Tuesday, September 22, 2020
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Blame the txt msg

The other day I happened upon this interesting article in the New York Times about the rare yet proper use…

By Shira Bick , in Fit for Consumption: A Commentary on Culture and Values , on February 21, 2008

The other day I happened upon this interesting article in the New York Times about the rare yet proper use of a semi-colon in a New York City Transit public service placard.

Proper punctuation, it seems, is rarely necessary in public life anymore. Nor is it alone. Grammar and handwriting, those other marks of civilized societies so dear to the hearts of primary school teachers are also heading the way of the VCR.

Blame it on e-mail and text messaging. We’re too busy mastering the newest abbreviations to remember “a” before “e.” And, seriously, when was the last time anyone wrote letters by hand anyway? Personally, I still haven’t finished up the stationary set I received as a present when I was fourteen. It’s not that I haven’t been keeping up with my correspondence. It’s just that it’s all computerized now. So should we even care?

It appears that we should. A Facebook group called “I judge you when you use poor grammar” has 242, 475 members as of right now and laments the mix up of “your” and “you’re.” Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation was a New York Times bestseller.

It’s kind fo nice to know that we’re not ready to give up on ourselves yet. We’re adults who can put together complete sentences and no amount of unlimited text messaging can ever take that away from us.

Don’t u agree?