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God Damned Young People Couldn’t Write a Sentence to Save Their Lives!

The problem with young people today is that they don’t know how to write.

Now I’m no Billy Shakespeare but when I was a boy I was expected to put number 3 pencil to paper and actually write in full sentences. I used commas, periods and even the occasional verb in order to express whatever thoughts I was told to have.

But these young people today couldn’t write a god damned complete sentence if their lives depended on it – and they wouldn’t recognize a pencil if you jammed one through their pierced tongues.

I blame chat rooms, text messaging and the Internet. Everything these young people write is unfiltered, unedited, unintelligible and filled with crazy slang and infuriating abbreviations.

Come on now. How the hell hard is it to type out the words “by the way”?

It’s 8 letters for Christ’s sake.

But no, it has to be “btw”.

In my day we saved short forms for complicated things like a “bacon, lettuce and tomato” sandwich – not as a way of saving 5 god damned key strokes.

LOL, ROTFLMAO? FU old Man? I don’t understand any of this gibberish. It’s lazy and it denigrates everything I spent my adult life working for.

If I had ever used a lazy-ass short form when I was a boy my old dad would have abbreviated my backside with a copy of Mr. Webster’s dictionary.

But what really gets my goat is those god damned horrifying yellow smiley faces they plaster on everything. I don’t want sentences winking and leering at me for Christ’s sake. It’s unseemly, unnerving and a sure sign that the written word is well and truly dead.

They can’t write. That’s what’s wrong with young people today.

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206 Comments leave one →
  1. 4:49 pm

    Based on the semi-literate comments you’ve been getting lately, this post’s gonna ruffle quite a few of your readers’ feathers. Especially from those angry young lads who write in one continuous sentence and have no concept of spell-checking or punctuation.

    Like, you know, whatever. Dude. ROFL. LOL LMAO. ;-) :-o :-D ….etc.

    Heh heh. This might prove to be quite entertaining. I’m going to put some coffee on, sit back, and watch the sparks fly.

    • 5:40 pm

      There have been some gems, Friar, there’s no doubt about that. Warms an old man’s heart.

      I suspect, however, that a great deal have moved on to other pursuits.

  2. 4:55 pm

    Hear, hear! Bastard kids with their damned abbreviations.

  3. 4:56 pm

    ‘btw’ – are you sure about that?

    I always thought it was Bacon, Tomato and Watercress.

    No wonder I got some strange looks in the sandwich shop.

    • 12:59 am

      @ Shannon – welcome and thanks for the support. The bastards are bad but the legitimate ones are no better.

      @Nobbly – Just don’t ask for a Watercress, Tofu and Flounder. Bad abbreviation and it tastes like crap to boot.

      • Tony permalink
        10:00 pm

        I almost peed my pants with that response.

  4. amburr4 permalink
    5:32 pm

    Fair enough, but feel free to insert a “most” in front of your young people generalizations.

    For example:

    The problem with “most” old people today is that they’re stuck in their own time, and thus refuse to believe anything done differently could possibly be done right.

    See… not hard a tall.

    • 12:32 am

      Thanks Amburr4.

      “Stuck in their own time”? Sounds like an old Twilight Zone episode. Not sure who else’s time I might get stuck in.

      Thanks for weighing in lad. Appreciate it.

    • 3:45 pm

      Amburr, what other time should any of us be stuck in than our own? Are you aware of a way of getting to some other time, other than by the time proven method of waiting for some other time to amble along at its own pace? You know, it’s not like your own time is Camden New Jersey so you can just go there whenever you please. If it were like a place I could visit my time would be Pebble Beach with lower greens fees.

      Cheerio!

      • 4:38 pm

        Mr. Beaglescout,

        If you find a way to arrange that trip and need a 4th, let me know will you? I haven’t been out on the links in a while but I’ve always wanted to play the 17th at Pebble Beach and would be happy to dust off my niblick if I got the chance.

        Don

    • Peg permalink
      9:57 pm

      Speaking of literacy, perhaps these kids need to look up “satire” in the dictionary. Heh.

      • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
        10:05 pm

        Exactly. But posting a blog where you use bad spelling, grammar and logic to highlight the very problem just attracts more idiots that take you seriously.

        I guess they’d understand the idea of spoof better?

    • dennilane permalink
      7:54 pm

      a tall? Is that like a tall person?

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      10:02 pm

      I don’t think there should be any exceptions for this. Some young people will say it’s good to try new things and do things in different ways.. I agree 98% of the time but NEVER when it comes to language. It’s not something to mess with. It’s not being innovative or creative. It’s just making excuses for illiterate people.

      Semantics & language create your thoughts. Thoughts create actions! Your writing style reflects heavily on how you think and your thinking limitations.

      Unless you have a genuine disability there is no excuse for such poor writing. You just create lazy thinking and instant pop-tart responses for everything.

      If we are always in a rush to speak and write mistakes will be made in communication. Good writing that is at least clear and punctuated without heavy use of text speak 2URWATBLAHBLAHBLAH…..means more thought, pause and effort has gone into the reply.
      It goes back to the saying “think before you speak” it causes the person to slow down and as they check their sentences they check their thinking and what they are saying. It’s consideration.

      Dumb down of language=dumb down of thought (simplification of) Haven’t you heard of George Orwells’ Duckspeak?

      P.S. I’m 23. If anyone older than me writes in thisdumwayoftakng2ya then I’m honestly not interested in them. Absolutely no excuse.

  5. 5:36 pm

    You know, Don, part of the problem is these damned hippiefied teachers they have teaching these days. My kid’s teacher told me she didn’t believe in making her students write their spelling words. She suggested we get her a box with some sand in it, and let her spell the words in the sand with her fingers. Can you believe that? Well, I won’t be having any of that. My kid writes her damn spelling words with a damn pencil on some damn paper! And they wonder why these damn booger crunchers have to abbreviate three word phrases. Proper spelling and grammar, for the win.

    • amburr4 permalink
      6:03 pm

      Maybe that’s her hippiefied way of suggesting your daughter (her students) improve her (their) handwriting while saving a few trees.

      I’m sure it’d be hard to recognize correct spelling when you look down at the page and think…

      (wait for it)

      WTF!

      • 3:48 pm

        You have to look at the new Reading text they’re using now. It’s the Shirley Reading method. And it’s the craziest bit of insanity you ever imagined. Instead of doing phonetic reading straight up, they make the kids learn these retarded diacritical marks that need to go over every single cotton-picking letter in every word. Nobody uses these diacritical marks anywhere else in all of known space or time. And that’s what they’re teaching elementary school students these days. Retarded diacritical marks. I guess they want to make them all retarded. If that’s what they want, then they’re doing a fine job. Stupid educrats!

        • 5:32 pm

          Actually Shurley is the spelling. They call their diacritical marks “jingles” to make them sound cool to kids.

    • 12:41 am

      Good Christ – a sandbox? Now it’s been a while since I was in the workplace, Jumpout, but I don’t recall seeing a lot of sand memos, sand reports or sand order forms.

