July 15, 2008

Am I getting old....?

(photo courtesy SouthbankSteve)

I was recently working on replying to some Yahoo Answers regarding free video editing software (this is linked into my free video editing site), when I was struck by the sheer lack of good writing ability from the questioners.

As an example, look at this question:
how do i cut a video into little sections ive tried in windows movie maker but then once i start i cut the firstpart then when i want to do it again the bit be is in the way how do i get rid of that does anyone know please

iment before in the question but let me make it more simple i want to
put clips off things on the internet but it is one film but i want to
break it into lots of parts but dont no how to because when i do it on
windows movie maker the first part is good the i do it again but i cant
get rid of begeining well for example i want to cut 1.34 minute until
3.45 just tpart and make it into a video pleaase can someone help me as
i really need to know thankyou
Let's ignore the obvious typo (poor thing probably doesn't have Firefox installed with its online spelling). Can anyone explain the lack of punctuation? What about the fact that everything is in lower-case? How about the issue that, despite the fact a clarification was added (that's the second paragraph), the whole question just doesn't seem to make sense?

Now I'm going to put my neck on the line here and say that I think the question was asked by a young person (possibly less than 18...?). Is this a damning indictment of our schooling systems today? Is it acceptable to produce written work with no capitals, no punctuation and no narrative meaning?

Lest you think that's an isolated example, here's another piece written in reply to a question raised by ur-mom asking who invented word processing software
hi ur mom, microsoft was the first ones to invent the first processors as far as i know so it would have to be daryle gates. googles built the first advanced search and this is the way i understand it. good luck hope i was helpful to you

"daryle gates"?!?!? "googles"?!?!?!?. Some punctuation but no capitalisation of letters. Incorrect pluralisation of the verb ("microsoft was"). The list goes on.

Maybe I'm just getting old.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the whole 'LOLspeak' language as popularised by Icanhascheezburger, but this is something different. This is just plain lazyiness. Is there some sort of laissez-faire attitude to language on the internet today that makes it acceptable to have bad spelling, bad punctuation and bad structure? Do these same folks who write his lazy drivel actually buck their ideas up when they get to school? Do employers actually realise what their prospective employees level of written English is? I assume with the advent of Facebook and Myspace that some employers are checking these social networks to see what employees are about. Do they write the same level of detritus on there too, I wonder...?

That's it. I AM getting old....


  1. How old is old?

    I am 26, and I find every example you've given hilarious.

    It's not age. There are idiots of all ages on the internet (myself included)


  2. Algo - You may be a self confessed idiot on the internet (aren't we all!), but at least you're literate and semi-coherent :-)

    I would much rather read some of your rants (and other posts) than try to decipher the crap that passes for communication elsewhere nowadays.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Heh... I love ranting... what else are blogs for?

    I just write what's in my head - don't have your level of knowledge to impart, just my skills at debating.