Dumbing It Down

Of course, as soon as I say there is nothing in my head…something pops in there. Happens every time. Every. Time.


I’m on a little bit of a rant here lately about the way Americans seem to be “dumbing it down” for a new generation. How we’re allowing things to fly that would have never flown in a prior decade. (Yep…I turn 53 today and I sound old as crap.) For instance, I can’t tell you how many spelling errors I find on websites these days. It’s unbelievable! It’s like there is no quality control in most companies’ IT departments. I’m not talking about someone’s personal blog where they might, oh…I don’t know…get going so fast that they forget to proofread and a stupid mistake gets published (guilty). I’m talking about professional, well established corporations who’s websites often have spelling mistakes, poor grammar or incorrect punctuation. For reals yo?

Oh yes…for reals.

I’ll admit to being a bit like the grammar police when it comes to my kids and work (not my blog however…see how I got out of that). I check, recheck and triple check my work correspondence or materials and I’ve always make my kids text in full, complete sentences without the use of “text speak”. It drives me crazy to see a text that uses no punctuation and lacks even one completely spelled out word. Oh yeah, IN ALL CAPS. I’m like, “Why are you yelling at me?”

I’ve also been known, when asked “Where you at?” to respond, “Behind a preposition!”

I can be obnoxious like that.

I do not expect everyone to be an annoying hard ass like me when it comes to shit like this but dang people, are we going to continually dumb ourselves down to the point that if spell check didn’t catch it then it’s not a problem? What does it say about us that I can’t go even one day without reading something that misuses your and you’re. Or it’s and its. Or (my personal favorite) they’re, their and there. Or any number of other English errors that have become commonplace. I don’t expect everyone to know or care about comma splices or dangling participles but for the love of pickles, can we just learn to spell or, in lieu of LOOKING IT UP (yep…yelling that time), Google it? It seems we have more resources available to us than ever before and yet we are accepting mediocre quality control from our citizens?

And don’t even get me started (okay…I’m started…so what) on our advertising brethren.

As I wrote in a Facebook post the other day, does anyone else find it ironic that the same Muppets (whom I adore) that have been teaching our children to read and count for over 40 years are now on TV selling a car that, “Ain’t got no room for boring?”

Yeah…there’s that.



22 thoughts on “Dumbing It Down

  1. You go girl! Now where should I go you might ask? And living in the Midwest makes me crazy. People say do you want to come with. Not with me or with us, just come with. Makes me f…ing crazy! You started it.

    1. LOL…well here in the south the double negative is alive and well.

      The regional stuff doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the lack of oversight with the printed word (present company excepted of course). 😉

  2. I am the adult child of an English teacher – and I hear mom’s voice almost every day as I write and hear others speak. She is turning over in her grave – she would not be happy to see the current trends of sloppiness expression. It bothers me too – so many venues for being inarticulate and careless and just plain STOOPID.

      1. I really believe it might have started with mega-celebrities and athletes, wealthy yet often not the most articulate people, trying to appeal to the masses of people who follow them. Wanting to talk like the common man. Trying to be so very cool. Not wanting to sound too uppity or educated, which might turn somebody off.

  3. Happy Birthday, and for what it’s worth, you are not alone! Everything you wrote about here is exactly how I feel! And the texting with children? EXACTLY. LOL

  4. I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi myself. When a word in a newspaper or magazine is misspelled it’s like it jumps off the page at me. And signs? There’s a church near my house that puts ‘cute’ messages on its sign out front, and my sis-in-law and I text each other every Monday to discuss the latest screw-up. I have a friend who says things like ‘you’s’ and ‘look at that there.’ Every time I spend any time with her I have to come home and put Bactine on my tongue (from biting it, don’t ‘cha know?).

  5. Haha! I’m with you 100% — it really does bug me, but as I get older and more in a hurry, I find myself making those kinds of mistakes sometimes. So I suppose I’m more forgiving lately (but that may have to do with having stopped drinking recently).

    Now go back up there to the first paragraph and change “who’s” to “whose.” 😉

    1. I know what you mean. However, there is a big difference between casual correspondence and the stuff that goes out in newspapers, magazines, signage, etc. It’s like there’s no quality control any more! Don’t editors exist any longer?


  6. Oh I agree so much with this post! Things are just as lax in Britain, no-one seems to be able to spell or care about grammar any more. I know I am not perfect, my spelling is dreadful and I type fast and don’t always read back what I wrote… but I do hate the way that the next generation trash the English language. We had a new young receptionist at work a while back and she sent us messages in text speak AND capital letters! She didn’t last long!

  7. My personal unfavorite (I know that is not a word, I am using if for effect. your making me paranoid here, and yes, I misused “your” just to get you all “het-up”.) is the beleaguered word “seen”. It seems that the majority have decided that they have decided that it no longer needs assistance and they have cut out the helping very altogether. I’ve even heard newscasters saying, “I seen blah, blah, blah….” I don’t know what they said because after I heard, “I seen..” I quit listening.
    Sorry, I been “offtahellnback”. Missed you.

    1. Listen my friend…I mispell misuse and misspeak all the time. But you and I aren’t “professionals”. I think it you use words for a living that you should use them properly! (So don’t feel paranoid!)

      I seen is one of mine also…ugh!

      Missed you too.

  8. I can be annoying about grammar too. I saw a birthday card where one woman says to the the other, “Where’s your birthday party at?” The other woman replies, “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.” The first woman then says, “Where’s your birthday party at, b*tch?” 🙂

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