Surprising Thread of Flowering Weeds

While perusing some bulletin boards on IMDB to complete a film review, which I'll post in a few weeks (because the film is not a Keeper), I ran across these comments.

None of them have anything to do with the film I was researching, or any film for that matter, but I found these threads oddly entertaining and the last one enlightening. It was as if I'd been crawling through the vegetable garden pulling weeds, and discovered a bouquet of flowers growing where none had been previously planted.

First, beckmgt1 makes a self-censored declaration in regards to a small spitting-match between two previous commenters who were anon-hating each other for using improper English. The only changes I've made is uncensoring all the [bleep]'s:

Let me just throw in my two cents, to everyone who thinks writing correctly and speaking correctly are unimportant:

Society is going to hell in a hand basket, and it's because too many people out there are too fucking lazy to do anything right, including speaking or writing their own language correctly. The problem is not that there are some typos here and there, it's that people just don't care enough to even express their own thoughts clearly. And I'm not talking about just these message boards, which are kinda casual; I'm talking about out in the real world. Out there, if you try to tell me something, and with your own words you show that you are either too stupid or too lazy to learn to speak your own goddamn language correctly, then your opinion means nothing... because you have shown that you are lazy and/or stupid. Only a fool regards the opinions of a fool.

Wait, the word regard isn't a word you hear a lot of people say everyday, so maybe I should explain what it means... it means something like, "listen to; pay attention to." Am I being a smartass? I don't think so, because it has been argued very clearly by so many of you enlightened people out there, that knowing what English words mean is just too much to expect from everyone in an English speaking country. "Only Mr. 'Fancy Pants' knows big or not-commonly-used words." Well, if I treat you like an idiot, if I talk down to you, it's because you have suggested that I should; because knowing your own language is too much for you. Besides, I have no way of knowing what words are going to be too challenging for you. I’m using nothing but English words! Oh, but I’m being uppity by using words you don’t know. It’s not that you’re stupid, it’s that I’m conceited. Isn’t that correct? Well, if I'm talking over your head when I use big words, it's your fault, not mine. Those big words are not big words; they are just words that are bigger than your knowledge; and if you don’t know them, it’s your fault for being too lazy to learn.

And now to the real point of the whole thing: The problem is not that so many people have trouble learning how to spell, or how to write; it's that most of them are too lazy. They're too lazy to try. They're too lazy to even think. And if they're too lazy to even express their own thoughts clearly -- their own thoughts… nothing should be more important to you than your own thoughts -- then they're very likely going to be too lazy to pull their weight in society. They're going to be too lazy to do their job right (or at all.) And while poor spelling skills may not truly affect me, a lazy worker does affect me, and it affects you. No matter what job you have, if you do a halfassed job of it, then you are hurting the people around you. You may think that your job doesn't matter that much; but if someone is paying you to do a job, then that job is affecting someone. And if you do a halfassed job of whatever you do, then the next time you...I dunno...go for fast food, and you get home and find that they shortchanged you for an item, then you have absolutely no right to get mad. If you’re too lazy to do your own job well, then you yourself are shortchanging someone, and you have no right to be upset when someone does it to you.

(And as a side note… Employers, not all of the blame for poor workmanship goes to the employees. You have to give them an incentive to do their job well. You have to back up your diligent workers, and give everyone a reason to care. I look around and see that in so many cases, no one cares what kind of work they do; and it’s because there is no payoff for doing a good job. There’s no more benefit for doing good work than for slacking off. It seems that the people who are the happiest are the slackers who just come in for a paycheck, call in sick when they’re not sick, and leave their work for the good workers. So they get a paid day off, while the good worker gets extra work for no more pay. So you need to pay attention to who it is that’s really reaping the rewards. Your good workers won’t be good workers for long in a system like that. Do you continue to invest in something that’s not paying off? No; and neither will your employees.)

But back to the point: The biggest shame is that there are so many of you out there who still need to have these things explained to you. There are so many of you out there who just don’t give a shit about anything you do, and your lazy speech is just one way you show it. So when somebody on these message boards starts to complain about the pitiful writing skills found on every single thread of these boards, their complaint isn’t with people who try to learn but genuinely can’t; their complaint is that most of the sloppy writing is done by people who are just too lazy to do it right; and the ramifications of that are significant.

And those of us who can speak the language, and who do put in the effort, are horrified to see that such a HUGE number of you out there are so damn lazy, and so very stupid, and so foolishly proud of it; and that there are so many others who are stupid enough to defend that laziness under the pretense of “enlightenment”.

