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I am scared of people who butcher the English language

Joined: 10/1/2013
Posts: 1
People sometimes describe me as paranoid. If you asked my friends to write this essay about me, they probably would have said “Becca is afraid of everything.” Yes, it’s true that I look over my shoulder every time I walk by myself. And yeah, if I see a spider in my room I’ll be sleeping on the couch for the next week. But what I’m most afraid of, what truly scares me, has nothing to do with horror movies. What rattles me to my core is the apparent lack of fluency in English by students today.
You might be rolling your eyes right about now, but before you move on to the next essay, hear me out. Just yesterday, I was in my English 101 class on peer review day. We were supposed to trade papers with a partner and review each other’s work. I began to read my partner’s paper and found my pen flying all over the place. Everywhere I looked there were comma splices and misspellings. I felt bad for her, and I truly just wanted to help her get a better grade on her paper. As we traded back, I was shocked to see she had marked up my paper just as much as I had done to hers! This had to be some sort of joke.
I know, when I say it like that I sound like a cocky grammar snob. However, you need to understand that she had corrected things that didn’t need to be fixed. She had thrown in a large number of comma splices, as well as telling me to spell out numbers (even if they were greater than ten). Even the positive things she had written were wrong. “Good discription” stood out on the paper like a neon green tie with an all black suit. I realize of course, that not everyone is a good writer. People often struggle with grammar because it can be confusing. However, these rules have been taught to us since we were in the 7th grade. I don’t understand how anyone gets in to college without knowing what a run-on sentence is. It’s really abhorrent.
I’m frightened to think that she isn’t even the worst of them. There are people out there who comment on Youtube videos with things like “U is to stoopid to no wut good music is”. Sure, abbreviations are popular. I get that. BUT DEAR GOD. How do you not know which is the right too/to/two by now? Don’t even get me started about people using the wrong your/you’re or their/there. I’m not sure if English teachers have gotten lazy or if texting has lead to people forgetting grammar rules. Whatever the cause is, there needs to be a solution. Maybe we should make it so that you need at least a C to pass English class. Regardless, I won’t stand for this anymore. I’m more afraid of people butchering my precious language than Jason butchering me.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your FEAR essay being chosen as a semi-finalist in this month’s writing competition. This is a huge accomplishment since we received over 160 essays this month. Please feel free to share your “semi-finalist status” with the world.

Although your essay will not be selected as one of the top three this month, please know that we believe that you are a fabulous writer and we hope to see more of your work on our site.

You can view all the results by clicking on this link:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World, One Story at a Time”

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 3:38:09 PM
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