It’s very difficult to communicate and be clearly understood, I think. I think this because I’m beginning to believe that people don’t listen openly – nor do they read attentively when the communication is written.
I’ve run into several instances of this, but this morning there was a example that really grabbed me. There was a Facebook post that said “I can only get through American Idol if I get up and get a glass of wine after Keith Urban speaks”. That was followed by the comment “I take it you don’t like Keith?”. No! Wait! Read! the post said AFTER Urban speaks – so why would you think I don’t like him? Perhaps it’s because I don’t like what follows – hence the word “after”? Frustration. (What follows and the reason for the departure and the wine is a whole ‘nother post).
Then there is the prolific usage of apostrophes. Those little guys that float in the air between letters in words, that people like to toss about, placing them hither thither and yon, most frequently at the end of words that end in s. Why? Well, because we don’t remember what we were taught in school – for some of us there’s good reason for that because was school was many years ago. For others, those for whom school was not so long ago? Obvious. They don’t listen.
In that paragraph, I’ve used one of those little floaty guys before an s – in the word there’s. That’s because (as in the word that’s beginning this sentence) I converted two words – there is, that is – into one word, and the little floaty apostrophe guy replaces the i. Makes sense, right? Misuse of these little guys creates so much confusion. In an ad, for instance: “this brush has many use’s”. Huh? “use is”?
And yes, there are reasons to use an apostrophe other than to replace the “i” in two words and make it one – those reasons are easily found by using Google to find the rules for using apostrophes. And carrying on a discussion is more easily done if we all listen or read more carefully. Hear/read the words – don’t add to or subtract from without asking questions.
Give me hope that we are not becoming a country of deaf illiterates!
“Listen openly.” “Read attentively.” Great ingredients for good communication!
It sounds like you might need that glass of wine now 😉
The misuse of apostrophes (or should that be apostrophe’s? I kid, I kid) is perpetually frustrating. I at least get it on its/it’s, since that one’s unclear, but otherwise the rules aren’t particularly esoteric.
I’m amused regarding American Idol and Keith Urban. I don’t watch (no cable, and honestly no particular inclination), but my mom does. Her viewing strategy? Record it, fast forward to the performances, listen to Keith Urban, fast forward. I suspect it prevents excess wine consumption 😉
Don’t even get me started on this one. Grading COLLEGE level papers for my class is sometimes very painful. Apostrophes where they don’t belong; absent where they do belong! Yes, we’re becoming a nation of illiterates. I blame our education system. Where’s the wine?
Need wine over here too.
You are right Carol! I teach 6th graders every day and their use of punctuation and lack of listening skill are terrible. Undertstanding of the differences among “there, their, and they’re” and between “your and you’re” is very poor as well.
I need a glass of wine after reading your post, Carol, especially concerning apostrophes. Or is it apostrophe’s?? LOL!! Why do people continually use apostrophes for plurals??? It drives me crazy.
As far as reading carefully, sometimes I read very quickly. In this modern age, where we are barraged with written communication, it’s hard to linger over words. I admit sometimes I’m guilty of missing important words. Too many times we have our own preconceptions that make us read something in a way in which it wasn’t intended. I understand your frustration though. 🙂
I am not a teacher. I am not even a writer; but I have to admit that poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation are upon the top of the list of things that drive me buggy! Reading on the internet (or is it the Internet?) is especially painful. There is a good book entitled, “The Grouchy Grammarian” by Thomas Parrish that I highly recommend for a good laugh!