Spot the deliberate error

Blogging: Is perfect grammar really that important?

Spot the deliberate error
Spot the deliberate error

The BBC recently launched a new programme which attempts to seek out Britain’s best young orator. Among the issues raised by the series is that of technology (read: the Internet and texting) and its effect on the English language. Whilst some champion tradition and mourn the death of grammar in the country’s youth, I say we should stop being so wary of change.

After all, I’m sure Shakespeare received much criticism for his habit of making words up, and look where we are now — hundreds of words coined by the Great Bard are in widespread use in modern English.

I’m not saying that poor grammar and spelling should be encouraged. How many times have you tried to read a page of text but utterly failed to comprehend the meaning behind it due to the God-awful sea of indecipherable text language? In my view, once too often.

You will always get these — it’s an inevitibility that a medium as open as the Internet would be filled with incomprehensible blog posts and utterly unfathomable essays. We should instead look at the good parts associated with such a medium, namely kids getting into writing as a medium whereas before they would just sit in front of Chucklevision or something.

The point I am trying to make is thus: find your own style and stick to it. Proofread your work, but don’t send yourself absolutely batty with endless revisions of the same old posts. If grammar is not your strong point, don’t sweat it: as long as you are understood and can get your point across, that’s all that matters. Perfect Oxford English is, for most of us, an unachievable fantasy.

Illarterate

I know nothing about art; as a rule, 'modern' graphic design does not appeal to me. I like to write in the first person because I do not want to be someone else.

Influences: public toilet cubicle drawings/slogans; WordArt posters in Market Street shop windows; Mega-Zine; bootleg vinyl artwork; Janne Suni; Pink Floyd; whoever is responsible for the Max Headroom hijacking incident; Collie, the Inept Reviewer.

2 thoughts on “Blogging: Is perfect grammar really that important?

  1. Ben Yagoda (“The Voice on the Page”), makes a good point about strict grammar: It’s unbelievably boring. That straight-and-narrow, middle-of-the-road style that most teachers would like us to adopt is the foremost ways to bore your readers to tears; unless you’re writing a technical manual.

    On the other hand, it’s important to demonstrate that a writer has a good grasp of grammar and can wield a vocabulary consisting of at least a few multi-syllabic words; then when they make stuff up you know they’re being purposefully funny and not just illiterate. A good writer should be able to do this seamlessly; the big words can play nice with the small words on the same page.

    The rules of grammar and the language itself are mutating so quickly that it’s hard to find two people who agree on where a semicolon should go. As long as the semicolon is used to indicate a longer pause and separation in a sentence, and as long as it’s used this way consistently, who gives a rat’s behind whether it’s technically 100% correct?

    While I agree that it’s good that kids are writing, I think it shows how dismally vacuous some of them really are. Where are the critical thinking skills? Where’s the planning? Where’s the reader’s point of view? Where’s the love?!

  2. blogging is purely logging your personal thoughts, travails, encounters, et al. it is not about journalistic styles. but then it is still important, i believe, that each blogger has to make an effort to blog with sense. then again, it still is subjective. what exactly ‘with sense’ mean?

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