Thursday, September 18, 2008

And where did you learn how to spell?

I was reading the September 22 issue of People magazine today (yes, I like gossip magazines, they've my guilty pleasure. I've come to terms with it), and under the "Hot Downloads" section the reviewer recommends downloading Sarah McLachlan's "U Want Me 2". Well, I won't. No way. Do you want to know why? It's not because I have anything against Sarah McLachlan personally. She doesn't sing my style of music, but I'm sure that it's a great song. I just won't download it because the title isn't spelled out properly. Which is one of my big pet peeves. I mean, come on people, I'm sure that you can spell. How hard is it to write out "You Want Me To". Not that hard, right? I didn't think so.

The thing is, Sarah's not even a tween artist. I realize that tweens these days are all about texting, and that with texting the more condensed it is the better, but even tweens need to learn to spell! I think that it's just pure laziness on our part. If they don't learn to spell now, what will happen when they are in their 20's and 30's and are running our newspapers and writing our books?

(Sample newspaper article from 15 years from now) 2Day in the news 2 peple wre cot br8king in2 a house downtown. They r being held by the po po's for further questiong.

I shudder to think about it. Ugh. I think that I'll go and read a book now. Something in longhand.

1 comment:

  1. First comment here (by me)! Whee!

    The phenomenon of texting and abbreviations used was the subject of a recent study. It's not as bad as you think! Only about 10% of messages are abbreviated, and sometimes even older people, who never had the opportunity to learn how to misspell, use more abbreviations than younger folks (in their defence, their probability that their life is ending sooner is greater, and thus they have less time to waste on proper spelling).

    When you get charged per txt msg, and anything that has more than about 150 letters gets charged as more than one message, there is incentive for abbreviating. For me, if I use txt abbreviations at all, it's because I'm too impatient to get the 9 button keypad to cooperate with my 26 letter lexicon.

    Anyway, provided these kids have good teachers who won't let 2 stand as an abbreviation for 'to' or 'too', there isn't much likelihood that the damage will be permanent. In fact, when I learned how to write papers in high school, I was told not to use contractions like can't, won't, I'm, we're, etc. which are far less objectionable than "U want me 2". If I couldn't use well established contractions like these, I'm certain that more recent text message abbreviations would not be allowed.

    I don't think Sarah McLachlan can pull off the cutesy spelling, though. She's too serious of a musician. Perhaps she is trying to "show her playful side" but it comes off as trying too hard, much like Stephen Harper pretending he likes to kiss babies for the camera while campaigning for an election.