As I surf the internet, chat, and text message with people, I find myself growing increasingly surprised at how poorly people write and speak these days. What is going on here? I wonder if this is happening other places around the world, too, and not just in the USA?
I'm constantly reading blogs and messages from people who don't seem to know the difference between "your" or "you're;" "to," "two," and "too;" and "they're," "there," and "their." When conversing with perfectly intelligent people, I can't even begin to tell you the amount of times I hear people say something like "between you and I…" or "give the book to 'So-and-so' and I" instead of "between you and me…" or "give the book to her and me." I understand that we are taught that it's more polite to say "you and I" instead of "me and you," but there are exceptions to the rule. The easiest way to explain this is that you would say, "the the book to I," would you? No, you'd say "give the book to me." The same concept rings true when you add another person into the mix: "Give the book to Sally and me."
Another grammatical mistake I hear/see a lot (speaking of "a lot," countless times I have received a text with "alot" in it. "alot" is not even a word, and the word, "allot" means to distribute something.) is when people use a word in the past tense instead of the present tense after "have" or "had." For example, it is incorrect to say "I should've ran today," or "She had came to the party," instead of "I should've run today" and "she had come to the party."
The words "lie" and "lay" are "sit" and "set" are commonly confused. You "set" an object on the chair, but you do not "set" down on the chair, yourself. You "sit" on the chair. The same rule is applied to "lie" and "lay." You might "lay" your head down on her lap, but you don't "lay" down on the bed. More correctly, you "lie" down on the bed.
And, I must mention the word "anyways." Upon looking "anyways" up in the dictionary, one will find that even though "anyways" is the slang for the more proper "anyway," it's recently been included as an actual dictionary entry because it's used so often and thus has become acceptable.
How many of you have come across the word "it's" (a contraction for the two words "it is") written in place of "its" (which is possessive)?
I know we do not have an official language in this country, and many people who don't speak English as their primary language may confuse certain words and syntaxes if they have learned English by rote (by ear, or just listening to someone speak the language instead of reading the language in a book) . We also have many different ethnical dialects in this country as well, but these factors cannot possibly explain the plethora of grammatical errors people make today. One cannot blame all these mistakes on typos or word-fill, either. Are we getting stupider? Are we losing touch in this technology laden, fast-paced society? Or is it the result of budget cuts in today's schools? ↓