Thursday, September 14, 2006

Why Words Matter

No one writes these days. I mean really writes. E-mails and My Space comments don't count. Sure, authors and reporters write, but that's only for money. No one ever writes anything personal or private, person to person anymore. No one writes letters. They are a lost art. And I think it's because of this that our grammar has gone to pot and no one can spell. Well, I take that back. Most people can spell, if they would just take a little more time, if they would actually care.

Our society and modern technology have made it unnecessary, really, almost impossible, for people to take their time in expressing themselves in writing. With the advent of text messaging, along with its own evolving sets of phrases and abbreviations, messages contain little or no punctuation and an unwritten (no pun intended), though by no means misunderstood, rule that Spelling Does Not Matter.

It wasn't always this way. A long, long time ago, before My Space and the internet, before texting and even before cell phones (can we even imagine such a time?) people who lived far away from their friends and family would have to wait days, even weeks or months, between messages. As a result, they took their time- time that they had more of, somehow, doesn't it seem?- in writing the messages. It was unthinkable to send a letter that contained any but the most minimal of grammar mistakes. If you were an intelligent, literate person your writing reflected it. Your words reflected it.

Words matter because they are our connections to other people, and those connections are what forge our relationships. The written word is one of Man's greatest accomplishments and one of God's greatest gifts. It should be treated with respect, as our words, both written and spoken, are part of how we present ourselves and, in consequence, how much we respect and care for those to whom we address them.

1 comment:

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