The grammar Nazi
Don’t try to talk grammar to teens. They will LTAO at you.
By Zayaan Schroeder Mollagee
Being a journalist, it’s an ugly habit of mine to correct people’s spelling and grammar. My husband calls me a grammar Nazi because I do it unconsciously or while people are talking. So you can understand why I was ever sorry I replied to my teenage niece’s status on Facebook.
Pic: Zaahir Hamid
Article originally in Parent24
One of the replies to all the comments was, ‘LMAO towi’. What the frog is towi?! I thought to myself. The reply I got was, ‘Its sowi bt jt cuter’. Really now? I think the word you’re looking for young man, is ‘sorry’.
What followed was me telling all the teens who replied how they had failed dismally at life. They asked who am I to judge? I told them it was the English language that judged and hated them for mangling it.
In hindsight it might have been dumb of me to argue with teenagers who see n0thin r0ng wit spellin lyk dis. I however, am offended. What are they learning in school? Is it English? And am I the only person who is bothered by this?
It’s not like I don’t remember being a teenager, it wasn’t that long ago. You’d only get R30 airtime and SMSes were 160 characters long. Shortening your words to fit it all in one SMS was imperative. But on Facebook you have unlimited characters and SMS these days doesn’t limit you to 160 characters. What’s their excuse? Laziness? Trying to be cool? In my opinion, the word towi is just not Ayoba.
I’m not sure that anything can be done about this. I think it all comes down to a generation that doesn’t read anymore and teens who don’t have a love for language. They play games, watch TV and are glued to their cellphones. Do they even play outside anymore?
I may sound like a hypocrite when I say I play online games, have my favourite TV shows and check Facebook on my phone. But I also have a library that I adore and curling up with a good book will always appeal to me. And every time I see a teen butchering their spelling on purpose I die a little more inside.
Are most teens beyond saving when it comes to good grammar and spelling?