I can recall back in college I wrote an essay about the internet and how it would change our lives. I wrote that the biggest change would be the amount that the average person writes in their lifetime. I believed, and still do, that, with email and web forums, the internet created for the first time a place where amateur writers could freely express their ideas. Though I don't have any statistics to back up this claim, I do believe my prediction was correct, and I'm sure most of you would agree.

There was one thing, however, that I didn't anticipate-- the deterioration of English's written grammar. I'm assuming it began with chat rooms and instant messages, where a quick response outweighs grammatical quality. The end product became a hodgepodge of phonetic abbreviations (wat r u doing), acronyms (imo, btw, brb, g2g), and lower case letters (i am fine), some of which is virtually indecipherable unless you are in the know.

This may be suitable for chat rooms and instant messages, where part of the goal is to communicate as quickly as possible, but now this new English "grammar" has settled into other areas of the internet, such as forums, blogs, and personal web pages, where time is certainly not of the essence. Chat room conversations and instant messages disappear shortly after they are posted, but now people are posting for posterity their messages written with these new grammar "rules" in forums where the message is saved indefinitely. In the end, these posts simply look like they were written by someone who couldn't pass their elementary grammar class. As an English teacher, they're quite literally painful to read.

IMHO, dis iz a sine of da destruction of our written language, but im obviously biased on da issue. so wat do u think? iz dis sumthin we shud b ashamed of, or has ben franklins dream of a simpler english language finally cum of age?
i think you got a point there, even if i think a little bit different of the whole topic. there are, like usual, pros and cons. first, you are of course right that this false grammar shouldn´t be used everywhere. computer games and chatrooms, that´s all right. but in forums like this one, i hate to see that stuff, because for me (not a native english speaker nor a addicted to videogames player) it is occasionally hard to even get the message of what is written.
but at which point i disagree with you, is that because of internet the english language would be going down the drain, so to say. i held, that internet makes english even better and more important, because lots of people are reading and writing more in english than before. even friends of mine, who´re not that capable of the language are doing this and get better as time passes by. and this forum, for instance, is not notorious for it "abbreviate-writers", i barely saw the "short-but-false-english" here, and it´s the same in many other forums (but forums for gamers).
Timbo20first, you are of course right that this false grammar shouldn´t be used everywhere. computer games and chatrooms, that´s all right.
Yeah, it's perfect and sensible is chat rooms and instant messages. Even I use it for that.
but in forums like this one, i hate to see that stuff, because for me (not a native english speaker nor a addicted to videogames player) it is occasionally hard to even get the message of what is written.
It can sometimes leave me a bit confused as well if used too excessively.
but at which point i disagree with you, is that because of internet the english language would be going down the drain, so to say. i held, that internet makes english even better and more important, because lots of people are reading and writing more in english than before. even friends of mine, who´re not that capable of the language are doing this and get better as time passes by.
Well, that's an excellent point-- one I would never have thought of, being a native English speaker.
...and this forum, for instance, is not notorious for it "abbreviate-writers", i barely saw the "short-but-false-english" here, and it´s the same in many other forums (but forums for gamers).
Well, to be fair, you did just write an entire post without a single capital letter. Emotion: smile

No, but seriously, you're right, it's not rampant on any serious forums, but it does pop up fairly often, enough so to make one forum I visited ban the use of it.

I guess it's just a peeve of mine.
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CuckoosnestIMHO, dis iz a sine of da destruction of our written language, but im obviously biased on da issue. so wat do u think? iz dis sumthin we shud b ashamed of, or has ben franklins dream of a simpler english language finally cum of age?
This one did make me laugh my head off. Emotion: big smile I mean, the manner you wrote it in (all those diz, iz, da, etc).
Cuckoosnest
Timbo20...and this forum, for instance, is not notorious for it "abbreviate-writers", i barely saw the "short-but-false-english" here, and it´s the same in many other forums (but forums for gamers).
Well, to be fair, you did just write an entire post without a single capital letter. Emotion: smile

This is what I was thinking about, too, while reading the post. Emotion: wink

I'm not a native speaker, but I hate it when people start being so lazy that can't even make an effort to write in English properly. Maybe someone thinks it's cool and modern to use those abbreviations and acronyms, but I think it's just a sign of disrespect to people to whom we talk (e.g. 'hu r u?').

As to me, I use abbreviations such as BTW and BRB while chatting only, when I really have the lack of time, and sometimes I use IMO or IMHO in forums, but very seldom.

Cuckoosnest, you know, some chat rooms try to incline members to write in a proper way. For example, the team of moderators at [url=http://www.thechatpage.com/]The Chat Page[/url] may sometimes ban users for a persistent manner to write carelessly. Rarely, but it happens. So, you're not the only one who doesn't like that way of using English.

CuckoosnestI guess it's just a peeve of mine.
well, i don´t think that the whole thing is just a nuisance to you. and i think it is great that someone thinks the way you do. i held that there are lots of guys who´re barely capable of english but using so many shortcuts. there should be more like you who think about the topic
I find the phonetic abbreviations of English irritating, but I am far more aggravated and worried about the poor grammar in items that should be edited. In my opinion, any article, whether online or in local, national, or international magazines and newspapers, should be edited before printed or posted. Tonight, for instance, I saw a college sports headline misuse the word "pass" when "past" would have been correct. College... higher education... where is the editor? In fact, now that I think of it, I see these mistakes quite often in printed and e-books as well.

I once taught "copy design and preparation" which included proofreading. I know from looking at my industry that a great number of printing establishments have eliminated the position of proofreader. It's more cost effective for them to expect the graphic or production artist to catch mistakes. And let's face it, a great number of their customers have become so used to mistakes in online and printed medium that they probably don't even see the mistakes the artists miss. After I started chatting, I realized that most American's don't know which "there" they needed, which "where" to use or what "your" is appropriate. After reading the wrong thing so many times online, I believe even fewer catch the errors now than used to.
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CuckoosnestThere was one thing, however, that I didn't anticipate-- the deterioration of English's written grammar. I'm assuming it began with chat rooms and instant messages, where a quick response outweighs grammatical quality. The end product became a hodgepodge of phonetic abbreviations (wat r u doing), acronyms (imo, btw, brb, g2g), and lower case letters (i am fine), some of which is virtually indecipherable unless you are in the know.

That's why I prefer forums than chat rooms (hey, it rhymes! Emotion: big smile ).