Terrible grammar, apostrophes used to show a plural... hell in a handbasket, that’s what this world’s coming to. What is a handbasket, you ask? I have no idea—it sounds like a really little basket, making it kind of a strange receptacle for all of hell…or the whole world on its way into hell? This is just a very strange saying, and maybe it should be retired. After all, language is evolving, right?
I actually asked my AP Lang students to blog about this question the other week, and most of them took the approach of focusing on text-speech and other modern methods of lexical shorthand (most were pro-text speak). And then a few days ago I was watching Elementary, about a modern Sherlock Holmes, and he said:
|“Language is evolving, Watson, becoming a more effective version of itself. I love text shorthand. It's a way you to convey content and tone without losing velocity.”|
Okay, fine, smarty pants. But the scene that preceded this statement involved Watson being unable to read Sherlock's made-up text language. If the other person can’t understand your message, how have you not lost velocity? I for one will admit I have to look up at least one acronym every week or so. Now, I’m not the HBIC of all language, so I’ll go ahead and say ok 2 all the acros.
But now we really need to talk about the real reason no one can have nice things on the internet anymore—and that’s the spelling. I don’t mean spelling as typing tommorow instead of tomorrow. That’s a typo, really. None of the meaning is lost. But lately it seems like everywhere I virtually go there are people who just don't respect homonyms.
Here’s a reenactment of one of the scariest “heartfelt” responses I’ve seen lately:
Let's put K.C.'s unfortunate use of the word "bowel" down to fish-related grief.
But: Rest in piece? Really? Pause for five seconds before you hit submit, and I hope to heaven you'll see what’s wrong with this picture. As for hugzz, I guess follow your own conscience on that one.
You may have noticed I also included my own personal internet-hell meme above, the use—the misuse, actually—of awe. Example: here is a cute puppy:
What we want to say is, “Aw, isn’t he cute?” employing the interjection to indicate our pleasure at the puppy’s level of cuteness. Or if you follow the current trend of more is better, “Awwwwwww, isn’t he cute!?!”
If this puppy is causing you to tremble in awe (noun meaning fear or wonder)—you should probably go outside more.
My other recent favorite showed up on a blog for college students (the blog was linked to an article a friend posted on my FB wall).
The poster (remember: college) was ranting and mentioned that something was “for all intensive purposes” true.
Oh, dear lord. I say, slow down young man. Don’t listen to the American-TV Sherlock Holmes. Velocity should not be your goal. Or, if it is, remember, when you write something like “all intensive purposes,” those of us who still care about the words are always out here, judging you. And we are legion.