Why can't bright young people spell, punctuate, or form grammatical sentences?

Look, I myself have instances of fumblefingers, and I make typos from time to time. I'm no stickler for Oxford English and I pepper my writing with colloquialisms. I use "ain't" and "gonna" and "hopefully" (which technically should be "one hopes"). Occasionally, I'll even say "anxious" when I should say "eager" (to be anxious is to be suffering from anxiety, not full of anticipation).

However, there seem to be two categories of people who don't know how to spell, to puncuate, or form actual sentences. 1) Hillbillies playing a banjo out on some Appalachian porch or 2) people under the age of 30.

Did the schools stop teaching English? Did it become an optional course in high school? Were the kids skipping class in favor of smoking dope? Is it too much texting? What's going on here?

By cracky (LOL), back in my day we graduated students prepared for college. Today many good institutions of higher education spend the first year bringing the students up to speed on skills they should have learned in high school.

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There are different levels of writing, each with different demands. I am writing about the inability to rise out of the very bottom level of skill.

Yeah, that's valid. When I think about it in that light, I realize that my parents would never have let me get away with turning in a paper with too much ignorance of appropriate English. So as far as where the failure is, it seems it would have to be teachers accepting poor language skills, and/or parents who fail to get involved. Personally, my kids came to me fairly often for help with writing, and they became excellent students.

But for what it's worth (fwiw), each of my kids can txt furiously in two to four languages, plus the lazy-txt way, and with full array of emoticons. So now I take communication lessons from them. But I can't tell you what language skills their friends have, except that they're all (there,) in college, too.

;-)

Personally, it depends upon the situation: if a conversation or debate demands a sort of proper grammar, then I revert to it and state my reasoning with special attention to the constructs of my sentences.

otherwise, ill just 'lol' my way thru because it is slightly faster and has a sense of relaxed atmosphere about it

That help? Haha sorry, now I don't know what to do!

Unfortunately, not all of your colleagues KNOW how to express themselves other than illiterately.

We'd better wake up. Kids in China, Japan, Russia, Korea, and other countries are getting actual educations while many of our kids are sms'ing, partying, and smoking dope.

Yea...but that's because they're just gonna work for us when we graduate from college, because there'snoway that the US will ever not be the top country in the worl....what's that you say? Evolution isn't such an inflammatory topic, teen birth rates are lower, and there are significantly higher IQ's in other countries?...

American kids are as bright as any kids anywhere, but we don't challenge them much and we tolerate their intellectual laziness, when we're not actively encouraging it.

Oh I don't doubt that they are any less creative or bright; they come up with ways around rules and regulations all the time lol What I mean is that its not cool or hip to be intelligent at all. And the fact that using reasoning instead of regurgitated hearsay is "harder" is a toast to the United States dream, in that information is wanted compacted and summarized so that one can make a quick buck.

I'm not saying that I understand scientific reviews or anything to that effect, but I enjoy trying to soak up knowledge as much as I can, and I think part of that is because, not only do I like it, but I feel like I am making up for the incompetence of this generation's laziness, in the hopes that my future children can learn as much as I do, and then some.

But then also, theists in general make up a majority of the population and are the ones being intellectually lazy as well as promoting it by not accepting if something is proven to be highly improbable or just dead wrong.

The blame can be aimed at many places, but I think that it's too far gone for this generation to make up for it, and the next one is our "New Hope"/last hope haha.

If one devalues being intelligent and competent, that's a choice one makes. Part of what holds back the black community (as heard on PBS a while ago) isn't racism, it's the view held buy many black students that being good at academic subjects is a "white" thing to do. There you have how so-called reverse racism is holding many black kids back from a life of accomplishment.

You're right about Theists. Even the ones who don't write like they've spent their lives playing banjo on the porch of an Appalachian tar paper shack have only limited logical skills. Sadly, this seems to be by choice, not chance.

RE: "view held buy(?) many black students that being good at academic subjects is a 'white' thing to do."

That could be subject to slow change, now that becoming President is no longer strictly "a white thing to do." Positive Black role models give Black people hope, without which, no effort seems worthwhile.

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

When one thinks of the heroes of atheists, they include people like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennet, Lawrence Krauss, and let us never forget Christopher Hitchens.

These people were and are effective in large part due to their mastery of the English language.  Many can absolutely spank the opposition and they don't even need strong language to do it.  Harris and Dennet can calmly and meticulously anticipate counter arguments; Dennet in particular, once you've read a chapter, you have no doubt you understood _exactly_ what he is arguing even though he is discussing quite abstract things.

You don't get that level of clarity writing like a slob and misusing words.

I aspire to that level of clarity when I write my blog; I am sure I fail miserably at times.  But it won't be because I got lazy.  We could all learn from these people.

Perhaps unfortunately, if you are in a debate and you drop a grammatical howler in your reply, a lot of people will discount your argument. Others will stop listening and be mentally laughing at your ignorance.

People who can't use the language will find that they are taken less seriously than people who can.

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