Y Bad Grammer Is Probs The Best Lifestyle Change U Can Make
Bad grammar used to give me the irrits.
Rogue apostrophes, colons when there should be semi-colons, American spelling conventions, three full stops instead of an ellipsis …
I couldn’t handle it. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MODERN SOCIETY? I thought. “2” IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE SUBSTITUTE FOR “TOO”. MORE THAN ONE EXCLAMATION MARK DOES NOT EQUAL MORE EMPHASIS. RELYING ON AUTOCORRECT IS LAZY!
Then I read this tweet:
And this one:
And this one:
And not only did I laugh at all three comments, I also didn’t care about the lack of punctuation. In fact, the lack of punctuation was kind of … nice. It was like Marie Kondo had tidied up the text and removed the bits that didn’t spark joy. This led to the following epiphany:
LANGUAGE EVOLUTION IS NATURAL AND CONSTANT AND THEREFORE FINE.
I mean, I don’t curtsey at shopkeepers and say, “Good day to you sir, could I please have four and twenty currant buns?”
My emails do not contain the words “thus” or “methinks” or “yonder”. It’s 2019. People are busy. Pressing the shift key to make capital letters? Writing “are” out in full?
READ MORE: Why You Shouldn't Correct People's Grammar
So I decided to embrace grammatical errors. Wait, I mean, i dsided 2 mbrace the shit out of bad gramma. (See what I did there? Yeah, I know -- turns out I’m a natural.)
I started by scrolling through tattoo artist Mike Tea’s Instagram feed because tatts r so rad rite now. Okay actually I was looking for my husband’s inked arm:
My favourite part of this post was not the image (although omg check out that massive gun), but rather @robjoebrown’s comment: “Shitchyeah”. I don’t know @robjoebrown, but clearly he’s a linguistic genius. Does “shitchyeah” need the “ch” in the middle? No. But does the “ch” make it into THE BEST WORD IN THE ENTIRE WORLD? Absochlutely.
Oh, superfluous phonetic letters, u r the best.
But here’s my problem: I’m a TAFE teacher. It is my actual job to show people how to write reports and essays. Using formal language. With capital letters and full stops and paragraph breaks and citations. No all-lowercase comma-less phrases, thank you.
If my students write things like “the aesthetic potential is emphasised by the juxtaposed contrasting elements” and “subverting the narrative of misogynistic culture is now a common theme amongst contemporary female artists” I have to pretend to be impressed. “
Fantastic point, well articulated!” I note in the margin. When what I’d like to put is, “Bit wanky. Rephrase?”
Now that I’m a reformed grammar Nazi with a newfound love of unpunctuated Instagram comments, I don’t want to read academic clichés. My favourite writing is fresh and zingy, like a salad with too much vinegar.
Abbreviations and slang aren’t lowbrow language devices; they make writing efficient and relatable! Following the rules is like so 2 minutes ago, am i rite?
I have a new class starting next week. I will be teaching basic report-writing techniques, as usual, because that’s what’s expected of me. But seriously, anybody who uses the word “shitchyeah” in an essay will be getting an HD.