Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Twitter Under Siege by Karla Stover

Twitter’s Demise?

     To the delight of logophiles, people who love proper grammar, and correct spelling and punctuation, a Rise Up Against Social Media has begun.  Quoting Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter, “Grammar snobbery is one of the last permissible prejudices.” I bring this up because I struggle with commas, once referred to a “corpse” of trees instead of “copse,” and see our BWL bunch using, “that” instead of “who.” I stumbled on this when participating in a mock trial at a local hotel. The hotel had Wall St. Journals for its guests and I nabbed one.

     According to a Journal  article, employers, and people scouting dating websites are using an app called the Grade, (which I haven’t been able to find) a program that checks messages for typos and grammar, and gives the user a grade just as they were given in school—from A+ to F.

     In pursuing this topic, I asked a friend of mine who once belonged to a dating website. She said she skipped man after man because he sounded so ignorant. I also found an article on Linkedin which claimed to quote a 2012 article in the Harvard Business Review titled, “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.” Nearly four thousand people responded to the article, which, I guess is pretty amazing for such as esoteric publication, calling the author elitist, and picking at his grammar mistakes. However, the author stood by his claim that the use of poor grammar is “an indication of general attitude, learning ability, and work performance. Is the writer lazy, ignorant or careless?”

     Misuse of “that” for “who” is common, so is the use of “like” instead of “such as,” and my pet peeve, “so-and-so and myself.” I just finished a book by a retired British school inspector who used that one; I had a boss who was a regular misuser, too.

     I admit I am a logophile. If I’m alone somewhere where people are talking, I listen to how they express themselves. Okay, I eavesdrop but I love something beautifully expressed.

     Feel free to find my errors in this mini-rant, but remember—the only way the public at large gets to know us is by our writing. 

     I write mysteries set in the Pacific Northwest.  Find my mysteries at the Books We Love Store.

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