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To think that grammar/spelling standards are not what they were?

(319 Posts)
Meandmarius Fri 22-Mar-13 09:29:34

I'm mid 30's and have noticed that most of my friends/peers are able to distinguish between 'your and you're', 'where, were, we're' and using the words 'have' and 'of' correctly.
I've noticed that in younger generations there just doesn't seem to be the same standard anymore and I wonder why that is.
Not saying for one minute that my own sp. and grammar is perfect - it isn't. I just wonder if there is as much emphasis on it nowadays as there was back in the day..

Pigsmummy Fri 22-Mar-13 11:41:44

I get a bit annoyed by terrible errors on here, some of it is auto correct on smart phones and tablets, which dictionary they are associated to is anyone's guess! Some of it is sheer ignorance and stops me taking people seriously. Some of it is very amusing "penis gloves" and recent "Eye que" in a post bashing people who go on Jeremy Kyle, where the post couldn't spell Jeremy correct.

I hope that the next generation get the education that addresses this, teaching has meant to have become more sophisticated especially regards use of IT and methods for teaching dyslexics so teach our children how to spell please! Parents reading with children at home is a basic that we can all do to try to help too.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 22-Mar-13 11:44:09

It makes me angry seeing fb posts with

no/know, aloud/allowed

And yes, these are from the 20 somethings. I must write like an old fart because I actually try to have correct spelling/grammar in my fb posts.

simbo Fri 22-Mar-13 11:50:44

I have turned off the predictive typing feature on my tablet, as it was completely useless. If we don't rely on our own ability to spell we will surely forget how.

stubbornstains Fri 22-Mar-13 11:51:50

Bad spelling or grammar hurts my brain. I think the use of good spelling and grammar is a matter of consideration, and the willingness to communicate effectively.

Interesting point about the fact that we are increasingly returning to written forms of communication- I have often thought that text messages are the 20th century equivalent of a panting servant arriving with a billet doux.......Hopefully this means that spelling and grammar will eventually improve??

Folkgirl I was on an internet dating site, and specified that only men who knew how to spell should get in touch (which was largely ignored)!

stubbornstains Fri 22-Mar-13 11:54:00

Damn, I made sure to proofread that previous post, seeing as I was pontificating about grammar, and I think I've made a mistake.... blush

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Mar-13 11:54:52

What was 'penis gloves' meant to be?

caughtinagiggleloop Fri 22-Mar-13 12:03:18

It's not taught properly in schools anymore.

I remember being taught basic grammar at primary school (plurals, apostrophes, the difference between a noun, a verb and an adjective) and then in more detail when I did English Language at A-level. However, most people my age don't know the basics of grammar (I'm in my mid-30s). I don't ever remember having one lesson at secondary school. My mum and dad (who are both shit hot at grammar) asked my English teacher at a parents' evening once and he said "No we don't do that anymore. It's too boring and kids will pick it up by reading." If it's been unpopular to teach it for 20 years or more, it's no wonder standards are slipping.

I don't think it's fair to blame texting and the internet for the decline in language. I send texts in text-speak but I wouldn't send an email at work like that. I have, however, received emails like that at work from young people straight out of school and I think this is because there is nobody teaching them that language changes depending on the context and they need to understand proper grammar rules for a reason.

The whole "should of" thing is because when people speak, they run words into each other so they say "should've" instead of "should have". I remember being told this at primary school so have never written should of because it doesn't make sense. Teachers need to be correcting grammar as soon as children know how to write.

Meandmarius Fri 22-Mar-13 12:04:48

Parents reading with children at home is a basic that we can all do to try to help too.

Couldn't agree more, pigsmummy. There's only so much a school can teach, it needs to be backed up and encouraged at home, too.

As a kid, I remember now and again going to town with my dad for a new book and it was a genuine treat. Weird, really because he wasn't a reader himself at all but I suppose it was his way of encouraging me to read. There was a genuine excitement at the thought of going to the bookstore, picking a new book and going home to read it. Maybe it is just that times are changing, more activities to do, more channels on the television, computers!

ComposHat Fri 22-Mar-13 12:06:03

At the risk of coming over a bit Ken Barlow, I'm always a bit suspect when people claim that there was a golden age when people used perfect grammar and their spelling was faultless.

It certainly wasn't the late Victorian/Edwardian period. I've been looking at some Parliamentary Reports and the spelling and grammar is inconsistent at best and bloody awful in many places.

SecretLindtBunny Fri 22-Mar-13 12:06:25

Yanbu at all.

It isn't even about knowing how to spell, it's about knowing what words to use.

I regularly want to bang my head against a wall when I work with one particular colleague.

Some delights from the past 7 days include

"I've ordered pink Moat for my wedding", to a colleague when she was serving a customer. Customer and colleague laughed, so she came bleating to me
"It is Moat isn't it. The champagne?" To which I corrected her "Moet is the name. Moet et Chandon"

"my brother just totally pampers to my eldest niece, she's so spoilt" instead of panders.

