Punctuation and grammar lost today

Re: “R.I.P. English,” Sept. 30, 2009

I sat down and picked up a discarded copy of The Cord. That’s when I found it: “R.I.P. English.”
Reading it, I almost instantly found myself silently agreeing to everything in the article. I will admit to having, on occasion, used “words” such as btw in regular speech, but usually just to annoy my brother.

Reading the article, it reminded me of a certain problem which I have fought vehemently for the past couple of years. That problem is that of the lack of use and the misuse of punctuation.

Punctuation is vital. Just today, I was reading an essay for a religion class and struggling to understand it. My struggle wasn’t a result of heavy content, but rather of a lack of punctuation.

Is there any excuse for this grotesque disregard to the English language? But what of the misuse?

One word: emoticons. I remember a time when the semicolon was actually used to divide but join two separate but closely related sentences; not just to wink at someone.

I remember when brackets were used to enclose side notes (and not just to make happy and sad faces).

And I remember lamenting over the slow death of the hyphen. People are becoming increasingly ignorant. I like to think of our language as a ship. Poor English, a beautiful ship sailing on the sea. We must patch up these holes and save the ship before it’s too late.

Otherwise, we’ll all drown in misunderstanding and poor communication skills. And honestly: who wants that?

–Thomas Krol

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