      You get those kids on the paper and out of the litter box.

  6. 5:40 pm

    Big Lol Don. ;)

  7. rarifiedlightningpig permalink
    6:00 pm

    Well old man – maybe you can’t drive worth a bean but you sure can call it the way I see it with these kids. What’s with that ‘whole language’ program they had in school when my kids were growing up? No wonder they can’t write a sentence or spell for that matter. Hopefully, some of them can read.

    My Grandmother was commonly referred to as “grammars” as she would constantly correct each of her grandchildren’s and her own children’s language. She had a thing about getting it right – so I’d better have this spell-checked before it goes live!!
    You hit the mark with this one.

    RLP

    • 12:47 am

      Thanks very much rarifiedlightningpig.

      Your grandmother sounds like a good woman.

      A question, son. You one of those mahjong players? A gal over at the seniors centre is always going on about wanting to be a rarified pig. I thought it was just her getting a rusty bucket but she says it’s a god damned mahjong term. That true?

      • rarifiedlightningpig permalink
        12:11 pm

        pay attention old man — that’s a rarified”lightning”pig – it’s all in the details.

        But in answer to your question – no it’s not a Mahjong term but it is part of a mahjong game. Head on over to your senior’s centre and check out these games. They’ll keep you young!

        rlp

  8. 6:06 pm

    I’m right on top of this problem, what with the children I have. From now on, everything will be written in longhand using a mixture of iambic pentameter and cockney rhyming slang.

    If you’re going to be unintelligible, you might as well do it with style.

  9. hellstruelight permalink
    6:12 pm

    That not true at all that kids can’t’ complete a full sentences. And it’s not true that kids are bad with grammar. There is many young people who command the english language good enough to get pushed through the (overly) liberal public school systems.

    (You should note that microsoft word doesn’t find any spelling or grammar issues with the sentences above… We may want to blame ‘spell check’ as much as texting and internet slang.)

    • 1:09 am

      Thanks hellstruelight but I don’t think we can pin this on Microsoft.

      I think spell check was likely meant to be a tool, not an interpretor.

      Good to see you lad.

    • 3:24 pm

      Unfortunately, there ARE many students (approximately 99.99%) whom have no idea about the art of using the English (notice the capital) language. I find it infuriating, as really, it is such a simple task to write properly. Because honestly, if you cannot write, then you cannot communicate.

      I worry about the next generation – we progressed from cave drawing to symbols to written text, but alas, we are slowly going backwards! Perhaps in a few more generations, young people will all carry a gargantuan pad and coloured markers, so that they can draw symbols in the hope that their fellow man can understand that they need to find a toilet before they wet themselves.

      • 3:30 pm

        I forgot to add, if you rely on Microsoft to correct all of your spelling and grammatical errors, then you will be left floundering like a carp flopping on a grassy knoll gasping for breath.

        (Just for your information, I found at least nine errors – but who’s counting?)

  10. mynooch permalink
    6:34 pm

    God Don… I wish I knew if you were real or not, i wish i could buy you a beer and a $12 hooker with a questionable Adam’s Apple… Maybe get buzzed together on the “oxygen tank” you always are carrying around. What do you think.. you want to go to Scores on my dime?

  11. downcastmysoul permalink
    6:37 pm

    My mother would correct me and my ungrammatical sentences. So I pleased her by saying “ain’t” a whole lot, double negatives and dropping the “g” off of the end of words. She also would not listen to music other than classical, but I’m sure she never heard of Mr. Whiteman and his Orchestra or she would have “gotten into” his swing music. Looked him up, and most of his recordings took place ca. 1930 or so…Just HOW old are you? ROFLMAO…

    • 1:13 am

      Now why would you go and be so disrespectful to your dear Mom? She sounds like a damned fine lady.

      You young people, always rebelling!

      Good on you though, looking up Mr. Whiteman! Now we just have to get you listening to it.

      And to answer your question – damned old.

      • downcastmysoul permalink
        3:26 am

        I could try to listen to Mr. Whiteman, but it would sound like nails on chalkboard to me. Maybe a few songs…My mother’s favorite thing to say to me: rock music, it’s an “oxymoron”.

  12. 6:39 pm

    mynooch,

    I’ve got the $12 if you’ve got the hooker.

    Adam’s apple or not…. a shag’s a shag…innit!

    • mynooch permalink
      7:24 pm

      Very true NobblySan… i do prefer 2 in the pink and 1 in the stink though.

      • 7:52 pm

        Now hold your horses there a minute, lad.

        I’m a tolerant man and gave you a free ride on the “boner” this morning but I’d honestly prefer you keep the comments family friendly.

        Honestly, lad, you’re welcome to speak your mind and give me your 2 cents but try to keep the nastiness to a minimum. You’re clearly able of communicating without resorting to this kind of nonsense.

        And, for the record, while I enjoy a beer now and again, I prefer a damned rye and coke.

        Now, you’ve gotten me all wound up and I’m off for a wee lie down.

        Thanks for the comments folks, I’ll be back to respond to you all later.

        Don

  13. mynooch permalink
    7:59 pm

    Sorry Don.. didn’t mean to give you a visual that would make your pace maker flip out… WTF though?? i mean you are old.. why do you care about other peoples feelings..

  14. mynooch permalink
    8:08 pm

    P.S. isn’t the Andy Griffth show on right now?

  15. 8:12 pm

    I think Matlock is on!

    • 12:52 am

      Alright boys, time to turn off the Nintendo, take your Flintstone vitamins, slip into your Scooby Doo pjs and call it a night.

      Thank for visiting but I’m gonna need a signed permission slip from Mom or Dad before you come back.

      Sweet Dreams

      Don

  16. 9:39 pm

    Amen, Mr. Mills. Amen. That and the damned rock music, what with it constantly mixing up its deixis and using short, incoherent sentence fragments–it’s no wonder these kids today can’t form complete thoughts or express themselves properly.

    On a side note: y’all leave Mr. Mills alone. He has to go take his Metamucil, Geritol and watch “Murder, She Wrote.”

    • 1:15 am

      God Bless you Son. I love a good mystery and have always been fond of Miss Angela Lansbury.

      • 8:02 am

        Got the hots for Ms Lansbury have you, Don?

        Come on, mate – you can do better than her….

        http://madhatters.me.uk/2009/03/26/who-are-you-trying-to-kid/

        (I would apologise for the blatant blog promotion – but it would be wholly insincere, so I won’t bother.)

        • 11:46 am

          A damned handsome woman, Nobbly, make no mistake. But perhaps not her finest moment.

          And you’re always welcome to promote here son.

          • amburr4 permalink
            2:09 pm

            Since you don’t mind the promoting, (and since I can’t quite figure out how to attract readers to my page), but mainly because I am who you’re talking about… I invite you and your readers to check out my own blog — that of a 20 year-old college student, from Kentucky.

            http://www.amburr4.wordpress.com

            I love writing, and would love nothing more than to put a book together, so any guidance would be most appreciated.

