Internet writing rant

A way-over-the-top rant on internet writing, here (hat tip to Bruce Webster):

Hey, Y R U Not Paying Attention?

Strong language warning, but it’s all in a good cause. Besides, you probably need this or know someone who does.

The long text begins:

Y, R & U
ARE FUCKING
LETTERS
NOT FUCKING WORDS

and goes on to bitch about texting abbreviations, apostrophe misuse, comma misuse, and common misspellings. I’m not able to post the thing here, because the resolution of the image is too poor, but you can enjoy the version on the American Digest site.

3 Responses to “Internet writing rant”

  1. mike Says:

    If the system made more sense, it would be easier for people to learn. Why do possessive nouns have apostrophe+s but possessive pronouns don’t? If apostrophes mark elision as in contractions, what being elided in the possessive? Like that. I don’t envy the people who have to teach English punctuation rules to ESL learners, for example.

    Of course, the real issue is that yer average writer simply doesn’t care enough for any of this to make a difference. πŸ™‚

    • Rick Sprague Says:

      Mike: The genitive apostrophe marks the elision of the ‘e’ in -es, which was the usual suffix added for genitive case in Old English. Pronouns were irregular (and still are, one of the last vestiges of case in the language), so they didn’t use the suffix and therefore don’t get the apostrophe. So you see, it actually does make sense, though as you say most people wouldn’t be interested in the explanation.

  2. mike Says:

    @Rick — thanks for the explanation. I guess my point was that for the ordinary speaker to whom one tries to explain these things, or, as noted, to an ESL speaker, there’s simply no way to makes the rules make sense based on what the speaker knows (or can divine) about the language in its current state. In other words, the rules are not algorithmic; they’re just memorization. Most of us do manage this feat, but obviously many people don’t, at least, not to the extent that they can manage other memorization, like our remaining ablauted past tenses and irregular plurals and the like. And, as I guess we agree, many who don’t master the rules also don’t really seem to care if they do. πŸ™‚

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