammar, clear communication is nearly impossible. Proper grammar keeps you from being misunderstood while expressing your thoughts and ideas.” They continue by adding that, “Other people consider good grammar to be a mark of intelligence and education. Don’t allow strangers to form negative impressions of you based on your poor communication skills.”

On a bigger scale, recent national and international events have made it obvious that we, as a nation, lack the quality of communication that leads to understanding one another and people from other countries. If you need one specific example, feel free to scroll through President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. This is a time when clear understanding at home and abroad is vital to our society. If we are to understand one another through business, nationally and intimately, it must begin with good writing skills.

William B. Bradshaw, college president and Ph.D. graduate from St. Andrews, states that “Grammar, regardless of the country or the language, is the foundation for communication — the better the grammar, the clearer the message, the more likelihood of understanding the message’s intent and meaning. That is what communication is all about.”

Written communication is losing its value in today’s society. However, it is more crucial now than it has ever been. At a young age, our teachers taught us the importance of proper writing skills and the use of proper grammar. We must heed their teachings if we are to become successful in our careers and our personal lives. Whether it be writing with technology or a pencil, your future success with careers and relationships is in your own hands.

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Patience: Proper English Is Not Dying, It’s Evolving

One of the major criticisms of younger generations is our laziness in language. With tweet character limits and text messaging, our words are continuously chopped up into bits, and we appear to have poor grammar. We also appear to be losing our ability to speak eloquently. While these things are considered flaws, they’re actually a fascinating example of the evolution of language, which has been occurring since the dawn of language itself.

First, we seem to be lacking punctuation, especially commas and periods. This appears lazy, but a lack of punctuation in social media has, in fact, become a form of punctuation. Punctuation is just a way of communicating the tone or nature of what a person is saying. If we can do that without punctuation, why bother?

If I’m telling a story and I ramble on and on without punctuation, the words merge together to express the nature of a continuous flow of words that convey an urgency to quickly tell the story. In instances like this, while it may be grammatically incorrect, you can almost read the narrator running out of breath. That’s the point. Each period or coma is like taking a breath. If I’m ranting, or quickly trying to communicate something of urgency, I will be taking as few breaths as possible.

Another example is using the word “like” when telling a story, which young adults get called out for constantly. The word “like” allows the storyteller to summarize an event or dialogue without having to quote word-for-word and still get the point across. “Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice was like, I can’t love you because you got my sister dumped. You look down on my family, and your pride is stupid cause no one likes you.” As opposed to having to memorize the entire quote from the book, the example paraphrases it. Using the word “like,” makes it clear that these were not the actual words used.

Due to character limits and communication through instant messaging, people are actually getting better at communicating their points in more efficient ways. U may b annoyed w/ how this is spelled but u stl know wat Im saying. In fact, fascinatingly, some of these shortened words convey different meanings, especially for the word “what.” “What” “wat” and “wut” all have different uses. “What” is typically used at the beginning of a literal question and in more traditional cases. “Wat” is less of a question and more of an exclamation that doesn’t require an answer. “Wut” does require a response, but is meant to show extreme confusion beyond what the traditional spelling could convey.

Language only remains the same over time if it’s dead. If you were to see words from old English, you probably wouldn’t understand the context. Old English and Middle English are both fundamentally different languages from modern English. I think most of us would agree that our current model of English is easier to use than what people were used years ago. So what’s wrong with continuing to keep an open mind to further the evolution?

On top of everything, it’s important to bear in mind that English and writing classes are still required in high school and college. Essays are still assigned, resumes still need to be made, and so our abilities to write properly are not diminishing, regardless of whether we utilize them. The point of language is to have the tools to share thoughts, whether that be through abbreviated or traditional means. Just because people now have the ability to express thoughts without needing to spell them out completely doesn’t mean we can’t use proper grammar if we need or want to.

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  • K

    KieraFeb 26, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Playing online is wholly not the same as enjoying in a real space using real people.