  17. Miri permalink
    10:38 pm

    I must say, I am a young person. I’m quite familiar with complete sentences, yet I don’t think I could ever string words together quite the way you do. Your entries are hilarious!

  18. Jacky permalink
    10:51 pm

    Unlike a majority of my friends, I actually like the English language enough to use it correctly. I always use (or try to use in any case) correct grammar and spelling in e-mails, and encourage all my friends to do the same.

    Unfortunately, they’re all still too lazy to type the extra few keystrokes to compete a word or a sentence, so I’m left to decode gibberish e-mails half of the time.

    Sometimes the acronyms can be a problem in school; I know several friends who got points off on term papers because they accidentally typed “u” instead of “you”. Sometimes it’s frustrating having to take minutes to decode a single email. I completely agree with you that kids need to learn how to write properly again.

  19. 12:44 am

    This English teacher applauds you and your post.

  20. sensico permalink
    1:43 am

    OMG, WTF, *SMH* It’s a fast paced society now, we don hav time 2 type out da full sentence. U shud know dis, u jus hav 2 catchup wid da times & type in short form.
    Its 2009, wit technology we don need 2 hav write hol sentences. Dats wat puters r 4 :P
    TTYL ~

    • 9:09 pm

      Jesus Sensico, the Rosetta Stone was easier to decipher.

      And “wit technology”???? In my day we just told knock knock jokes. Didn’t need any computer programmed humor to give us a chuckle.

      Good to see you Miss. Thanks for stopping in.

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      10:19 pm

      Wow I really hope sensico is making a spoof of the situation… This doesn’t make me angry it’s just depressing. Society is what we make of it.Is it really so fast we don’t have that extra 30seconds to spare for good communication? What happened to beauty and elegance expressed in every form not just on the face but in writing also.

      I’ve noticed a huge connection between lazy writers and inconsiderate, impatient, pushy people…

      Every day is a new day to start again and write well.

  21. 2:25 am

    Normally I’d hop right in here and stir things up with a smart alec comment. But no need to do that here!

    Well done, well said.

    I’m off to The Deep Friar to poke fun at him.

    Eyeteaguy

    • 10:21 pm

      Nice to see you eyeteaguy.

      I’ll be popping in on young Friar later. Hell of a good lad, that boy.

  22. Kayliegh permalink
    4:17 am

    Ah, I may not be the best with grammar and spelling but I do make an attempt sir, which is more then I can say for some older persons I have talked to on the internet. Not that I know very many.
    Hell, I don’t mind short forms for texts, it saves the amount of texts and therein money, but then there are posts like sensico’s which make me feel that your post is very true in a lot of cases.
    Get the kids reading, it wont kill them and it just may widen their vocabulary if not help their spelling and grammar.

    • 10:58 pm

      Evening Kayliegh,

      I appreciate the “sir” very much. Nice to see a young person with manners.

      Thanks for visiting with an old man.

      Don

  23. 4:20 am

    I can’t catch my breath. I’m laughing too hard. Your post is hilarious and so are your comments. I won’t read my son’s e-mails unless he spells out all the words. This is the United States. We speak English. I’m sorry but I can’t pronounce
    ROTFLMAO and this word isn’t in my dictionary. Do kids know what a dictionary is? We were sorting out books that were stored in the attic today. We came across a dictionary and my daughter threw it in the recycle bin. I told her she might need a dictionary. She said “Why, I have spell-check.”

    • 11:07 pm

      Great to see you again Joan. Thanks for stopping in.

      Yeah, ROTFLMAO doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue now does it? Sounds like my cat when it’s coughing up a fur ball. And it looks ugly on the page too.

  24. SGT.C permalink
    12:45 pm

    I can agree with you here, Don. The kids that use this type of communication are not seeing what they are actually doing to themselves. By using these acronyms or internet meme’s they are actually in the long run going to lose the ability to write with perfect grammar. It’s like a second language; if you don’t use it you will forget it. A person may not lose all of there ability to write, but they wont have the technical prowess they had when they were teaching it. Let alone if they were using there cell phones and not paying attention in class (http://gizmodo.com/5204394/teen-sends-4800-worth-of-text-messages-dad-hammers-teens-phone). Which is the reason I think most teens chat like this is because of cell phones and not 4chan.
    I myself am a victim of using acronyms though. In the military it’s a standard to use abbreviations to make up sentences, but you need to get the orders out quickly. Teens can use this type of communicating as much as they want they just have to be forced to continue practicing English.

    • 11:13 pm

      Thanks Sgt.C.

      I think your right on the cell phones…should have included that in my list. Thanks for the link too. Amazing how often these stories pop up.

      Don

  25. Jaz permalink
    1:58 pm

    Actually writing like this and communicating like this isn’t going backwards. It is an evolution of language. Just because some of the words, abbreviations and phrases wont be found in the Oxford Dictionary does not mean they should be frowned upon.

    There are very few that speak “Queens English”, using slang or terms such as “BTW” are no different to regional variations, terminologies that are used depending on what area of the country or planet you are on.

    And for all you Americans that are commenting here you might as well have a go at your own version of OUR Language (I am English if you hadn’t already guessed). You spell words wrong, yes it is wrong because you claim to be speaking or writing English yet you can’t even spell colour properly.

    Why is it we all don’t speak English like it was spoken in Shakespearian times? Because language has evolved. This is exactly what is happening now and if you are all naive enough to accept it then that is your own fault.

    And this post was written by a eighteen year old so your general assumption that all teenagers are illiterate and causing the English language to decline are clearly wrong. That was a proper sentence I just constructed there as well BTW.

    Jaz.

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      10:44 pm

      Jaz, Some excellent points if the conversation was: “the problem with young people is-mild variations of language and dialect” or “minor spelling errors in an otherwise well written monologue that you’d have to point out only if you were splitting hairs”

      No, Mr.Mills is speaking about total obviliation of all recognisable writing and communication such as this type of thing:
      “hey gurl da ya want ta have my cylinda in ya oval ya i luv me bitchas hot en stuff reply 2 me bak!”

      And he does it with humour and exaggeration. You do write well; that type of mild variation isn’t the issue— it’s just the cant red ur terrable wrating! type of whippersnapper that is the problem: ectremally berd wrtng plp.

  26. Jaz permalink
    2:00 pm

    * All naive enough NOT to accept it.

    (As I am sure you will all pick up on that error and try to make your selves look better by stating that I can’t even write. Your wrong).

  27. Jaz permalink
    2:04 pm

    Oh and get off your high horse, “Now I’m no Billy Shakespeare but when I was a boy I was expected to put number 3 pencil to paper and actually write in full sentences.”. Please do not refer to William Shakespeare, one of the greatest fathers of the English language as “Billy”. Show some respect, after all isn’t that what all of the older generation are looking for?

    • 9:08 pm

      Go for it Jaz! Fly the flag!

