Have we forgotten how to use the apostrophe or did some of us never learn in the first place? Either way, it seems that your in place of you’re is becoming acceptable.
I attended a talk recently when the speaker said anythink in the first sentence. I’ve no idea of the subsequent material, as I was preoccupied trying to convince myself I’d misheard but she said it again, twice! The person in question was a teacher. For the sake of her students, I hope her aptitude for spelling and punctuation outshines her problem with pronunciation when she performs her day job.
So how much do we care?
Do we correct mispronunciation or allow words such as anythink to slip into the language by default? Criteria for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary requires several independent examples of a word being used over a reasonable period of time. They also look for a word to reach a level of general currency where it is unselfconsciously used with the expectation its meaning will be understood. All good so far.
Alternatively, do words such as anything and everything become two words, giving us any think and every think as the writer of the social media message believes?
Of course grammar and spelling can be complicated and everyone makes mistakes. How many of us would know what a split infinitive was if we’d never heard the phrase: ‘to boldly go’ from a well-known futuristic space series? So I’m not being pedantic about the whole concept, just the everyday stuff.
I started to wonder what happens if English is your second language and you’re studying for a degree or other qualification? Thankfully there’s professional help available and this site may help anyone who falls into that category. I understand their services have recently been extended after enquires from students with English as their first language.
But what about the rest of us? Don’t we have a duty to use prose correctly? Not only to stop ourselves looking silly but for future generations so that they aren’t denied the opportunity to experience the English language in all its glory.
Egg-on-face if there’s a mistake in this post …