"I'm a great believer in Cava" again to a customer who had been talking about some misfortune or other. I actually had to leave the shop floor to laugh.

"If she doesn't stop nagging, I'll smothercate her" that was yesterday, about our manager.

My tolerance is rapidly being worn away working with her. Her spelling is wild and her handwriting is expansive, shall we say?

And yes, she does say Could of, Would of, etc.

nagynolonger Fri 22-Mar-13 12:17:26

I really shouldn't be posting on here because my spelling and grammar is crap. Dyslexia didn't exist when I was a DC you were just thick. Three of my sons are dyslexic. All the tests done and official. I'm sure lots say they or their DC are dyslexic just because they can't spell.

One mistake I have noticed more recently is people (even clever types on BBC news) don't seem to know when to use the word 'amount' or 'number'.
It's never a large 'amount' of people/cats/house. It's a large 'number' of peoples/cats/houses. If you can count them it should be number. The word amount should be used for wine, sugar or sand etc.

Thanks to MN I am now aware of the difference between lose/loose!

CJCrEgg Fri 22-Mar-13 12:20:12


All plurals. Nothing belongs to them; nothing has been omitted.



No apostrophe required.

(However, if referring to a decade, the apostrophe could go before the number to indicate the omission at the beginning eg '70s for 1970s.)


Sorry. I know I should fuck to Pedants' Corner blush

Misfit13 Fri 22-Mar-13 12:23:59

It gives me brainache too, stubborn stains.
Folkgirl - I made an exception for a crap speller once because he looked just right and liked a lot of the same things. But every message he sent just made me cringe.
About 5 years ago, DS1 received a detention for being rude and disruptive. He says he raised his hand and pointed out there is no apostrophe in 'rules'. He's a chip off the old block. Once, I asked to see an advert that was in the newsagent's window, corrected it and handed it back :|
I blame spell checkers.

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Mar-13 12:28:05

I agree composhat. Though if you really were Ken Barlow you'd believe there was a golden age in which it was okay to molest children.

gazzalw Fri 22-Mar-13 12:29:39

On your initial point, OP, I was shocked that schools now teach that they're is a homonym with there and their. How can that be right???? This is primary schools too! hmm.

Agree about texting being a root evil too. The problem is that if you spend your every 'writing' moment, texting, you will end up speaking and writing very slovenly English, if only thro' sheer laziness!

DH and I were just noticing the other day that people seem to rather like an apostrophe before the S, whether or not it's warranted, but many (including myself I have to admit) are quite reluctant to put one after the S.

So, happy for example with potato's (where it should be potatoes) or child's toy
But very unsure with something like flowers' petals

As I said, I have to admit to being rather unsure myself !
Tell me I'm right with my flowers ?!

Misfit13 Fri 22-Mar-13 12:37:45

My good friend frequently promotes her FB selling page with 'Please like are page.' I've patiently explained what it should say, and why, but to no avail. I intend to make her a little folded card for her desk with ' Please like our page' written on it.

Hamishbear Fri 22-Mar-13 12:41:16

'I believe in Cava' utterly brilliant! smile

Teach the science first and then the art, but it's not going to happen and it's only to get worse from here. Things are changing and I predict grammar and spelling will not be bothered about in the future - they'll be a 'ap' for that when it counts (which won't be often).

nagynolonger Fri 22-Mar-13 12:43:08

Oh dear I'm sure I've done that with numbers......sorry CJC. And I must remember it's not fourty.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 22-Mar-13 12:43:44

I know an awful lot of elderly people who really aren't comfortable reading and writing at all. Lots of 'oh, I've lost my glasses, you read it for me', and lots of people who end up in adult remedial education because, increasingly, our society requires basic literacy in a way it didn't even thirty years ago.

So I find it unlikely that the SPAG standards of under 30s are significantly lower than those of older groups.

And FWIW, worra - I'm dyslexic and my spelling isn't shit. grin

She says, combing message for friendly red lines.

gazzalw Fri 22-Mar-13 12:46:00

If the apostrophe isn't used to shorten a word such as is or not etc... it tends to be a possessive so flowers' petals (the petals of flowers) or a flower's petals (the petals of a flower) would both be correct.

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Mar-13 12:48:07

I like 'smothercate'. Very descriptive.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 22-Mar-13 12:48:55

limitedperiod I was in a quandary about the CV's vs. CVs one - I did actually read a very good argument some years ago about why both PC's and PCs can be correct - but I'm afraid I forget the detail. blush Perhaps some clever grammar know-it-all can remind me?

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 22-Mar-13 12:51:13

Isn't it PC's is about possessive, and PCs the plural? So both are correct depending on the sentence?

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 22-Mar-13 12:52:17

I mean it's like boys vs boy's. As in The boy's mother, or the boys are playing in the garden. Unless there are different rules for acronyms that I'm not aware of.

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