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Has social media destroyed good grammar?

The rise of social media and the shift from analogue to digital has had a startling impact on the way we use language.

While spelling and grammar were once imperative for adults, our use of social media, text messages and emojis means more and more people are adopting a more relaxed approach to language.

Instead of writing proper sentences, people convey meaning with unusual spellings, emphasising words with symbols and capitalisation rather than worrying about  ‘the rules’ associated with proper grammar.

There are benefits and drawbacks to this approach. Good spelling and grammar is an important skill to have, but by playing with how we use language we’re able to convey humour in a new way.

What do you think? Has our use of technology and social media destroyed society’s grasp on good grammar – and does it matter?

Does the use of incorrect punctuation and spelling leave you hot under the collar or does it not bother you? Would you prefer to see people using proper grammar online?

Has social media destroyed good grammar?

616 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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myda
10th Mar 2019
0
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Recently tried to buy a Scrabble game for PC. Doesn't seem to be available. Hasbro no longer sells direct. Has the market dried up for spelling and using proper words?
Bathx3
8th Feb 2019
0
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No, it had already been destroyed by decades of laissez-faire education and American TV shows and films.
Greatgran6
2nd Feb 2019
0
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I have a list of things which annoy me. " Gotten." " of of. " I often cringe when I get texts from my grandchildren. I am a great fan of Lynne Truss"s book Eats Shoots and leaves. Also Melvyn Bragg"s The Adventure of English.
Television has a lot to answer for, allowing voice overs to use lazy speech such as "firty free farsand"
There was a lot to be said for our Grammar School education in the 50s.
HebeJeebie
26th Jan 2019
0
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I think most of us were lucky to be educated at a time when English was a subject that required the ability to spell, punctuate and understand the nuances of language. When we abbreviate a text, it's in the certainty of knowing what would be a correct spelling; one feels that generations less well taught don't know the errors that they make.

I find myself fuming at the incorrect use of fewer and less; lose and loose; there, their and they're; your and you're - with extra fuming when school teachers do it!


Mispronunciation is another bugbear, of course - and don't get me started on beginning every reply to a question with "so . . . . "
JeremyW12
21st Jan 2019
0
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I am left handed and am pretty useless with my right so when I type I only use my left hand , therefore punctuation and capitals fall by the wayside
Karenrac
17th Jan 2019
0
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Sadly, I have to say a big ‘yes’ to this s question. It saddens me that younger generations do not know the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’. I worked with one silly woman who thought it was acceptable to write professional emails as she would write a text.
English is a respected language and we should keep it that way. I don’t agree it should evolve into slang. There’s a place for slang, but not in professional settings.
Llyn
16th Jan 2019
0
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It s not just social media, although many people do seem to post amazingly ambiguous statements, which would be greatly improved by an approximation of correct spelling and a little punctuation. I am horrified by the number of times I hear BBC anchors use amount instead of number, fail to put apostrophes where needed (there was a classic the other day when they were discussing directors’ pay, but used a headline of Directors Pay. I was wondering what directors paid, or where the ellipsis had gone.
PaulyC
16th Jan 2019
0
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I don’t think Social Media has destroyed it. I think it’s fair to say that most of us using this site were taught good grammar and punctuation at school. Once it’s in your head it tends to stay there. I for one abbreviate text in messages simply to speed things up but I could write it correctly if I desired.
Sadly, many of the younger generations were not given the same tuition regarding the correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation so they can’t revert to its usage where needed. There was even a stage where they were told “spelling doesn’t matter”. What a daft concept!
So to summarise don’t blame Social Media, blame our education system.
viking
15th Jan 2019
4
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If the same lengths of the "old fashioned" letters were to be put onto texts etc. it would cost a fortune both in time spent and the screw that the provider of the mobile would receive. So the shortened time line has been brought about by necessity.
Catmad
14th Jan 2019
4
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I don’t necessarily think social media is the reason good grammar is no longer considered necessary, it’s the people using it. Remember the old saying ‘blame the workmen not the tools’.
Alicia
14th Jan 2019
1
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No, I have always had good grammar and still do.
[deleted]
13th Jan 2019
0
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CaroleAH
14th Jan 2019
2
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According to Google the O for hug means that you are surrounded by the circle (of love???) and the X if you break it down into > < is two mouths kissing. Nice thought! 🙂
jeanmark
14th Jan 2019
1
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Glad you sorted that one for me Carole........
CaroleAH
14th Jan 2019
1
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🙂 😉 No problem Jeanmark! Its amazing what Google can tell you.
PaulyC
16th Jan 2019
0
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Thanks Carole, I’ve learned something new there
CaroleAH
16th Jan 2019
0
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I've an Australian cousin who always signs off with oxo which is why I googled it! 🙂
Mikey4
13th Jan 2019
2
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Given that speech and writing are for communication, if the receiver can understand it easily, that is what matters. A lot of grammar was invented by the Victorians who made up rules for everything, even inventing a lot of tartans in a period of interest in Scottish things. Making up a rule for something does not mean that rule is correct, and even if it is correct, that it will still be correct in a 100 years time. The English language is alive and evolving. If you want a language where the rules apply for all time you need a dead language like Latin. When I was a kid "realize" was the spelling but the word has evolved into "realise" as have many words ending in "-ize". In different parts of the world Englisg evolves differently ("Toc Pisin", spoken by 6 million people, is a great example of how the English language evolves differently in different parts of the world.
Jenninora
12th Jan 2019
0
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I do know that English grammar is not as it was “ Correct “. Or, that now it is use rather flippantly.

