As an English teacher I have had to get used to poor literacy skills. Not mine, of course. I try hard, I really do, along with my colleagues. But we seem to live in an age where communication is paramount due to the amount of devices available. Somehow, though, the written word itself has become marginalised. And, as Lynne Truss has banged on about for the last few years, punctuation is becoming a total joke.
Mind you, my laptop has taken to randomly doubling up letters and often missing letters out - particularly capitals. If I wasn't literate my scribblings would become almost incomprehensible. Much like the way students write nowadays.
For all the poor writing where I have to read about "a women" or a film called "the decent" I have to bite my tongue because I'm marking Film Studies scripts and NOT English as has been pointed out to me a few times too often. However, one thing that is really getting my goat is the use of such phrases as "the decent (sic) is a british horror." A British horror what? Biscuit? It's a film, a British Horror film. These are, after all, A level students I'm talking about!
Where I really am getting fed up though is in the way that our lovely language is being eroded through sheer laziness. Have you asked anyone how they are recently? If anyone asks me how I am I always reply, I'm well/fine/okay" which all seem reasonable responses. Since when has "I'm good" become an acceptable answer? Well, it hasn't for me. I'm good? Yeah, fine, but how are you? Are you well? Mind you if they wrote it, it would be "im good".
Another phrase I hate that has even started to creep in onto Radio 4 is (big breath) "It's a big ask". It's a what? The headmaster of our school uses phrases like that. A politician used it yesterday - I don't know what he was talking about because I was groaning too loudly. Would it be too much of a big ask to ask you to learn how to speak the language properly?
Oh well, rant over for now. Otherwise I might start moaning about emoticons - I'm definitely with Ms Truss on that one (see the last chapter of Eats, Shoots & Leaves).