We have a problem. An ever increasing problem. I read recently that when you put a period at the end of a sentence in a text it equates to yelling. Someone is trying to hijack grammar! The comma is losing it’s importance as is the apostrophe. Twitter, text, Facebook posts, Instagram, They’re all guilty of neglecting the subtle art that grammar is. Words are only words without the ability to convey rhythm, inflection, tone, and meaning. Grammar is hard in that words are the paint and grammar is the brush. It is how we cover the canvas with the picture we paint.
A lesser but ever increasing issue as well is spelling and vocabulary. The understanding of the words we use. I have the opportunity to be a father. One of the primary means of learning these things as my children grew older was to employ a dictionary. That’s right, a real live, bound and published, paper dictionary. Where there is no autocorrect, no instant access to word definitions They contain multiple and official meanings of the words, as well as a pronunciation guide and usage examples. These days all one has to do is ask a digital assistant what something means and they get the most common answer, which many times is not the right one, from a search engine. Add to that the ignorance of the words in the definition that they do get and you have a thorough lack of understanding on your hands. In the hands of one with understanding, technology can be a wonderful time-saving resource and certainly has its place, but we are losing the basics.
Forgive my rambling. Literacy is a passion of mine. I work towards ever increasing the literacy of those around me.
Today we rejoin Milo on the road in The Phantom Tollbooth as he arrives at Dictionopolis. The very place where words come from. There are some strange characters indeed, and a little bit of wisdom which I would do well to remember.