A Long-Overdue Rant on Internet Grammar in the 2010s
January 9, 2018
Fifteen to twenty years ago, when I’d surf the ‘Net,
Grammar made sense just like it did in school.
Nowadays, though, old man that I am, I can’t help but fret
At how today’s folks write ‘cause it isn’t cool.
Miscaps here, misspellings there, lack of punctuation all around—
It’s all enough to make me sick to my gut.
I hate the way it looks on screen and even the way it sounds
When I read it aloud and witness the kind of rut
Society’s now in mentally ‘cause honestly, what the hell
Has become of us from a written point of view?
We used to be so neat and concise, but these days, all’s not well.
Where did we go so wrong out of the blue?
Have we really gotten so stressed for time that we cannot bear
To take a moment to write a sentence right,
Or have we just gotten lazy and stopped giving any care
To what we publish on the Internet day and night?
I only ask ‘cause not only is our grammar collectively
Devolving, but so is our sense of thought,
For no longer do we think through what we want others to see
Or hear, even though deep down we know we ought.
Somebody stinks at something? We scold them, “Git gud, scrub!”
Something angers us? We type IN ALL CAPS
With multiple exclamation points ‘cause we’re just that livid, bub,
And are in that serious need of a nap.
Its versus It’s, Then versus Than, There versus They’re versus Their—
Not to mention Yore versus You’re versus Your…
This misuse of similar-sounding words is more than I can bear…
And yes…bear! Not bare. Leave that at the door
Right along with your ellipses used in the place of periods
‘Cause they’re made of three periods themselves, right?
Also, Dont versus Don’t? Isnt versus Isn’t? Whose teaching these kids
How to not use apostrophes day and night?
Notice, too, how I used Also to start a sentence rather than And
Like we ‘80s kids were taught once upon a time,
For conjunctions’ function is to join sentences and fragments at hand,
Not start them like we do now, friends of mine.
Alas, though, each mid-paragraph, it’s And, But, Or all day,
Every day like it’s nobody else’s bloody biz,
Right along with the double negatives like don’t none and ain’t no way.
It’s insulting, even to one who’s not a grammar wiz.
Comparative forms in adjectives these days also makes me mad.
I’m sure you, too, have noticed this vexing matter,
For kids and even adults now say more hairy, more petty, and more sad
As opposed to hairier, pettier, and sadder.
To think, too, I’ve only scratched the surface of this steaming mess,
And the more I look, the less relief I see.
I know it’s petty and paranoid of me, but I can’t rest
As I wonder where the world’s literacy could be.
Am I overreacting? Are things really that bad?
Will we ever revolve from where we are now?
All I know is how all this bad grammar’s been making me sad
And wish that we could go back some way, somehow.