Yes, you will all have to suffer through another schoolmarmish post by me.
I'm sure I have mentioned in the past that I believe the internet is the death knell of grammar and proper writing. Upon further reflection, I have concluded that this is not the case.
The rise of the net is great in that there is such a wealth of information readily accessible by anyone. Remember the days when research meant going to the library and looking through periodicals? Remember waiting for the next day's newspaper for sports scores and stats (or the day after that for a night game)? The internet is great for many things except for the fact is also has the unfortunate side-effect of giving every ordinary joe a voice.
(Clearly, this could be considered somewhat ironic because I myself am an ordinary joe spouting my opinions as facts online. At the very least, claiming people shouldn't have a voice is the height of hubris on my part, feeling my opinions are more valid than others'. Well, tough. Live with it.)
Spelling and grammatical mistakes really bother me. I'm not talking about simple typos, either. I myself am guilty of inadvertent errors. Nobody is perfect. Rather, I mean all those who write poorly but don't know that what they write is improper. This begets a terrible ouroboros of linguistic deficiency. How will people learn the language when all they are exposed to is an ersatz version?
The following really grind my gears:
-should of/would of (which doesn't even make sense, people! Come on, think for a second!)
As mentioned up top, I have reached a new conclusion. My cause and effect theory that the internet is causing poor language skills is somewhat backwards. Yes, if people have the net as their only source of reading, they will have a skewed idea of English. However, I believe that people were always bad at grammar and vocabulary. It's just that, in the past, the only reading we would do would be from books and magazines, sources that went through an editor to be cleaned up before reaching our eyes. The advent of self-publishing on the net bypasses the screening process, allowing people to post their ignorance unfettered.
Moral of the story: please, everyone, read proper books. And lots of them.