wHat Th3 h311?

You could say I sometimes go on the warpath, especially when it comes to things regarding the English language. And while I consider my own personal stance on grammar to be somewhere between prescriptive and descriptive, I am going to err on the side of legalism here. To support my most recent prescriptive grammarian crusade, see the above photo. Now I ask you, fellow speakers, readers, and writers: What the hell is that?

I’ve Facebooked and Twittered it, but that just wasn’t quite enough for me, so here I am.

(And in case you just said to yourself “She Twitters?”: Um. Yeah, about that. I have spent the past 2-3 years avoiding Twitter. The only time I got on it was to check Trent Reznor’s feed and see if anything new and exciting was happening. But alas, he and I both became stay-at-home moms (sorry, Trent). For my freelancing gig with a certain media company based in Georgia, I was asked to open a page and figured that I always said the only way I’d do it is if someone paid me for it. So there you have it. I sell out to The Man and like it.)

Anyway, here’s what I have to say about this:

Youth of the world, when you tYp3 L1K3 th1s YOu l00k lik3 uH C0m91ete 1Di0T. And sound like one, too – that is, if I can get past all the qwerty-speak to actually deduce some sort of basic meaning from this Klingon-esque code you’re typing (“nuqjatlh? jIyajbe’!!”)

Now, don’t be bitter. Don’t get mad. Own the fact that some of you have been raised in the tradition (in whatever applicable fashion – may be more or less, but rest assured that you have had at least some exposure) of the proper, correct, written and spoken English language, but have chosen instead to adopt the lingo of the gum-chewing, Axe-body-spray-wearing masses. I mean, come on. It’s ENGLISH! This is not Swahili. This is basic, easy, remedial-level stuff. I mean, we all learned this in the lowest levels of grade school (along with cursive, which I hear is going the way of the Zack Morris Diving Brick Phone?) And what happens? You hit 13, get a dose of hormones and a few too many episodes of “Secret Life of a the American Teenager” (God help us all), and suddenly BAM! – you’re turning in term papers in text speak. And let’s not even approach the virginity implications of “Secret Life.” That, my dears, is a vent for another day, when I have teenage daughters and sons who are shackled to the kitchen table for fear that they may do something truly stupid, like losing their v-card to some guy at band camp. BAND CAMP. Really?!

The only good thing that came of this insidious discovery on the internets, friends, is that I finally felt compelled to look up some Klingon phrases. Even though I really have never liked the Star Trek movies. And certainly not that Klingon has anything to do with whatever tH15 is. Bah. Hmph. Meh.

But no need to worry, right? I can trust the American education system to properly dispell this frightening movement towards the progressive stupidification of the children in its charge? Right?

peDoghQo’. Klingon conjugations – huzzah!

4 thoughts on “wHat Th3 h311?

  1. It's definitely not a terrible idea, Adam. I remember when The College Board introduced the writing portion on the SATs, I had this blip of intensely naive, unadulterated optimism where I thought that grammar and writing skills in this country might actually IMPROVE. I guess not…

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  2. It seriously did! I just marvel at what an immense screw-up that whole thing was/is, and also at the fact that we have yet to do anything about it. I am politically neutral, but don't think it missed my attention that during the recent GOP debate, not one of the candidates brought up education as a topic for reform. Then again, ol' Barry isn't getting high marks in that regard, either. You have to wonder if nobody in politics has ever considered the fact that improving education in a realistic, effective way might have a ripple effect on so many other areas of concern in this country. It makes sense, right?

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