April 2014
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Lookit the great grammar. Lookit.

If you’ve ever read a blog, and I’m pretty sure you have, you’ve seen that the quality of the comments in terms of (a) focusing on the post, (b) grammar and style, and (c) organization of thought varies quite a bit.

 For example, examine the comments from this YouTube Family Guy post:

i’m putting this on my i-pod!

omg, that was so, AWSOME! lol

HAHA almost cried! :D great vid

Compare this with comments from the NYTimes blog on the t.v. sitcom, “Cavemen:”

Look, Cavemen isn’t Arrested Development or even The Office, but at least it attempts to be more than just a one-joke show. Also, Nick Krohl, the ’sarcastic hipster caveman’ is the show’s saving grace, the writers wisely center the show around him, and he’s a good performer. I say give this show a chance, the critics alll want to join in the dogpile, but this show really isn’t as bad as the haters are making it out to be.

“Cavemen” is a truly horrible show. A bad sitcom will at least make you groan from corny or tasteless jokes. “Cavemen” does not even do that. The only reason that it could find a way to survive is that it makes one completely numb. The viewer’s grey matter devolves to the point of a mass of nerve cells vaguely aware of its immediate surroundings.

I’m assuming that the NYTimes is attracting a different clientele than those who watch illegal postings of Family Guy videos on YouTube.  I was struck by by the fact that the difference was so large. 

The Waterglass is somewhere in the middle (half full, you might say).

7 comments to Lookit the great grammar. Lookit.

  • David

    Actually, that first review encapsulated the writer’s feelings very well.

    The first part, “i’m putting this on my i-pod!”, tells us that the writer so approved of the video clip that he will put it on his Ipod for repeat viewings. That sets the stage for the remainder of his glowing review.

    “omg, that was so, AWSOME! lol” reinforces the writer’s opinion about the quality of the video clip. There was first the appeal to a higher power to witness his approval (the “g” in “omg” stands for “God”), then the expression of further approval by not only giving the clip the superlative adjective of “awsome,” but putting the term in capital letters. Finally, the “lol” informs us that he found the clip so amusing that he laughed aloud.

    So what do we learn with “HAHA almost cried! :) great vid”? Several things. First, that he laughed so much that he was almost brought to tears (we know he laughed aloud from the earlier “lol” usage in addition to the poignant use of the onomatopoeic “HAHA”). He was also eager to assure the reader that these tears were from laughter rather than grief from the smiley face symbol, which shows a concern about how his message is getting across. And finally, the “great vid” concludes the review by reinforcing his expression of approval. All in all, it was quite articulate and on point.

    That other review was just a bunch of words strung together. I stopped reading after the first sentence. Who needs that?

  • von

    omg gr8 post i pee myself

  • My wife, a high school English teacher, is constantly battling netspeak from entering into her student’s work. She will get entire essays without a single thing capitalized. The students tell her that as long as you could decode what they were saying then it doesn’t matter if it was gramatically correct or even spelled correctly.

    The internet may be great for communication, but it ironically will be the death of the language.

  • David

    I don’t agree. It’s through efforts like your wife’s that proper grammar skills will retain their importance. You don’t see business reports written in Ebonics or netspeak for a reason: they’re not accepted in the real world as proper forms of communication between professionals.

    Same reason why most Fortune 500 company higher-ups don’t have nose rings and facial tattoos.

  • They may not have nose rings and facial tattoos, but it doesn’t mean you don’t get creative writing.

    Today, I received a call ticket for a new clinic in Saint Lewis. I felt like an idiot after five minutes talking to the head therapist when I realized the helpdesk meant ST. LOUIS.

    Morgan: So, where is Saint Lewis?
    Therapist: Uh….Missouri.
    Morgan: *sound of forehead slamming into keyboard*

  • Not being able to pronounce St. Louis properly is not an indicator of poor education, necessarily.

    There’s a town in Colorado called Louisville. It’s pronounced ‘Lewisville’. Not ‘Louieville.’

    Just as an example.