As I am working on these blog entries, I have been watching some of my typos get automatically corrected as I type. Others I have to go back and fix myself. It got me thinking about how many things are automatically corrected for us these days and what affect that has had on our communication skills. I don’t have a SMART phone, but I know most people do. Reading hilarious series of texts due to autocorrect always makes for a good laugh. These things do help us to be more efficient overall, but unfortunately, there is no autocorrect when we speak. Because we don’t have to think as hard when we write, our verbal communication skills have gone down the tubes for many people. Believe me, I wish there could be an autocorrect when people are speaking to me. One that corrects people’s tone of voice would be the ultimate!
We’ve also come to rely on the autocorrect and spell check features, so not everyone pays too close attention to how and what they write anymore. Spell check doesn’t catch when you make a typo but it happens to be a different word. And there are plenty of other mistakes that you can only catch by proof reading what you write, like if you used “your” when you should have used “you’re”. Plenty of people skip this step. I’m guessing that’s either because they are in a hurry, they have become dependent on autocorrect features, they’re too lazy, or they just don’t have the grammar skills to know any better.
With texting as well, it’s become completely acceptable to write without using capital letters or punctuation and to abbreviate so many things. We assume the other person will be able to figure out what we mean, so being close is good enough. That’s OK for texting or emailing your friends, but it shouldn’t be OK in the work environment or in a Craigslist post, for example.
On top of that, certain words and phrases are incorrectly used so often that they have become acceptable. “Me and him” or “me and her” at the beginning of a sentence drives me nuts. And we have apparently forgotten all about adverbs. I cringe when I hear the word “fast” used in place of “quickly” or when people say they are going to do something “real quick” instead of “really quickly”.
I can’t blame autocorrect entirely for some of these things, but it certainly has become an enabler for many people to be lazy about their grammar. I know there are bigger, more important things to gripe about, but this is just one of many things, in my opinion, that we have become too laid back and casual about as a society.
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