I have done a lot of writing over the years, not all academic I assure you (I still have yet to write an essay I can truly be happy with- if that’s even possible), but it has been an integral part of my upbringing and it is ingrained in me. Hopefully this course can fill in the blanks and make me a more proficient writer.
I have had to write letters both personal and professional alike and the one thing that remains a constant is my grammar. I have never had much problem with my grammar so to speak, but could improve my sentence structure.
I have however succumbed to the occasional slur or slip that would indicate I may have a lazy disposition to complete a sentence or lengthy phrase- thank you Facebook and Twitter for dumbing me down! It is not for lack of caring about whether or not I appear articulate or worldy, but perhaps may in fact be because I am just too darn tired or lax to bother with grammar or sentence structure on these social media sites. Although, I am more prone to writing in correct form which I believe is a good strength to have.
Perhaps it’s because I am of a different generation that simultaneously stressed the importance of the hand written letter and the use of the first personal home computer as a time savvy and convenient way to work from home, and for students to complete homework from the comfort of their bedrooms or living rooms.
I remember the first time I saw a personal computer that was meant for home use in the mid 80’s at my aunt’s house. It was of course, quite a coo for someone to own one at that time, as they were fairly new still to the market, and that meant higher retail markups. A family’s annual income and social status were often associated with owning one of these mammoth pieces of technology and it came with a much higher price tag than it does today.
In fact, according to CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), approximately 87 percent of Canadian households have internet access of some kind. That’s a pretty big number! Even low income families are plugged in. We have become a generation where technology, and the way we communicate go hand- in- hand. We are also the second highest online users in the world averaging 41.3/hrs a month! When are we sleeping?! But does being the second heaviest of internet users in the world make for more grammatically and scholarly individuals? Well there are often conflicting view points on this. Ask any baby-boomer from the 60’s, or a Gen X, Y, or Zed-er, and you are bound to come across very real, but different standpoints.
In my grandparents time, and even my parents and mine, a hand written letter or at the very least, a typed letter was the only way to communicate– other than of course, through telephone or face to face. That meant you had better know all your p’s and q’s! Dot your i’s and cross your t’s was a commonly heard remark. Grammar was not just for those that were university educated it was also a good indication of your upbringing. Knowing the long hours and poor wage options of the time, many baby- boomers pushed their children to excel in their studies. Particularly in Math, Science and English. This made for a highly articulate generation. Circa Gen Xer’s.
Jump ahead to our Gen Yer’s, more endearingly known as the Millennial generation. Education in Math, Science and English still a focus in our education system but now with a technological advantage available to the masses. Now it seems almost everyone had access to the Internet. OMG..! SMH…
Sorry. You didn’t catch that? Well you’re not the only one! With the influx of social media like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and My Space popping up, plus a slew of new Millennials living in a society that places timeliness and efficacy as some of the most important priorities, it is not surprising that someone along the way was developing quicker ways to communicate without having to write full words or sentences. In fact, new words have developed. For example, and the one I loathe, (but I digress–) “selfie”… or shortened versions of full words like, OMG meaning, “Oh My God” (gosh, goodness), even OMC to mean, “Oh My Creator” if you are of Aboriginal decent.
Of course, those were just a few, that most people are aware of by now. And there most likely is an onslaught of new terms and definitions that are making the publishers of The Oxford Dictionary scratch their extremely large, intellectual, and grammatically correct heads right about now. But should we dismiss this new generation’s form of communication on social media as the new norm or continue to hold still to our teachings that to be masterful and eloquent at writing we must be grammatically correct? Well that depends on you.
I would like to write more on this matter, but first– let me take a selfie.