Different generations are going to speak and use grammar in ways not please.

I go by my schooling and won’t be moved in many of grammars ways.

As I prefer meeting the person or I lift the telephone I find I don’t use text very much.

Each to their own.

Our fast way of living will warrant fast texting.

Way it is!!!!
Raindrop
12th Jan 2019
1
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That`s a new one on me oxo!
CaroleAH
12th Jan 2019
1
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Did you know that oXo isn't just a gravy cube? It means hugs and kisses........ lol 🙂
Sybs
12th Jan 2019
0
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I play scrabble on line,and anything goes,playing at the library older players don’t allow this.
KennethD
12th Jan 2019
3
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I do so like Calli's comments .....Yes , it seems to me that everybody wants 'it' done 'yesterday'........thus the increasing abbreviation in today's texting..........Devotee's of this form of communication will argue that, providing the message sent, is understood by the intended recipient,.....what's wrong with that ?......and the answer is of - course, 'Nothing' ......... Providing that in the reality of lawful and licit documents, the correct spelling is essential, and I can see at time when the communicator is too 'pig-ignorant' to know otherwise.
JeanH37
12th Jan 2019
1
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I think the abbreviations came about when you where limited to a certain amount of letters in a text
PaulyC
16th Jan 2019
1
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That’s right Jean. In the early days of mobile phones phrases such as Cya and ILY were a necessity. For whatever reason some stayed with us while others vanished.
JeanH37
16th Jan 2019
0
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I still can't understand half of them. I have to Google them. The funniest story was when a mother gave her daughter some bad news and signed off with LOL thinking it meant lots of love.
Bilko98
12th Jan 2019
3
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I cringe at 90% of comments on social media. I'm having to loosen up a (tiny) bit at a time. Today I allowed a misplaced apostrophe to pass without comment. It's hurting.
JeanH37
16th Jan 2019
0
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LOL.
At the risk of annoying you. I couldn't resist.
balliolmetal
11th Jan 2019
1
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What can I add.......it's TRUE
Raindrop
11th Jan 2019
2
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If young teachers can`t spell how are our young children ever going to learn English. I know pls now means please, and lol means laugh out loud, but for a long time I thought lol meant lots of love, Imagine when I would inform a friend that someone had died and ended my message with lol how embarrassing. Also I wouldn`t like to try and read a book written by a youngster today it would take ages working out what they were writing about lol.
Then there`s "would of" instead of "would have" I could go on and on.
Rant over
panamakid
11th Jan 2019
0
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My wife plays Sudoku on her tablet and some of the words that come up are utterly meaningless.
JConway
11th Jan 2019
1
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It isn’t just social media though. When I was at school spelling & grammatical errors in our written work were marked by the teacher & then we had to write the word or sentence out 20 times & in so doing we learnt the correct word or grammar.
Catton
11th Jan 2019
0
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ArizonaBob
11th Jan 2019
1
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My wife is an HR Manager, and finds that written English is declining rapidly. She receives CV's and cover letters written in what could only be described as "text-speak".
Yodama
11th Jan 2019
4
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Maybe English language is not eroding, just changing as it has done over thousands of years. The days are gone when we would sit and write long letters to each other with pen and paper,( there are the steadfast few who persist for traditions sake) taking time to formulate our words. The letter sent via the post would take a few days to reach the other person, when they would reply at their leisure.
There was a need to write properly, care was taken in observing the rules of punctuation, grammar and writing fluidity.
Today, in a world that moves at breakneck speed, sending a message as abbreviated as possible is the norm.
If I were to try to answer a text message that is grammatically correct and perfectly punctuated,
the party on the other end of the phone or email would wonder if I had nodded off and would demand to know
why I was taking so long, impatient for my reply.
Should you be writing a book, CV, business letter, thesis or any other official document, correct grammar is essential.