      Let’s put these colonial types in their place.

      Regarding Don’s over-familiar form of address for Shakespaeare; I don’t think that the old Bill himself would be offended. He was, after all, a bit of a rough lad from what I can gather.

      He was always getting chucked out of pubs in the West Midlands.

      I recall one incident when the pair of us walked into a pub in Stratford, and the landlord, on taking a quick look at old Bill, and without pausing in his glass-polishing activity, announced “You can’t come in here – you’re Bard!”

      • 9:47 pm

        Jaz, Nobbly -

        We’re speaking (and occasionally writing) in American. It’s not really English. That’s all yours. We gave that back to you (including the extra ‘u’ in color, humor, etc.) when we started tossing your tea into the water (we prefer coffee).

        Please keep in mind that we are a young country, without thousands of years of history to lord over other nations. On the other hand, we are 100% Canada-free and really are only interested in colonizing inhospitable Middle Eastern countries.

        • 10:11 pm

          Keep up the good coloniz(s)ing work, CLT!

          We tried it many years ago, and caused untold buggeration, trouble and strife around the world as a result.

          It’s good to see emerging nations such as yours carrying on the fine old traditions.

  28. 6:13 pm

    Maybe it’s not writing these young people should be working on. Maybe they need to brush up on their reading comprehension?

    • 11:05 pm

      If any comment ever deserves an “LOL” it’s this one, JumpOut.

      If I knew how you summonded those damned winky faces up from whatever level of Hell they reside in, I’d toss in one of those too.

      Don

  29. Nick permalink
    8:26 pm

    While I agree that the English language appears to be going downhill, I think this is more due to the abuse of acronyms and smiley faces than it is the use of them.
    Sometimes quick, efficient communication is more important than being “proper”, and it is entirely possible to write clearly without writing correctly from a technical perspective.

    The crux of the issue is that acronyms and shorthand are often used without regard for readability. When mixed with very poor grammar and incorrect or mostly missing punctuation, this makes for very difficult reading with often ambiguous meanings.

    BTW, WTF, and the like are actually good ways to save a lot of time in informal communications. They save typing, and don’t really add any ambiguity. IMO, there’s no problem with using them, as well as smiley faces, which are great ways of communicating an emotion or tone in a media which is used in place of face to face communication, but which is missing all of the vocal and facial expression which would normally communicate these same tones.

    Sarcasm, for instance, is used frequently in speech, but much less in writing. When writing on IRC I type much as I would speak. Without the occasional ;) or :P my sarcasm can be easily be mistaken. In some instances it’s nearly impossible to properly communicate without them.

    Where I’ve often seen breakdowns occur far more often is substitutions of (“2″ for “to” and “too”), (“4″ for “for”), and (“r” for “are” and “our”). Their-there-they’re is also a common speed-bump in my reading. These are bad, because they’re ambiguous and, though faster to type, much slower to read (decipher).

    So, loosen up. And don’t be afraid to write incorrectly where it’s clearer or faster and doesn’t make it more difficult to read. I mean, try writing that nested list in an unambiguous manner. Oxford comma or not, it’s going to be confusing. My abuse of parentheses and quotation delimiting works just fine, no? ;)

    • 2:27 am

      Jesus Nick,

      Thanks for the comment.

      You’ve sure got a way with words and I was with you up until the notion that in some instances it’s nearly impossible to properly communicate without them damned smiley faces.

      Honestly, lad, that is one scary thought.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Take care now.

      Don

  30. Jaz permalink
    11:30 pm

    I still like how none of you that were slating the youth of today could come up with a valid argument against my evolution of language theory.

    • 12:35 am

      I am laughing out loud at Jaz!

    • 12:44 am

      Jesus Jaz,

      I know you young people can be a little self-centred but I think it might be presumptious of you to claim to be the one who developed the theory that language changes over time.

      I can tell you’re a bright kid and all but, really, you might want to tone down that kind of bravado.

      Now, listen, son. I like you. I do. And you’re welcome here anytime. Feel free to wade in and disagree to your hearts content, just try not to get so wound up.

      All the best

      Don

    • 10:33 am

      Jaz,

      You didn’t write the Monty Python ‘Anne Elk’s brontosaurus theory’ sketch, did you?

      “… this theory of mine. Well, this is what it is – my theory that I have, that is to say, which is mine, is mine”

  31. Friar permalink
    11:49 pm

    I don’t know what I like better, Don. Seeing how wound up the young folk get after reading your blog, or seeing how you answer their snarky comments.

    Either way, it makes for mighty fine entertainment. Much better than X-Box or Wii’s or whatever the hell it is today’s kids play with.

    Keep up the good work.

  32. Jenny permalink
    4:50 am

    Don’t worry about it too much Don, I’ll be teaching English this year. ;) (Oh sorry about the smiley– it becomes a habit.)

  33. Tony permalink
    9:45 am

    Hi Don How R U 2day
    Brilliant post
    BTW the ROFL. LOL LMAO really annoys me too. :-D

  34. Friar's Mom permalink
    2:35 pm

    @Donald,
    The Friar directed me to your Blog. I too admit that I enjoy your writing. You shoot from the hip, and write it the way you see it.

    You sound as if you come from my era. We studied English Grammar in grade school, and learned how to parse and analyze sentences. I doubt if this is taught at school today.

    I didn’t have time to read all 69 comments to your last post. Obviously you musty have hit a raw nerve.

    • 2:31 am

      Welcome Friar’s Mom and thanks for your kind words.

      You don’t hear the word parse very often anymore now do you? And I don’t think grammar is taught anymore. I think after the development of School House Rock, we pretty much figured we had that “grammar issue” solved once and for all.

  35. 1:42 am

    Don,

    my moustache burst into flames while reading your post !

    I believe I know when this all started , I remember the day my young son Tommy (8) was sent home from the coal mine for smoking in the explosives shack. Oh , how the boy argued with the safety officer and noted that had brought his own ashtray , and even though he won the fist fight fair and square they still sent him home until he sobered up .

    The next thing I knew he was being made to ” play ” with others at school while learning his life lessons from a big fat purple dinosaur !

    These safety people are in cahoots with ” Barney ” and it’s time we make a stand !……………~Dave

  36. Rose permalink
    2:15 pm

    Reading your posts makes me laugh, why are you so angry at young people, at the world. You have generalized all young people to be exactly the same. And whats really sad is that young people are the future and make up a huge proportion of the population. I find it hard to see what the HUGE problem is with smiley faces. Its not easy when you are writing an e-mail and you write a sarcastic joke to express whether you are joking. So putting a little :P or :) lets people know.
    I await your sarcastic reply.

  37. 2:21 pm

    Thanks Rose. Turns out I don’t need to write a sarcastic reply. You’ve done it for me.

    “And whats really sad is that young people are the future and make up a huge proportion of the population.”

    Thanks for stopping in Rose and have a nice day.

    All the best

    Don

  38. Rose permalink
    2:25 pm

    Whats really sad, for you, is that young people are the future etc etc.
    I personally think its great.

