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.