Am I just being a language snob?


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Thread: Am I just being a language snob?

  1. #1

    Am I just being a language snob?

    Note: This is not an attempt to belittle anyone. I am genuinely concerned for the future of our species and our ability to communicate effectively.

    I came across this post on my Facebook feed earlier today:

    Too many step dads
    busting they ass to
    make ends meet
    while the real dads
    out here living like
    they ain't got no kids.

    Can I understand the point they are making? Yes.
    Does the grammar tie me up in knots and make me want to give Facebook users an English lesson? Not any more. I have made attempts in the past and been scolded for being, and I quote, 'a grammar Nazi'.

    I was raised by a mother who was well-read and insisted on proper grammar. I believe I benefit greatly from at least attempting to use, what I consider 'proper' grammar, in my daily life.

    I understand that I may be in the minority. Really, I do, but the movie 'Idiocracy' comes to mind. That is a scary thought and the post I have shared here is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

    The evolution of language is nothing new, but I see more and more of this sort of disregard and it makes me wonder about the future of the language.

    So, am I being a snob?

  2. #2
    I do not think you are being a snob. And you are so right. Those of us who not only love a well-turned phrase, but also love "proper grammar," have to be suffering a bit in these times. I dislike acronyms, which seem to be the current passion. Coming from a legal background where acronyms are only used in a brief AFTER they have been spelled out at least once, it is just one of the many flaws that I see in our communications. Words have been shortened to such an extent that sometimes it is a challenge to figure out what is being said. So, I hear you.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  3. #3
    Language is constantly evolving. We don't speak the way Chaucer did or Milton or even Mark Twain. Old English became a Latin language because of the French invasion of 1066, but it took about 400 years. If you were to wake up 500 years in the future you would likely not understand English. We do our best to write legibly but there is nothing we can do to stop the language from evolving.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SueC View Post
    I do not think you are being a snob. And you are so right. Those of us who not only love a well-turned phrase, but also love "proper grammar," have to be suffering a bit in these times. I dislike acronyms, which seem to be the current passion. Coming from a legal background where acronyms are only used in a brief AFTER they have been spelled out at least once, it is just one of the many flaws that I see in our communications. Words have been shortened to such an extent that sometimes it is a challenge to figure out what is being said. So, I hear you.
    You folks are correct. It's difficult for people who can't differentiate between "than" and "then" to become a wordsmith. Other tragic examples abound.

  5. #5
    Too many step dads
    busting they ass to
    make ends meet
    while the real dads
    out here living like
    they ain't got no kids.

    Ah, the writer's voice. It's quite the conundrum really, isn't it. That's an half decent poem to me. When I post on forums, I turn the 'narrative' me off most of the time. I'll just slap words down. When I'm writing, I'll go into hyper narrative mode, the cutthroat, self analysis, critical me. We could assume this poster is always in this mode, whether at school, when taking exams or on Facebook. We could also consider perhaps the 'street' voice used here is done deliberately, for musical reasons.

    What is a snob? Someone who immediately judges another based on factors they consider beneath them? Or, someone who doesn't consider context and therefore associates anything that doesn't meet their standards beneath them? Is this beneath me? No, actually I'd be interested to find out more about this person. Black? Probably. Stepdad? Maybe. Has a stepdad? Maybe. Loves his dad but can't respect him? Maybe. Respects his step-dad but not his real father? maybe. Is sick of watching his adopted son being ignored by his real father? Maybe.

    Yeah, it's an interesting slice of culture right there.

    Are you a snob? That's not for me to say.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  6. #6
    I know this struggle and can entirely relate. However, I try not to bring people up on grammar unless they ask for help with it, simply because I don't know their lives. They may not have had the same education, opportunities, or linguistic interests I did.

    That being said:

    Quote Originally Posted by druid12000 View Post
    I was raised by a mother who was well-read and insisted on proper grammar. I believe I benefit greatly from at least attempting to use,[<--- WHAT'S THIS???!!!!] what I consider 'proper' grammar, in my daily life.
    tee hee


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    I know this struggle and can entirely relate. However, I try not to bring people up on grammar unless they ask for help with it, simply because I don't know their lives. They may not have had the same opportunities or linguistic interests I did.
    Or they could be an excellent writer choosing to use a street voice to communicate. Social pressure and all that. The fear of isolation. The need to feel part of the 'collective', lest they become a pariah. Sometimes, in some areas 'pop him in the ass' actually means something serious.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    Or they could be an excellent writer choosing to use a street voice to communicate. Social pressure and all that. The fear of isolation. The need to feel part of the 'collective', lest they become a pariah. Sometimes, in some areas 'pop him in the ass' actually means something serious.
    They could be. But genuinely poor grammar definitely exists too. When my daughter makes grammatical mistakes I correct her, because I do think it will benefit her to have this tool in her toolbox.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    They could be. But genuinely poor grammar definitely exists too. When my daughter makes grammatical mistakes I correct her, because I do think it will benefit her to have this tool in her toolbox.
    Which leads us to the obvious conclusion that 'assumption' is snobbery in some instances. I prefer to 'assume' the best until proven wrong, rather than 'assume' the worse until proven wrong. I can't assume anything from ONE post and I certainly can't assume anything from Facebook posts, unless I have more context. So in isolation, I see that as a good poem. I bet if that was posted in the poetry section of this forum, not a single person would question the grammar. They'd 'assume' it was done for musical purposes.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    Social pressure and all that. The fear of isolation.
    I have no sympathy for that. I was a straight A student who was assaulted twice in school for that reason alone. I didn't decide to ignore my studies because it wasn't popular with idiots. However, the second time it happened, I hit the bully who assaulted me upside the head with a book bag. He went down and the "fight" was over. I never had a problem after that. Plus, I never saw that kid again. I'm sure I didn't kill him. The news would have gotten around and I'd have heard. But he stayed the hell out of my line of sight for the next two years running.

    The focus here wasn't on an individual whose education failed to elevate them to the level of standard language usage, it's on our diminishing ability to do that. Standardized test scores, not just in English, but all subjects, have been in decline since the late 60s. The list of reasons for that is long. Students, parents, the educational system, and social engineering all bear part of the shame.

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