    • 2:29 pm

      Fair enough, Rose, fair enough. Thanks for your comments.

      Nice to see a young person with a strong point of view.

      Regards,

      Don

      • 4:04 pm

        To be honest, Don; the lass has got a point.

        If old buggers were the future, it wouldn’t last long.

        Anyhow… I thought that garlic bread was the future?

        (very Northern English joke there, Don…sorry about that)

  39. 3:16 pm

    I really see no problem with the English skills of many of our young people today, and as a young person myself; I can write perfectly well. Young people seem to be blamed for everything: aparently we are obese, alcohol and drug abusing chavs. Nothing could be further from the truth, we are just stereotyped as all the same.

  40. Robert Banko permalink
    3:44 pm

    First off, You’re a Fucking whiney old bitch, You need to take your head out of your ass and take a deep breath and realize that the world hates you. Next go to your local Dicks sporting goods store and purchase yourself a nice rifle; when you get home, load the gun, place it in your mouth, Pull the trigger. Please rid the world of yourself so no-one has to deal with you bitching on the internet about useless shit.
    -Robert R Banko.

    • 4:16 pm

      Sorry I had to clean up your language there Bobby but there were some cuss words included in your comment that would peel paint off a wall. You’re an expressive lad, I’ll give you that.

      You from Dayton by any chance? I know some Banko’s from that neck of the woods. Jim and Pepper Banko by name. He was in drywall sales but is likely retired now. And that Pepper! A looker for sure but god damn she had a sharp tongue. She could cuss you out like nobody’s business.

      Anyway, that’s all besides I point I suppose. Now I could be wrong here, lad, but I’m sensing you might be a bit on the angry side. You’re not striking me as the smiley face sort of young person. Am I right on this Bobby?

      It worries me boy. It does. I’m picturing you sitting at your keyboard all red in the face and frothing at the lip like a rabid lap dog and I’m concerned that you’re going to do yourself an injury.

      Maybe you should consider getting outside and playing some stick ball with the lads? Or a game of hacky sack? Something that will put some color in your checks without snapping a valve on your young ticker.

      Think it over lad. And if you are Pepper’s boy, tell her she still owes me 35 cents from the Canasta game back in 68.

      Take care now lad and thanks for the suggestions.

      All the best

      Don

    • 4:35 pm

      Banko….

      It’s not a poor attempt at cockney rhyming slang is it?

      Or an anagram, perhaps?

    • Tom permalink
      1:57 pm

      Who are you , talking about ?

    • lurcherboy permalink
      8:29 pm

      Report him or at least take the message off – I would never talk to anybody like that and I’m a young person ( Even though she is a close friend ).

      WordPress and Donalds blogs are about expressing your views on the subject.

      HOW DARE YOU

      Please take it off Donald and then this comment, Please

      Tom.

      • 9:58 pm

        Thanks Tom.

        I assume it is Mr. Banko’s comment you’re referring to and not the one from Mr. NobblySan? If so, I’m not planning to take it down, lad.

        It’s a casestudy and very likely a future post.

        I just hope the boy is okay. He seems a little agitated.

        Don

  41. Phil permalink
    5:31 pm

    I understand fully the pain of seeing the way most of my generation type on the net and perhaps I’m only different because I study English. I don’t want to get into the argument about bad writing skills, I just thought some people might be interested in this little fact. The abbreviations such as btw and ttfn aren’t really new concepts; during Victorian times post was expensive and so to make letters shorter many similar techniques were used as in today’s texts. There are letters by Byron which are almost unreadable because of this.

    Just thought someone might find that interesting.

    • 9:56 pm

      Thanks Phil. Appreciate your wading in. But you shouldn’t be reading Mr. Byron’s mail. He might get damned irked and I believe it’s a federal offence.

      Interesting info, lad. Thanks for that.

  42. neil permalink
    5:41 pm

    dude, you need to chill out. ya, the youth of today’s america is looking sad in many ways, but you can’t blame it all on the younger generations. Look at all the technological advances that YOUR generation has made for them for matters of “convenience” and comfort. Besides, you can’t generalize all these kids and judge them for certain aspects of their life and personality. There are plenty of kids who text and e-mail with abbreviations but can still write an A paper in any honors english class. Just as there are plenty of kids who have sex at a young age but are smart and responsible about it. Seriously, chill out and think about what you say before you blog the world about it.

    • 10:01 pm

      Chill out?

      Jesus, Neil, I’m in my eighties. The phrase “chill out” stirs up funeral home connotations when you get to be my age.

      And, I can too generalize. I’m old. I’ve earned the damned right.

      Take care lad.

      Don

      • neil permalink
        7:08 am

        haha. you just don’t give up old man. well, if there’s one thing i HATE about old people… they’re always too stubborn and miserable to care. thanks for furthering another stereotype, gramps.

        • 4:13 pm

          Damn straight I don’t give up.

          Thanks for stopping in Neil but “hate” won’t get you anywhere lad. Tolerance…that’s what I preach.

          All the best

          Don

  43. Will permalink
    5:53 pm

    When you say “young people”… Do you refer to a specific group? Also, context is most important.
    I would argue that a lot of these people who you feel cannot write a sentence are in fact perfectly capable – they just choose not to. If you are having a conversation, then there is absolutely no need for perfect syntax or word formation – it’s acceptable to use slang in spoken conversation, so what is so bad about its use in written conversation too?

    Obviously there is then the issue of people who truly cannot write coherently – but that is not a young/old issue, that is a general “people” issue. If anything, I would argue it is more of a problem for those who have now left school (i.e. “old”) as there is little chance for them to be corrected. Those in school may have difficulties that you raise but luckily…they are at school! I believe schooling is, after all, the solution to your concerns?

    The failing of education systems is a whole ‘nother story though!

    • 6:17 pm

      I don’t know what Don considers “Young people”, but I would hazard to guess that they fall in the 16-25 crowd.

      I call these the “Darwin Years”, because that’s the age group when kids start having access to cars, alcohol and sex. Where their hormone levels are at their highest, where they’re the most likely to do something stupid that will take them out of the gene pool. (Especially the males).

      I’m not being facetious. I’m talking from personal experience. We’ve all been through that phase. Those of us who are still here have obviously managed to live through it.

      Now that we’re in our 30′s (or beyond), we can sit back and relax and poke fun at the younger generation.

      As is our God-Given right.

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      11:05 pm

      Because poor communication and writing laziness can lead to arguments and even loss of a friend over time.

      I had a “friend” that used way too much text speak beyond the normal save money 2 & r & U but the entire message was all scrambled up and took me longer to read than it would to say. Had to message back and forth to finally understnad what they meant and by that time it would have been easier for them to write properly in the first place.

      Think about it. In todays’ world with poor communication most arguments would have been prevented if the communication and comprehension were improved.

      If they don’t have the time and care to write to you so that you have the best chance of understanding then it shows lack of concern over the result. Which basically means they don’t have that extra 30 seconds to spend on you, the friendship or communicating with you in general.

