Fourteen years ago when I first joined in on Internet conversations I was surprised by how often the people I met online ignored basic punctuation, capitalization and spelling rules. Over time this lax approach to the English language has only grown worse.
When I read a blog post or article riddled with errors I assume the author doesn’t take his or her work seriously. If the author won’t take five minutes to proofread his or her words I’m probably not going to finish reading them. The written word is one of the most powerful tools humans have developed over the past five thousand years and we should strive to preserve its rich history, not ignoring the rules in order to save a few seconds.
It’s more difficult for me to read articles, blog posts and emails that don’t follow the basic rules of grammar than the ones that at least try to obey the rules of standard English. Sometimes commas save lives, and I’d much rather keep reading than pause to figure out if a certain word is purposefully misspelled or if it’s a new slang term.
Of course we all make occasional mistakes. I don’t expect perfection from myself or anyone else but it’s troubling to see such a rich, beautiful language morph into endless abbreviations and ambiguous meanings.
I’ve known people who learned English later in life and take the memorization of irregular verbs and plural nouns quite seriously. Someone else I know has a mild learning disorder that makes reading and writing difficult. They still try to communicate effectively.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask everyone else to do the same thing.