Meanwhile, the river of life flows on, we cannot sit on the sea-shore like King Canute and try to hold back the tide ...adapt or die is the mantra.

Does anyone remember the hippie era?
, Dude, daddy-o, cool, far out, outta sight, groovy?
An alien language that horrified our older generation who complained as much as we are complaining today.
KennethD
12th Jan 2019
0
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Fair comment Yodama.....But it's 'heartbreaking' to see (and hear) the English language being 'battered' into an unrecognisable shape.
Yodama
12th Jan 2019
0
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It is a beautiful, perplexing and a hard language to learn and understand Kenneth.
A real hotch- potch of Latin, French, Germanic, Greek and others. A veritable minefield.
Do we really know what the English language is or how it is supposed to be spoken or written?
Such variations around Britain, such a mixture of nationalities and standards...who then is correct?

Apart from the fact that millions of children had to leave school at 15 to go to work without a proper grasp of written or spoken English,( teachers and parents should be sent to the headmaster/mistress for a caning,)
I wonder what percentage of the British population actually speak and write perfectly all the time?
Etonian's such as David Cameron who has had the privilege of a superior education are very lax in their speech and employ speech writers to write for them.

Many of the greatest authors and poets were often incorrect in their usage of grammar, but revered for their story telling in spite of it.
Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle et al....all guilty!

Maybe "text speak" horrendous as it is, evens out the playing field.

But then, I am a grumpy old woman who is not overly concerned as long as the gist of the message is clear.
KennethD
14th Jan 2019
0
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Yodama....Yes, I do remember letter writing.. Communication to 'pen friends' ( remember them ?) and other necessary correspondence took ages.! ..and although I've had a 'jab or two' at the speed of things in this present day world.... I must admit that on more than one occasion I've taken advantage of E.mail. ......E.g I have a Daughter in Portugal,......Sister in Canada..... Cousins in Australia......Friends in USA, and other friends/family splattered around the UK , from Portsmouth to Edinburgh. ... The point I'm trying to make is, that, 'given the right time of day' and I stress, 'the right time of day'.....(also, taking into consideration the world 'time lapse') .I..could...(and have) sent, just one missive addressed to ALL my friends and relatives, in 'one fell swoop' (as it were)...and within the hour, have had replies from each and every one....As a person born in the mid '30's I can't stop thinking that if it had been via 'Mr. Postman' , the mind 'boggles' as to how long it would have taken to achieve the same result.....As it is, I now jokingly quote.." I didn't know my carrier-pigeons went that far,,,,,and that fast ." So really, I'm not going to shout too loud about progress, for fear of finding I'm contradicting myself.
Yodama
14th Jan 2019
0
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Kenneth:
Ah the nostalgia of writing letters, as a matter of fact I still like to write letters on beautiful paper. My letters are mostly to my grandchildren, in the hope they will respond and keep letter writing alive.

To date, no response via "snail" mail. They would need to have their cellphones surgically removed from their clenched hands to be able to use them to do anything as outlandish as writing a letter!

I too have friends and relatives scattered worldwide and prefer to Skype ( wonderful tool.) No need then for long missives. Time zones are a bit of a bugbear as you state.

Thanks to my son, who is determined that I am dragged into the 21st century willy- nilly. (With a bit of role reversal,evident, I am the child and he the teacher) I am embracing the concept and find I do like the new techno age flaws and all!

@TEOTD, .02, LOL
Yodama
14th Jan 2019
0
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Translation for textspeak above:
At the end of the day my two cents worth.
@TEOTD - At the end of the day, my
02 - My two cents worth
LOL - laugh out loud.
WilliamM36
11th Jan 2019
1
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Yes most definitely I felt that standards of grammar were falling 30 years ago when I checked my daughters homework and found that teachers were not downgrading homework for spelling mistakes and also grammatical incorrect answers in essays
PatB84
11th Jan 2019
1
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It’s not only grammar, spelling has become atrocious, it infuriates me when people use of instead of off and just general bad spelling. I always want to correct them but think better of it.
Raindrop
11th Jan 2019
1
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I hate it when people say "I would of" instead of "would have" drives me mad
KennethD
12th Jan 2019
0
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Yes.! 'Of' and 'Off' are two of my 'pet hates' too. I also wonder how long it will be when the accepted spelling of 'Of' is 'Ov' ...!!!!.
Irene88
11th Jan 2019
1
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It's not just social media many government and local council departments shorten words e.g Jan, Feb. Mar or mins for minutues mls for miles, k for a thousdand 1000. They write sentace in bulletin points with no full stops, commas etc. I find it really annoying.