  44. simple_catalyst permalink
    7:22 pm

    WTFINRAT.

    • 9:52 pm

      Is that were they held the 1952 Summer Olympics?

      Either that or you have something caught in your throat there lad.

      All the best

      Don

  45. SJS permalink
    7:43 pm

    The problem isn’t initialisms and acronyms (or even the colon-paren constructs termed “emoticons”), but ambiguity. Writing “BTW” for ‘by the way’ shouldn’t be a problem, because it’s not ambiguous, as opposed to writing “2″ for “to” or “too”.

    Further, many of the initialisms are merely conversational placeholders, and can be ignored for the most part. “BTW”, “IMO/IMHO/IMNSHO”, “FYI”, “FTW”, etc. etc. do not really communicate *content*, and can be entirely ignored without appreciable loss of meaning.

    Distinguishing between reasonable initialisms and ambiguous laziness should be judged based on its ambiguity.

    Writing “U” for “you” is bad, because it conflicts with the customary meaning of “U”, which is to mean “University” (cf., “U of M”, “State U”). Defenders will claim that it *sounds* like “you”, and then argue that a lamb’s mother is only a female sheep.

    The “UR” construct is even worse. Are we talking about the ancient city, or a grunt, or a word that sounds nothing like “ur”? Ambiguity — it’s the real problem.

    This touches on abbreviations, too.

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that we accept “UR”. Does it stand for “you are”, “you’re”, or “your”? Many of the illiterate will response with “yes, all three”, mostly, I believe, due to the fact that they don’t know. When then _do_ write out “UR”, they often get it wrong: “Your so stupid! You’re rules make no sense!”

    And the terrible things they do to “can’t” (cant is already a word, it doesn’t mean “can not”) is overshadowed by enormity of what they do to “it”. It’s gotten to the point where “its” and “it’s” are so confused that even literate people write the wrong form, due to sheer exposure.

    But we can’t lay the blame for apostrophe abuse at the feet of today’s youth. They learned *that* trick from their parents, most of ‘em.

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      11:12 pm

      I always thought that can’t is a contraction of can not. Can you give some evidence where it is a word by itself? Not from your own personal experience but some respected source on the English language?

      Because this is something used in great novels and people with University educations. Can not= can’t

      It seems like you took it further and started splitting hairs.

  46. jack permalink
    8:03 pm

    I agree. I despise trying to decipher what I’m reading, and I blame the texting phenomenon. While we can discuss symptoms all day long, I’d like to combat the disease.

    I own a cell phone. I’ve never sent a text, and am proud of it. The few texts that I receive are either spam or mistakes. If I can identify the source of the text, I go demand that they reimburse me. I’m damn well going to vote, so not only do you not have to encourage me to go vote, but also I want my $0.50 back.

    It is possible to get by in life without texts. I live quite happily without text messages. It boggles my mind, then to see everyone around me chained to their cell phones and text messages. Texts are not a necessity, they’re not even a right and yet people seem to feel that they are.

    I think chat rooms may have begun this downward spiral, but who wants to be chained to a computer to converse when they carry their phone around with them?

    When I was in high school, it’s only been five years, cell phones were not tolerated and relatively few people brought them to class. That was bad enough, I thought. Now it’s so bad that kids can have their phone confiscated and as soon as the teacher’s back is turned, they pull out another to continue texting. There’s enough kids with cell phones that teachers cannot effectively enforce the bans on phones in school. My sister’s teachers have the students place their phones on their desktops when they’re taking exams to prevent cheating. That’s sad. I have friends who are student teaching right now, and all of them have had issues with texting in class. One of the excuses the kids use is, “You can’t take away my phone.” “Yes I can, you were texting.” “But I was texting my Dad. I can prove it.” How are teachers supposed to fight this scourge when even the parents are line up against them?

    I say we let possession of cellphones during class be grounds to fail students. Yes it’s harsh, but can anyone honestly say that even if kids don’t have the discipline to do something as simple as leaving a phone in their locker that they deserve a diploma? I see no reason to cheapen the worth of a high school diploma just so we can say we have high graduation rates. If their education doesn’t matter to them, I say let them get a GED when it does.

    To any parents who want their kids to have cell phones in the class in case there’s a school shooting going on or if the school goes up in flames; if your kid’s been shot they won’t be calling you anyway. If they’re horribly burned, you’re not going to be able to anything about it anyway. The way I see it, a mob of hysterical parents does absolutely nothing to help the emergency response teams. They get in the way.

    That felt good. Now that I’m done ranting, here’s a nice guide to emoticons:
    http://singleedgestudios.blogspot.com/2009/04/brief-guide-to-emoticons-part-1.html
    http://singleedgestudios.blogspot.com/2009/04/brief-guide-to-emoticons-part-2.html

  47. 9:51 pm

    If I may paraphrase old Billy, methinks the youngsters doth protest too much.

    • Friar permalink
      9:57 pm

      @JumpOut

      No! No! Nooo!

      You’re NOT supposed to refer to him as “Billy”.

      That makes some people upset, you know.

      • 10:02 pm

        Damn straight. I believe the prefered form of address is “Whazup Shakey”.

      • 10:05 pm

        As the youngsters are saying these days, “my bad.” I wouldn’t want to offend any sixteen year olds from England that may be reading my subversive comments.

        • Regina permalink
          2:56 pm

          It’s William Shakespeare, show some respect for the bard. And by the way, I am American, and from Deleware, tis not just the english who love him. Great literature transcends the Atlantic, and apperently the Pacific judging by the anime and manga series based on his popular works.

          Regina

  48. Devon-Anya permalink
    1:13 pm

    Firstly, I don’t see why you sit around all day critisising young people. I am a young person, and feel incredibly offended by your comments. Young people have done absolutely nothing wrong, yet you think that we are all the same. I have read several of your entries, and you yourself have made several mistakes. You say you hate slang, yet you include words such as ‘damned’ and ‘bejeepers’. I think the stereotypical and derogatory terms used by you to describe young people are appalling. Your generalisations of children are out of order.

    “God damned muffin tops and belly shirts and exposed thongs and low rider pants.”

    Just because I don’t wear trousers up to my armpits, doesn’t mean that I lack self respect or am a ’10 cent prostitute’. You state that young people are making fools of themselves, yet you have the time and you put effort in to make children feel angry and even more rebellious. You refer to yourself as decent, however, this is a contradiction following the rude comments you have made.

    By the way, ‘LOL’ means ‘laugh out loud’. You may not be aware that the more letters that go into a text message, the more it costs. So please consider that during these times, we respect our families, and do not want to waste THEIR money.

    Smiley faces rule. =D

    • Devon-Anya permalink
      1:18 pm

      Incidentally, I am only thirteen years old, but am able to write structured sentences without being down-right rude.

      Regards, Devon.

