National Post

Grammar 4eva: Has ‘techspeak’ made time-honoured language skills irrelevant in the Internet age?“hi, can u pls clarify smthng 4 me?” read the email that landed in Karen McCrindle’s inbox a few years ago from a prospective student she had never met. “say i wnt to take intnl devt study w ur prgm. do i apply to bth prgms or just 1 n which 1 would it B. evry help is appresh8d. thk u.”Though she’s far from a grammar schoolmarm, the linguistics professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough (who was also head of the school’s journalism program at the time) couldn’t help but wince. But then, after reading it two or three times to make sure she understood, Prof. McCrindle was intrigued.“I found the email fascinating from a linguistic point of view but I also felt that it was out of place, even rude,” she said. It was fascinating in that the student had probably just sent a text to a friend before emailing her, she said, and somehow didn’t find it necessary to change tack. It was rude, of course, in that it showed absolutely no regard for her position of authority.Proper grammar and spelling seemed so far off this student’s radar that the guideposts of language might as well have been relics of the past, at least in his mind — dusty old rules that simply don’t apply in this age of constant communication fueled by endlessly improving technology. Perhaps he was never taught.Maybe students don’t even need to be taught the ins and outs of spelling and grammar, a growing number of educators say, their musings adding to a long-running battle over the relevance of time-honoured language skills in the rapidly changing Internet age. (Illustration: National Post)

Grammar 4eva: Has ‘techspeak’ made time-honoured language skills irrelevant in the Internet age?
“hi, can u pls clarify smthng 4 me?” read the email that landed in Karen McCrindle’s inbox a few years ago from a prospective student she had never met. “say i wnt to take intnl devt study w ur prgm. do i apply to bth prgms or just 1 n which 1 would it B. evry help is appresh8d. thk u.”

Though she’s far from a grammar schoolmarm, the linguistics professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough (who was also head of the school’s journalism program at the time) couldn’t help but wince. But then, after reading it two or three times to make sure she understood, Prof. McCrindle was intrigued.

“I found the email fascinating from a linguistic point of view but I also felt that it was out of place, even rude,” she said. It was fascinating in that the student had probably just sent a text to a friend before emailing her, she said, and somehow didn’t find it necessary to change tack. It was rude, of course, in that it showed absolutely no regard for her position of authority.

Proper grammar and spelling seemed so far off this student’s radar that the guideposts of language might as well have been relics of the past, at least in his mind — dusty old rules that simply don’t apply in this age of constant communication fueled by endlessly improving technology. Perhaps he was never taught.

Maybe students don’t even need to be taught the ins and outs of spelling and grammar, a growing number of educators say, their musings adding to a long-running battle over the relevance of time-honoured language skills in the rapidly changing Internet age. (Illustration: National Post)

  1. lickingthingsandexpressingvision reblogged this from nationalpost
  2. danielfrancavilla reblogged this from nationalpost and added:
    Grammar 4eva Has ‘techspeak’ made time-honoured language skills irrelevant in the Internet age? From the National Post:...
  3. newsworks reblogged this from nationalpost
  4. cuddlesandcollars reblogged this from truth-has-a-liberal-bias
  5. the-treble reblogged this from turtletot43 and added:
    Attention to detail! That’s the phrase I was looking for!
  6. bullymommy2012 reblogged this from cashela and added:
    ^ Perfect example of why Michael and [future sibling{s}] will be going to Catholic schools. There’s no way I would ever...
  7. turtletot43 reblogged this from the-treble and added:
    This. It’s a matter of discipline, attention to detail and respect for both the reader and the subject matter.
  8. totally-stab-caesar reblogged this from sugarkat
  9. sugarkat reblogged this from legally-bitchtastic and added:
    I used to help professors with undergraduates’ papers. You’d be astounded how many collegiate-level papers are turned in...
  10. legally-bitchtastic reblogged this from truth-has-a-liberal-bias and added:
    My jaw literally dropped at the first paragraph. Who the fuck writes an email to their professor like that? Or quite...
  11. specspectacle reblogged this from truth-has-a-liberal-bias
  12. opinionatedfellow reblogged this from truth-has-a-liberal-bias
  13. truth-has-a-liberal-bias reblogged this from nationalpost
  14. jjuunniiee reblogged this from luxury--problem and added:
    Can these people not make me cry? Ugh. I can’t believe this is even being discussed.
  15. bleedingbruisedandbroken reblogged this from joachimmurat
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  19. augustdana reblogged this from joachimmurat and added:
    I just died a little inside.
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  23. dancingspirals reblogged this from whatdididrink
  24. the-paxromana reblogged this from nationalpost and added:
    Nope. No. Fuck that shit. No. Proper grammar and spelling is needed. No. That last paragraph needs to fall in a well and...
  25. these-are-the-fables reblogged this from nationalpost
  26. backshootingford reblogged this from nationalpost
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