Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wery Vell!

Im doing wery vell vit dis blog or am I?  This is the kind of spelling that Generation-Y is getting used to. Despite being warned of the consequences of wrong spelling, they are falling prey to using shortened SMS lingo. The worst part is that since it is sub-conscious, they don't even know they're making a mistake.



Image source:  http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/86071414/Workbook-Stock

One more problem is that we Indians don't know the difference between the sounds of "V" and "W". We use them interchangeably. Even while using abbreviations in the SMS lingo, spelling "with" as "vit" is completely wrong, according to me. Although I consider any abbreviation of an already small word to be wrong, I can forgive if it was written as "wit" for the lack of space but "vit" is truly wrong! To understand why, you need to understand how the two letters are pronounced. If you paid attention in your school, you will remember this: "Bite your V's and kiss your W's". This, basically, means that while pronouncing "V" you tend to bite your lower lip with your upper, front teeth and you tend to bring your lips together, as though kissing, while pronouncing a "W". To see a demo visit this site: http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/english/frameset.html

Although we Indians understand the right meaning even if the two letters are not pronounced correctly, for a native speaker this can be quite confusing. So, please try to be cautious to use the appropriate sound and letter as required.

Agreed that in a medium like twitter and SMS, the restriction of the number of characters makes us innovate to fit what we want to say under the limit, but is it okay to do the same in other places, especially in formal communication? I don't think so.

This isn't the end of it. Even grammar is going to the dogs. Usage of capital letters in the middle of a sentence, usage of all capitals, abbreviations of words that had no standard expansion, utterly wrong usage of punctuation marks, the list goes on. This is utter non-sense! Ask youngsters and they consider this kind of murder of the language to be "cool!”.

Although spell-checkers are a useful tool, they're not an intelligent one. They can identify wrongly spelt words, but they do not know to identify the context correctly, all the time (though with new improvements in technology, this is trying to be attempted).

See this example: http://writingenglish.wordpress.com/2006/09/18/ten-common-writing-mistakes-your-spell-checker-won’t-find/

This leads to the use of rightly spelt wrong words in a sentence. A typo could be forgiven but usage of a wrong word implies that you either do not have a basic sense of the meaning of words or didn't care to spend an extra few minutes to revise your document before hitting the send button which can prove disastrous to you especially if you are a job-seeker.

Whole novels are being written with such language and they go on to become bestsellers! This is outrageous. Youngsters committing mistakes is one thing but THIS is intolerable! How can someone call themselves a writer when they don't even know basic grammar? That's outrageous, don't you think?

A request to the people who use abbreviations/SMS lingo etc - please do so with caution. You might say it is OK with friends but it is not. When you actually have to use the correct language, you sub-consciously use your habitual version without realising it. Try to use proper language to the maximum extent possible. I'm not saying it is taboo to use SMS lingo but try not to. Use it sparingly, only when you have to save characters in the text box. Not only that, there is some etiquette to be followed in different contexts. Please follow them to the extent possible. That is my humble request.

Let me know what you think. Do you think SMS lingo usage is justified? Do you think grammar is of no importance? Etiquette plays no role in today's scenario? Comment on it below.

Request: If you find any errors in my blog, please point it out. I’ll make the correction. Some errors creep in despite our best efforts but I assure you they wouldn’t be blatant.

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