  49. 1:29 pm

    I was a young person not so long ago and I don’t remember being as uptight as some of your readers! I’m wondering if our young are streesed out and need some relief. I was very active in sports and Scouts. Maybe we should be getting the young’uns outside and away from the Wii. Fresh air does a world of good and we should enjoy it before its all gone.

    Don, get out much? Or are you like my Gamma and you sit inside watching Matlock re-reuns all day.

    Eyeteaguy

    • 4:17 pm

      Thanks for the comment Eyeteaguy,

      I get out a fair bit but, like your Gamma, enjoy my programs as well. I usually head out to the Winn Dixie on Thursdays (coupon day) and sometimes drive over the Walmart to glare at the young people.

      Fresh air is the ticket, lad. Fresh air, exercise and little bit of work wouldn’t hurt either.

      Thanks for visiting.

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      11:26 pm

      So true Eyeteaguy I never had a mobile phone when I was 13…. my first mobile was when I was 16-17 and started dating and wanted to have that security while away from family.

      I think it robs children of their childhood to be given too much media too early. You say it’s for an emergency..but messages with LOL in them aren’t really emergencies. Actually if it’s for emergencies as most parents claim then only the emergency line and the parents number should be rung. All overs can be blocked or if your child actually respects you-simply ask them to save it in their bags for just that reason and turn off during class hours.

      Then they can have the mobile turned on for the walk home. Using this rule I used my mobile ONCE because my friend fell sick and had to get her dad to pick her up… .

      I also don’t understand why they are getting so angry over some satire?

      They need to think that if their parents lived without this or that and weren’t killed by the boogeyman surely they can??

      It’s the age of paranoia.

  50. 1:47 pm

    Dear sir, amen. And how about the improper use of words (voluptuous, for example) and the made up words (conversate, for example)…

    • 4:19 pm

      The made up words are the worst Count Doon. Drives me around the bend.

      Last time I checked, my dictionary was about 1400 hundred pages (and with the damned tiny type). So, by my way of thinking, we have plenty of words at the ready and don’t need to be making up new ones.

      Thanks for coming by.

      Don

      • SJS permalink
        7:38 am

        Hey, coining new words is practically a sport in English. Ol’ Billy Shakestaff was a dab hand at this.

        The new word shouldn’t mean exactly the same thing as an existing word, and ideally, its meaning ought to be apparent to any reasonably educated listener/reader.

        “We’ve got enough words now, go away.” isn’t in the spirit of English. Go learn French of you want that sort of control.

        Of course, English isn’t content to invent new words — it pillages words from other languages as often as not. This is the ‘crime and glory’ (to steal a phrase from Cordwainer Smith) of the language.

        Just don’t apply the Humpty-Dumpty defense.

  51. BuggyBY permalink
    12:20 am

    Thanks a lot for summarising many of my pet peeves in a much more eloquent way than I myself could likely have managed. Having just turned 24 myself, but still being an university undergraduate, is apparently enough to occasionally make me shake my head at those young people today, and I’ve even caught myself thinking how much better things were when I was a lad. It’s sad that the increasing pace of life seems to have accelerated the process of turning into a grumpy old codger as well. Or maybe that’s just me.

    Now, as I often find myself conversing with these young people as well, I admit to adapting my mode of speech to the chat format when in an instant messenger conversation. I’m almost at the point of speaking two different languages depending on the medium: my personal approximation of the Queen’s English in essays, most e-mails and personal writings, and “omg lol chatspeak btw” in chat with classmates and others of the type you’re complaining about. This is mostly to keep up with the pace of the “convo”, but I think there may be an infectious factor to it, too. If I notice that my partner does not give a damn about what Webster et al. have to say about orthography, and they’ve repeatedly resisted attempts at correction, I just go with the flow. Maybe not being a native English speaker made me more linguistically flexible.

    Having said that, I do hate the worst offenders who tend to bring up the argument that “lol its just teh internets so it dun matter if i type proper amirite”. There was someone on an online forum somewhere who accused me of being a prehistoric creature because I disapproved of his use of “cell phone abbreviations” and dozens of exclamation marks following every sentence. (I wish someone could explain that to me: If your intent is to use fewer characters in your message, why would you need to compensate by filling up the character limit with exclamation marks?) When confronted with these individuals, I pointedly adhere to every rule of grammar, syntax and good style of which I am aware, in an attempt to either point out that some people do care, or at least make them stop attempting to justify their continued rape of a beautiful language.

    On a slightly unrelated note, Wiio’s Laws of human communication seem very relevant to this post.

    I apologise for the wall of text that my initially short comment seems to have turned into.

    • Regina permalink
      2:45 pm

      Buggy, They not only rape the english language they take it into a dark alley, beat it with a base ball bat, then let it lie bleeding and half dead wile they take it’s wallet.

      Regina

  52. Jacob permalink
    4:10 pm

    Good day, Mr. Mills!

    I wish there was a non heart-breaking way to tell you that you are both very right and very wrong in your view of young people. I will be very straight forward with you sir, as that is what we rude young people generally are.

    While I salute your honesty, and can very much appreciate your articulate sense of reality, you are very wrong to blatantly generalize when many young people can be just as articulate as yourself, if not more so. While it is true that perhaps the most obnoxious, upfront teenagers can’t spell to save their lives, I would say that these teenagers make up about 40% of all teenagers from 12-18 years old.

    Now let us break this into age groups from that aforementioned 40%:
    50% of these obnoxious teens are between the ages of 12-14
    30% are freshman in high school, approximately the age of 15
    The final 20 percent belongs to a small group of sophomores and juniors that never grew up, and are, for the most part, likely to continue their lives preying off their parents and never learning how to do their own laundry.

    Now, let us recap. Only 40% of teenagers are, by your standards, phonetically ignorant. The other 60%, the majority of teens, have no problem typing out posts without using a single ‘LOL’ or ‘btw.’ They use complete words in their text messages and instant messages, Facebook comments, school papers, blogs, and emails. Mr. Mills, you are sadly mistaken when you say that teens are all bad with words, as that may only be true in your town. Also, you may only be paying attention to the obnoxious teens. Try looking for the teenagers that sit quietly, don’t talk on their phones in public, and help you if you drop something in the store. You will be overwhelmed.

    Let it be known! Sir, you have a fantastic sense of reality towards the obnoxious teenagers in this world. Just try expanding your view a little bit past the boring, stereotypical, senior citizen mindset.

    Have a lovely day!
    Jacob

    • Jacob permalink
      4:12 pm

      By the way sir, I’m only 15. For reference’s sake.

    • Xavier McDonnell permalink
      11:47 pm

      I am curious as to where you discovered your statistics. They might be of use to me in future debate.

      I am also curious as to why you regard Donald Mills to be realistic or intelligent. The tone of his posts, accompanied by the lack of material evidence or a rational line of thought clearly counter to this assertion of yours. His use of absolutes is disgusting.

      Oh? You are fifteen as well? That is splendid.

  53. asdf permalink
    4:13 pm

    lol wut.
    FU OLD MAN!

