Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Ends don't Justify the Medium

What puts me off most when I read people's blogs?
Strange as it seems, not the opinions. I do think that each of us has the right to have- and air-their own opinions. What really irritates me- and often, leads me to stop reading mid-sentence- are things that I find inexcusable in any form of writing. Grammatical errors/ typos, and the use of sms-ese. Rite?

As I said above, I respect your opinions. But the means used to express the opinion also needs to to be respected. The language is often mutilated beyond recognition. Sms-ese is not English, by any stretch of the imagination. Even more so when you are using it in a public forum. We already know that you don't know English, you really do not have to prove it to the world as well!

Even more cringe worthy is bad grammar. And the worst of the lot are spelling mistakes. I mean, if you are using sms-ese and you know it, fine, but if you are using proper English and then making horrendous errors, it is a lot worse. If you don't know English, please use grammar check in MS Word. And then Spell-Check in MS Word. That will make life easier for all of us.

Very often, I chance on some random blog and start reading, only to find that the language is stilted, not flowing correctly, or just plain wrong! I can not begin to describe my irritation when I think of the multitude of blogs that manage to attain the above distinction. Then I wonder, if something is truly better than nothing? A little knowledge (in this case, of the English Language) is truly a dangerous thing.

What makes it worse? That these semi-literate people go on happily writing, leaving the rest of us utterly frustrated. For two reasons: one, we have to read such stuff and feel sorry for the English language, its users and its readers. Secondly, the sheer blindness of fools.

Just because it is a blog does not mean that the medium of expression can be compromised. It does not make the rules any less stringent. I use Hindi all the time in my writing, but that does not mean I make any grammar errors in my English.

Language is a tool to be used- used for crafting paragraphs, poetry and prose. Language is a medium of communication. Language is a means of expression. Please, use this medium with the respect it deserves. Just because you know it does not allow you to use it incautiously (or even because you do not know it, as can be seen). The end- in this case, self-expression- does not justify misusing the means.