No one is perfect, and I bet that even sticklers for grammar make lapses now and then. The good old principles of the dynamism of language and Mere Exposure Theory are at work here. I have to admit that I can think of some people who won’t want to admit that publicly, though.
Over the weekend, I was catching up on some Elementary, a TV series with a modern take on Sherlock Holmes. I was again made aware of how language evolves. In this particular episode, Sherlock is revealed to use text speak when sending text messages. While I make it a point to avoid that myself, I have to admit that there are times when I find myself shortening words. Whether it’s laziness or a quest for efficient texting, some will find it unacceptable.
What I’m getting at is that there are so many factors that can contribute to improper grammar. I’ve identified three. Let me know what you think.
A couple years ago, I wrote a piece on how some song lyrics are incorrect grammatically. Lady Gaga was the main culprit, thanks to “I want your love, and I want your revenge. You and me could write a bad romance.”
Against the whispers of my heart, I had to include Sting as well with his famous lines “Every little thing she does is magic. Every thing she do just turns me on.”
Undoubtedly, hearing – and singing – songs like these two can easily, gently nudge us toward the world of improper grammar. Unless we’re vigilant. Then again, as I said before, Sting’s songs are just too fun to correct and then sing along to!
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, it’s hard to ignore the grammar mistakes found left and right. I swear, I even heard Dr. Sheldon Cooper make a mistake at some point! I wish I had written it down because I cannot remember it, but I was so aghast to see a chink in the armor of that character! Can you think of TV show characters, news anchors, DJs, and other media personalities who might be contributing to the grammar lapses of their viewers?
This is not a new debate. Tech speak and texting have been blamed so many times for the decline of the use of proper grammar. Researchers have not arrived at an unshakeable conclusion, though. Here’s an infographic which leans toward the idea that tech speak is to blame.
Those are pretty convincing arguments, but I still believe that there’s a place and time for everything – including tech speak. That does not mean that I don’t see the dangers in getting into the habit of using such language!
How about you? Do you agree with these “bad grammar bears”? Do you have any other negative influencers on your list?