4 Sum, it mayB 2 L8 2 change they're way's

Kathryn is quite an avid reader for a seven-year-old. She’ll read everything from newspaper headlines, billboards, the titles of the books I’m reading and even, from time to time, she’s randomly alerted me to how much a particular bill is. “Mommy,” she told me once, “Did you know our water bill is $35.17?”. Thanks, kid.

A trilingual to-do list in my home
this past spring.

In the middle of our dining room is a large wipe-off board that we use to write notes to each other, write titles of songs we want to download and add to our Ipods, or even put our to-do lists on. Kathryn can read this. In fact, we often leave to-do lists for her on this board. This past Christmas, I realized I had to change my tactics on how to put our lists up. Things like “Wrap Christmas presents” and “Get stocking stuffers”, which is normally left up to Santa, could no longer be written in plain sight of the child. Having minored in French, I easily resolved this by writing those items on my list in a language my child could not read. This proved to be handy again come Easter. Things like “Fill the basket” and “Fill the plastic eggs” had to be written in alternate languages, so not to give the secret of the giant bunny away prematurely.

The other day, I left a note for my husband concerning our offspring. I had her read it out loud, because I felt it was important for her to know what I was telling her father about her behavior.  “I can’t read it, mommy. It’s in cursive.”

Well of course not. You’re only in first grade!

However, more and more schools are doing away with teaching cursive in schools. With the increase of digital technology for such tasks as taking notes, writing notes to Grandma, and direct deposit of checks (thus eliminating the need for frequent endorsement), many schools feel it’s simply not needed. Thus, my child may never learn cursive. The issue itself is something I’m still on the fence over.

Over the past several years, though, I’ve seen a concerning degeneration. It has only become even worse with the rising pooularity of text messaging and quick keyboarding as I mentioned above.  If schools are going to eliminate cursive, then I feel that more emphasis should be placed on proper grammar and spelling. Professional establishments that consistently misspell words and misuse apostrophes are actually one of my biggest pet peeves. Recently, a friend of mine found a spelling error on her resume that she had been handing out for months to no avail. That spelling error could very well have been the reason she landed nothing. Once she corrected her resume, she got a reasonably high-paying job.

Really? REALLY?!? (shaking head)

Just spend some time driving down a major city street looking at window signs of businesses. You’ll most likely find at least one professionally made sign with a spelling error, grammatical error or a commonly misused apostrophe. I’ve seen it on professional websites where a vendor is trying to sell their product.  Sadly, I’ve even seen it in some newspapers and on television. It’s even more commonly prominent on social networking sites, though I understand in some situations it’s just quick texting and autocorrection on smartphones. I’ve been guilty of that, too. But consistency sometimes makes for a negative label. It just seems that some of these abbreviations, misplacements of the apostrophe (for reference, a ‘s typically means possession, not ever pluralization.. contrary what my blogger just suggested at right.. *sigh*. Case in point…) are becoming more and more acceptable. Another example is the interchanging of “their”, “they’re” and “there”. It’s always pretty disheartening when you see a teacher commit this English faux pas.

How can anyone consider this ‘change’ to the English language acceptable. I simply don’t get it.

I suppose in the future with the way trends are going, if I don’t want my child to understand what I’m writing on the wipeoff board, I’ll have to write in clear, concise, grammatically correct, cursive…. English.


About gespurr

Emily was born in Southwestern Louisiana and has moved over 20 times in her life through nine different states. Most of her life was spent in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where she met her husband and had her only child. Both she and her husband are also only children. She graduated from Stillwater (MN) High School in 1992 and from the University of Wisconsin in 1997 with a BS in Journalism. Three years later, she met her husband, George, and they married in 2002. Their daughter, Kathryn, was born early in 2004. She relocated with her family back to Arkansas in 2005 after being away for 30 years. She currently works as a customer service representative for an insurance company and lives in North Little Rock. When not taking care of her daughter she is either cooking, working, cleaning house, sewing, gardening, knitting, crocheting hiking, traveling or spending time with her husband.

Posted on June 28, 2011, in Miscellaneous, Social and Technology. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I wonder how much the general sense of grammar will be decayed by the time Kathryn graduates from college. I have a feeling that Grammar Nazis like myself are fighting a losing battle here.

    It is OK to call yourself a Nazi, right? Just not anyone else? 😉

    • People often make comments to me on how I’m so anal about grammar. On social media sites, when people are trying to make (point’s) to others, the point is often lost and becomes incredible when grammar, punctuation and spelling are a fail. No wut I meen?

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