My job as a court reporter requires not only a fast and accurate typing speed but also extremely savage grammar and punctuation abilities. I'm also a big reader so the subject is near to my heart. I am the only person I know who not only knows how to use a ";" correctly, without it being followed by ) to make a smilie, and probably the only person in the world to use it in an SMS for its intended use.
There was an article in my paper recently (Adelaide's "Sunday Mail" for those of you playing at home) that basically said, "Kids can't spell, let's blame the teachers." Now, I was one of those insufferable kids who corrected the teachers' blackboard errors (and didn't they love me for it) but how are kids expected to remember how to spell words correctly when everywhere around us are major errors?
I'm sure I don't have to enumerate them for you (apostrophe s for plurals and "your" instead of "you're" are two of my pet hates) but these errors are cropping up not only on poorly handwritten shop windows but in newspapers and on television promos. I also blame the fact that the only reading kids do now is their email or SMS. I have banged on about this at length in various internet forums where people find it necessary to abbreviate a three-letter word to a two-letter one, etc. There is no space restriction in these forums so why???
As an Australian, I also object violently to the Americanisation of our spelling (like organization, color, tires and center *shudder*)
I have been accused of being a literary snob and grammar Nazi - that the English language is evolving and will continue to do so - but is it too much to demand that people furnish their opinions in readable sentences??
Anyway, nice to be here among like-minded people!