Then c g sutton chimed in:

I have to agree with your rantings about the lack of proper spelling, punctuation and grammar in today's society. I have always tried to write clearly and concisely in order to put a point across, as it is meant to be read. Although sometimes a little thing such as a missed comma or full stop can mean the difference between a question and an insult. (Personal experience after writing a hurried text to a friend).

I don't have a problem with people not knowing how to spell long words or having Dyslexia, but I do have a problem with people not making an effort to combat their weaknesses. If I am unsure of a spelling then I will look it up, or if I think I may have worded something badly then I will ask someone to double-check it for me. This doesn't make me any less of a person or harm my creative side.

Today's children are being encouraged to be more artistic and creative and not worry about such small things as reading and writing. This mainly coming from teachers (not all) who are so badly educated themselves that it saves them from having to mark the work. If you truly care about what people think, then make an effort and get it right. It will have more impact than you can imagine. (For example. All the opinions on this board may be valid, but only the readable ones will be noticed. Who wants to spend hours deciphering gobbledygook)?

Which was immediately followed by tovah987's opinions, which continue deviating most eloquently:

Although I do agree with most of what you wrote, I do have to point out that every native English speaker DOES speak their language correctly. What you are referring to is called colloquial or informal speech, there is NO set standard for the spoken English language. There are accents/dialects that are regarded as more sophisticated, but this is just a result of the ignorance of English speakers. Each dialect of the English language (whether it be Cockney, Hiberno, Southern American, or Newfoundland) has their own set of rules and as a speaker grows up in that environment, they learn those set of rules.
For example, there are several Newfoundland expressions that likely wouldn't be understood in other dialects, such as "what are you at?" (loosely means how's it going? or how are you doing?) or "stay where you're to" (don't leave!). This does not make it wrong because Newfoundland speakers understand these expressions within their own dialect.
In the Hiberno dialect (old Irish), they contract "am" and "not" to form "amn't" (e.g. I amn't joking). This form isn't used anywhere else, yet is it wrong? No. They also use archaic forms like "ye" (you formal), that has died out in just about every other dialect of English, so does that make the rest of the English speakers wrong for not retaining it? No. Our language changed because speakers felt like we did not need that word any longer.
By now you probably get the point, so just apply this new knowledge and note that there are dialectal variations among English speakers.
Also, the English language is not deteriorating. If that is the case, then English has been on a downfall since its beginning and it will continue to "deteriorate". The fact is that languages change; it is inevitable! Try all you want, you cannot stop it.

I'm sure you've heard of Beowulf, right?
Him þa ellenrof andswarode,
wlanc Wedera leod, word æfter spræc,
heard under helme: "We synt Higelaces
beodgeneatas; Beowulf is min nama.

My, my, how English has changed. If only those speakers could hear/see the language now!
Just because a person doesn't know 'big words', as you referred to them, doesn't make that person any stupider than you. They can still express their thoughts just as well as you because language is an inherent trait in the human brain. Everyone has the capacity to learn language and a person's brain does not care what language (and/or dialect) one learns. Not only that, but words are arbitrary. There is a long-standing debate among Americans about whether "pop" or "soda" is more correct for that "nonalcoholic, flavored, carbonated beverage, usually commercially prepared and sold in bottles or cans". This is absolutely ridiculous because speakers from different regions know that "pop" and "soda" refer to the same thing! In the US, "a variety of squash having an elongated shape and a smooth, thin, dark green rind" is called "zucchini", but in the UK, it's called "courgette". Lexical differences do not make one wrong.
As I said before, I agreed with most of your post, mainly that regarding written language. BUT this is the Internet, another means of communication, that people will more than likely use informal writing in (Oh my goodness, did I just use a preposition at the end of a sentence? Oh, how could I? Guess what? The rule was originally a LATIN rule, not an English one. One cannot apply one rule of one language to another. One cannot apply the rules of German to Spanish, just as one cannot apply the rules of English to Tagalog). Formal written language should be used in the workspace and in the school system, but chances are people will keep writing informally on the Internet. I hate it, but I choose to ignore it. You can do the same. Both you and I will know that the people who choose to keep writing at such an informal and elementary level will have a harder time finding a job and will have a harder time being taken seriously.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello there ..
it is my first post here and i hope that you will help me with it ..

any one could tell me about good please to sell and buy traffic ?

many thanks .