I hate text speak I never know whether 'LOL' means 'lots of love 'or 'laugh out loud' ! How do you tell the difference?
Codger456
11th Jan 2019
1
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Adults of the future will end up with no grasp of speech, low IQ and large thumbs from texting !
Bear in mind, NO person can text faster than a human can speak.
HappyHippie
11th Jan 2019
2
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I can't understand what the some of the younger generation are saying, its like they are talking in some weird shorthand
KennethD
14th Jan 2019
0
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Happy Hippie......Wasn't 'Teen Speak' ...late 50's early 60's language a 'bit weird' at times 'Daddy O' ......? Hahaha.....
McGilchrist
11th Jan 2019
1
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My Grandson insists the computer will sort the grammar for him. I say how does the computer know what you mean?
Irene88
11th Jan 2019
1
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In my experience the computer version is usually worse than my original or it has 'no suggestions'!
AnnW64
11th Jan 2019
1
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It may not be detroyed yet but laziness and habit dont help. Plus the younger generation think its "cool".
islandgirl
11th Jan 2019
2
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Wrong punctuation always gets to me - e.g. "apple's" on a greengrocer's price board. Punctuation is so necessary to convey what one is trying to say. Grammar should be taught properly as it is the basis of the English language. I had learnt how to parse a sentence by the age of 9.
JaniceJ2
11th Jan 2019
3
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Its the spelling that annoys me and incorrect use of words, my texts are sometimes quite long but I won't apologise.
PennyF1
11th Jan 2019
3
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In addition there are also the Americanisms that have crept in.
JoanB69
11th Jan 2019
2
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It is not just bad grammar that infuriates me but also lazy pronunciation. I have noticed in particular that lots of people now say fiff instead of fifth and sickth instead of sixth. Anybody else notice this?
Codger456
11th Jan 2019
0
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Too true : people who appear intelligent on TV or radio appear to have difficulty pronouncing simple phrase/ words, ending up with ' drawring, lore and order, instead of drawing and law and order !
Carole
11th Jan 2019
8
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I make no apology for being a 'grammar nazi'. Words have been my life; I read voraciously, have worked in several administrative roles where correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and also pronunciation are essential. My texts are always written in full and properly punctuated. I could write a book on this subject! Suffice to say, errors in spelling and grammar are like nails down a blackboard to me. If children are taught English language properly, as I was, there should be no excuse for believing 'text-speak' is acceptable for any written piece except the text on your phone.
Suze q
10th Jan 2019
1
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Yes I agree social media has destroyed some of our grammar. I have friends that will text me and use abbreviated words emojis etc. I also have others that punctuate their texts it is a matter of choice If in a hurry correct grammar is not always put into practice. I am guilty of this myself.
Bald123
10th Jan 2019
4
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There is no excuse for using poor grammar. All of us use abbreviated grammar on our phones and its just another way of communicating rather than using long sentences and words but in general we should cherish our English language.
MrsPat
10th Jan 2019
5
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Bad grammar is the one thing that makes me angry. Please do not let it deteriorate even further.
jeanmark
10th Jan 2019
5
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My understand is there is a letter limit when texting and using a form of shorthand makes sense. However the problems arises when people believe that such abbreviation is also acceptable in other situations such as for CV's and this can lead to misunderstanding - a classic is lol!

The written word is just one form of communication and as long as we all understand the message being sent does it matter if the grammar etc. is correct.
CaroleAH
10th Jan 2019
7
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Have to admit that I rarely use "textspeak" in my text messages and often have to Google strange abbreviations that appear in messages to me 🙂 The only time I really used to object to this "new" language was when it was written in a CV or job application - that is just sheer laziness or ignorance.
Wilf
10th Jan 2019
5
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I think it is all part of evolution. Grammar will change as we write differently. About 400 years ago English was different than today-so it will be in 400 years time.
ArchieUK
10th Jan 2019
5
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Whilst seeing spelling errors and grammer errors forgivable and understandable, this text messaging is a completley new languige to me --- no thank you.

Sorry for the errors.

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