Monday, September 8, 2008

MANDATE JUSTIFICATION PERSONIFIED

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Windsor Star last Friday, September 5, 2008. It reflects the reason why I write this blog.


Re: letters to the editor from Dave Banwell and Krysten Grimes.

Because I have been writing a daily blog for the last year and a half that is highly critical of professional writers and newscasters, particularly those working for the local media who make grammar or punctuation mistakes, I cannot resist commenting on two “Letters to the Editor”.
I challenge the premise implied by Mr. Banwell that regionalism allows varying rules for grammar and spelling so there is no right or wrong in the use of language. To accept this is to say errors are acceptable. Regional usage does not alter correctness. Evolution of language must always better communication, not drag it down into some abyss of expediency.
We should strive to be correct at all times because communication is based on understanding. If communication is incorrect, understanding is impeded or non-existent. We should not accept the basest level of language usage as evolution because that notion panders to and promotes ignorance.
Ms. Grimes is absolutely correct when she says that if we accept commonly misspelled words as “variants” no one will ever learn to spell and use grammar properly. I applaud her for such a point of view.
I work on very simple premises: if a word is misspelled, I cannot understand the word; if grammar is incorrect, I cannot comprehend the sentence; if punctuation is incorrect, I might misinterpret the message.
I, as a reader or listener, should not be bombarded with a constancy of error and then be told that that is evolution or communication. I should not have to intuit the meaning being presented. It takes some effort and some pride to communicate correctly. I do not accept backsliding in the name of expediency or evolution.
We work at being the very best we can be in sports, in performing and when we are working. We should also work to the same ideal when we are communicating.

Michael Lyons


ANONYMOUS COMMENT

The following comment was sent to this blog on Friday by ANONYMOUS. Read it and determine the number of errors it contains. Correct the errors.

"I think you must hate Shakespeare. He spelled the same words differently and made up over 1700 words. This over a timespan of how many years? Funnily enough, the audiences of the day were able to understand what he was saying, apparently unimpeded. Perhaps you are just dense!!"
Anonymous, "Blog Comment", Friday, September 5, 2008.


TODAY'S WORD

Today's word is "contemptuousness".
Define "contemptuousness" and use it in a sentence.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shakespeare's audience wasn't READING his works, they were LISTENING to it. They wouldn't have heard his spelling variances.

Shakespeare didn't have "spell check". I'll cut him some slack. There is no excuse these days for spelling errors.

just.like.music said...

Very True. To the first anonymous writer, I think you're a little confused about who the dense one is. I'm writing an opinion piece on spelling usage/ mistakes, particularly in the media. This blog just emphasises what I think most of us agree on, that spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes shouldn't be ignored and that our english language, both spoken and written, can be improved upon (especially within the media). I've been speaking english my entire life and it's only now, in college that i'm realizing just how complicated the English language really is and I know that there may be many punctuation or grammar errors in this comment that i'm writing, but i'm not being ignorant about it and choosing to just accept that it's okay. I'm actually in the process of conciously perfecting my writing (and speaking) because i'm going into a field where I find it necessary to be able to speak and write correctly. Shakespeares spelling mistakes is absolutely no excuse for us to use. We're in 2008, let's get over it.