I blame technology really. Auto-correct, Facebook, Text Speak. What started as a fun way to chat to friends, a quicker way to write and quite frankly, an assumption that technology will make up for our shortcomings – has slowly devolved our use of the written word to the point where our future generations could soon be communicating entirely via poop emojis (or Oxford Dictionary’s Word of 2015).
Ok maybe that’s a bit extreme but I feel like I’m channelling my grandmother when I say, what has happened to the state of spelling? The youth of today, she would say, has no respect for the English language, butchering it with abbreviations, new acronyms and – worst of all – completely new spellings that look as close to the original as a Hollywood remake.
It’s not all negative; I’m the first to embrace a new word when it perfectly sums up an emotion or helps paint a word-picture in a way that previous offerings could not. I know when someone’s getting hangry, I love wine o’clock and I’m addicted to snackable content – all words to our dictionaries this year. Its NBD if people want to get creative with their language, I’m just asking that they make an effort not to deliberately brutalise their written vocabulary.
And it’s not just spelling – a beautifully crafted sentence can capture your imagination and take you to another place – evoking a completely different scene with a few choice adjectives – and yet instead of thinking about what we want to say and how we want to say it, we’re opting for the easier options. No matter how evolved we get, with new content forms; video, photography, GIFs (its pronounced JIF by the way, not GIF) the written word will always captivate us so it’s important to treat it with respect.
We need to reclaim really great writing. Value simple sentence structures and embrace amazing adjectives. Go beyond the obvious – excited, innovative, revolutionary; all words which have become, well, pretty overused and uninspiring.
So as I get down off my soapbox, I’m simply asking, think before you text. Reconsider before you write. Go beyond the obvious to bring back bloody great writing that gets me excited to work in PR. Or at a bare minimum, at least use spell-check.
Written by Jackie Holt