Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Duz Speling and Gramer Madder?

Why would it, as long as you can get the point across?
I’m pretty sure everyone has tried reading that paragraph where the first and last letter to a word is in the right order and the rest are all mixed up, yet the message still makes complete sense. If not, you can read the following paragraph:
            “i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghi t pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!”
So this raises the question, does spelling and grammar really matter? The answer to that question is a big fat YES! Proper spelling and use of grammar is necessary in order to exemplify an idea. The slightest mistake can change a sentences meaning entirely. For example, IKEA posted a sign in their store about how their store “has everything, even deserts!” All you have to do is go to the restaurant area; then you can get yourself a nice cactus. Another great example, a few days ago on facebook one of my little brother’s friends put up their status reading, “It’s Mourning time!!! J” Now of course I’d be slightly confused considering people are not normally that excited when it comes to a time of mourning. Grammar is another issue of importance. It can also change the sentences meaning. Everyone knows the classic example of “Woman without her man is nothing” and then you fill in the punctuation. The men write “woman, without her man, is nothing”, and the women all write “woman: without her, man is nothing”. Those are two different meanings and two different perspectives. But what if I said, those are too different meanings and too different perspectives?
Or what if your boss left you a note that said:
  • You will be required to work twenty four-hour shifts.
  • You will be required to work twenty-four hour shifts.
  • You will be required to work twenty-four-hour shifts.
What would you do? Personally, I’d quit because I’m not about to work below someone that ignorant to the laws of grammar.
Spelling and Grammar can certainly change things if used incorrectly. So to answer the original question, yes spelling and grammar matter. Not only can it change what you mean to say, but you look dumb too. Not to mention all your crazy English major friends are going to correct you, and we get annoyed with that easily.
So I leave you with these questions. Why don’t they still teach spelling and grammar in school? Is it due to the technology of our generation with such things as spell check and T9 Word? Does short hand texting have anything to do with this issue?

Check my grammar, I dare you! (I really hope it’s right haha)


  1. Elle, I completely agree with you! I know there is debate on the use of the oxford comma, but I found this funny reason to use the comma on Pinterest (http://media-cdn.pinterest.com/upload/13792342578329725_HWI1qmUI_f.jpg). I hope that the link works for you...

    Pinterest has a lot of creative posters like that, which would be great to use in the classroom to explain grammar use. There are also TONS of ideas for teaching on this website. It is my current addiction!

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  2. Love it!

    That reminds me of the story about the panda (errr, at least I believe it was a panda). He is sitting in a restaurant reading a book. The panda then orders food, eats, pulls out a gun, shoots a few bullets in the air, and leaves without paying.

    He was reading an encyclopedia. The entry read "Panda. Noun. Eats, shoots and leaves."

    The comma was in the wrong place. A panda eats shoots (which is a plant) and a panda also eats leaves. The entry should have read "Panda. Noun. Eats shoots and leaves." Maybe if the encyclopedia had displayed correct grammar, the panda would have left a tip :)

    Food for thought!

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  4. I agree with you completely. One of the first examples that comes to my mind is the example about Grandma.

    Let's eat Grandma!
    Let's eat, Grandma!

    Obviously, these two sentences have completely different meanings. Grammar makes a HUGE difference. Something as simple as a comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence, and if used incorrectly it can make you look like a fool.

  5. I've seen this paragraph before and I love it just as much now as I did in high school.

    Today, language is synonymous to literature and writing, yet we still have yet to have a foolproof way to transcribe voice intonations, meaning, and connotation without following a very complex and intricate set of rules that those of us raised in Mother's Tongue sometimes take for granted.