Basic Grammar

I continue to be appalled at people who grew up in the United States and who write with the most fundamental errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Here is a snippet of a message that I received the other day:

I bought a Beautiful Pair of Old Gringo All Leather Cowboy Boot’s With Wooden Peg’s Through The Sole’s Great Quality Cowboy Boot’s.

And from the same author, another in a follow-up:

Hey dude, I love your cowboy boots there the bomb!

Here is another:

U R good to lern from.

Here is another:

I think, that, you should, create, another video.

Oh please… come on, folks! I am accepting and understanding when English is not a primary language, so I do not criticize messages that I receive from people who live in other countries where English is not the primary language. I recognize that many of these people are trying to communicate with me in my language because I may not understand their language.

However, each of the above examples came from people who identified themselves to be from the United States. I have no clue why someone would capitalize the first letter of every word in a sentence and use an apostrophe before each “s” to make a word plural. The plural of boot is boots. That’s it. The only time one may use an apostrophe with that word is in this example, “the left boot’s heel needs repair.” Apostrophe “s” is used to indicate a possessive — such as the boot’s heel.

Do NOT get me started on how many people do not understand the differences between “there” (designation of place), “their” (designation of plural ownership), and “they’re” (contraction of “they are.”) These words are used incorrectly all the time! Arrrgggh!

Abbreviations through text-speak, such as “U R” drive me crazy, but for purposes of keeping a message shorter, it is understandable. However, if writing a message for email, please spell out these short words. Do NOT use the single-letter abbreviations just because you usually communicate via text message. Some of us do not.

And finally, one does NOT use a comma when taking a breath. Seriously — a comma after every two words? Really? Oh brother…. if in doubt, leave the comma out.

Okay, end-of-rant. I cannot anticipate that everyone may communicate using the language and skills of a college graduate, but I do expect U.S.-educated residents to employ the most fundamental of grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills. Is that too much to ask?

Life is short: Write right!