    • 1:50 am

      If this was that damned fine Perry Mason show, I believe this would cue the line “we rest our case.”

      thanks asdf.

  54. 1:44 pm

    Hey, just because you probably have a snotty little goth brat in the family don’t mean you go around generalizing every teenager in town!

    I understand that it must be frustrating not being able to decipher all the information when you eavesdrop or take sneak peeks…

    Stop being nosy Don!

    But that don’t mean I love you any less ;)

    • 1:11 am

      Your a pip Archie!

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      11:32 pm

      Nah, it’s more the hip-hopping brats that are the problem. Goths are too busy reading Sylvia Plath and Nietzsche to be writing poorly. It’s the ones with “da bichas” that generally have the poor grammar.

  55. Text Talker permalink
    9:18 pm

    Wow, I believe you have it wrong, while there are some teenagers that abbreviate everything they say, there are some like myself that actually speak in literate sentences unlike most of my peers. As a side note I like the emoticons! :P

    • bcurletta permalink
      8:39 am

      Gah! God damned smiley faced devil! Its like its peering gaze is cutting straight into my soul like a fiendish… FIEND. Yeah I need to lay off the sauce, happy cinco de drinko!

      • Text Talker permalink
        4:56 pm

        Ooh, you cussed (your gonna be in trouble now!) just kidding XD

  56. Regina permalink
    2:40 pm

    Ah, well Sir, I understand your annoyance. It truly is a damn shame that many people around my age utterly fail at writing. As an aspiring authoress it really bugs me when people do not form proper sentences. A few of us, such as my self, have excuses such as poor eye sight for the occasional hasty typo or miss spelling of a word. But if one is going to post some where aside from an instance messaging system, one should proof read, use spell check and what not. I hope I can at least stand for some of the younger folk who truly do attempt to speak English well, and in my case German and Latin, though the latter languages are harder, at least for a native English speaker. I have just turned eighteen, by the way. As a foot note I also find abbreviations save little time, Would you like me to explain some of them to you.

    Constantly entered by your posts,

    Regina.

    P.S I would suggest you don’t use the word “Boner” the term has shift in it’s meaning, thus causing snickering and unintentional hilarity

    • 4:45 pm

      Many thanks Regina,

      I appreciate your leaving comments on a number of posts and look forward to reading them all. You sound like a decent young person with a good head on your shoulders.

      I also appreciate your offer to help on the short forms. Anything you can do there to assist me would be greatly appreciated. I’ll be sure to watch my use of “boner” too – I had an inkling that the meaning had changed somewhere along the line.

      Now, having said all of that, I’m concerned slightly by your closing. “constantly entered by my posts” is not an appropriate comment for a young woman, espececially when referring to an old man. I’ll consider it a typo and we need not speak of it again.

      Thanks very much for visiting with me, Regina.

      Don

  57. Luke permalink
    9:16 pm

    OMG NO WAI ROTF LOL!!!! Really, who talks like this? That’s the one reason I can’t stand LOLcats. It would be funny of they could actually spell and use proper grammar.

  58. Lenna permalink
    10:23 pm

    Hello Mr Mills,

    I have to agree with you, I can’t stand it when people use “lol” or other abbreviations when they talk. I have to apologize for the behavior of my fellow peers, I can understand where your annoyance at teenagers branch from. I myself moved to America from another country when I was almost eight. It was terrible, I couldn’t understand anything people would type on the internet or send to me because they didn’t use proper English, it was nothing like what we had learned in school. I understand how the English language seems to be degrading, in a new edition of the dictionary, “lol” is apparently a word now. It’s pretty sad.
    However to be completely honest, I do use abbreviations too, especially when I’m in a hurry and I do use the occasional smiley. However I respect your views on usage of smileys and abbreviations, and indeed do agree that they are sorely overused.
    I’m glad you’re trying to keep traditions alive and are combating things like this. America would be a better place with more people like you. I’ll be glad to talk to you again sometime, however right now I need to study for my final exams.

    Sincerely,

    Lenna

  59. Matt permalink
    1:29 am

    Hello, Mr. Mills. I’m 15, and I cannot understand the wave of “leetspeak” that has engulfed my generation. Is it really that hard to type “I have to go” instead of “g2g”? It’s a disgusting rape of a once beautiful language. I don’t see how people can stand all the abbreviations, can’t they just spend a few extra seconds writing out the whole word? Clearly we must teach the children to speak in 18th century dialects, with lots of big words.

  60. E C permalink
    2:20 pm

    A friend of mine just tried hooking me up with a younger woman. I am 31 she is 23. I had to stop chatting with her after 2 messages because of her grammar. It drives me insane that she just met me and doesn’t have the common decency to spend a little time punctuating and capitalizing.

    Then again, have you heard the way young people speak? Broken english. Yo wit dat …. Come the hell on, I’m an intelligent person that isn’t going to dumb myself down to understand their gibberish.

    • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
      11:43 pm

      I had the reverse happen when I was 19-20ish.. the man was 35..

      It’s very important not to dumb yourself down. The stupid thing is I didn’t heed that red flag straight away as he spoke pretty well I thought maybe he just has writing difficulties… It turned out though in many ways we was intelligent writing difficulties can imply other communication difficulties as he never understood anything overly clever or subtle and eventually I had to dumb myself down in order for him to understand me. It took a while to get out of the bad habit.

      When I say writing difficulties every email and text would be misunderstood and all his replies would look something like: willb nak hey yo wanna..blah b;ah blah i pick up bread oh waht you mean dat last msg???bye!”
      Couldn’t understand him most of the time. He also couldn’t understand me and would take things out of context because of really poor reading comprehension.

      It taught me that although a trait common in the 12-20 age group if not broken there are plenty of older people walking around speaking like that.

  61. likeomigod permalink
    6:53 am

    Hi Don…as someone who DOES pay attention to grammar and is still considered young (thank god)…you might want to put the period before the quotation marks. It should read:

    Mine: But no, it has to be “btw.”

    Yours: But no, it has to be “btw”.

    • 5:13 pm

      Hi likeomigod,

      This one has always been open to debate because it’s in quotes. It’s not “btw.” it’s “btw” and so some grammar type people would say the period needs to be outside. Me, I can live with either

  62. 6:09 pm

    The point of using emoticons is that it would break up the flow of the sentence and sound unnatrual to explicitly write out your emotional state. Whether you want to beleive it or not, emoticons can actually make this more subtle!

  63. 1:47 am

    I can vouch that they can’t write a decent sentence……just see my blog, the title “A glimpse into the minds of some high school juniors”. There are some writing samples there that confirms they are illiterate.

  64. Xavier McDonnell permalink
    11:37 pm

    Hmm…
    I understand that this site is intended to be a humourous criticism of many of the problems of the youth today, but I consider your inconsiderate stereotyping to be offensive and poorly written itself. You are missing punctuation in important places, sir.

    Why do I find this crude and ignorant?

    I am fifteen, you see. What does that mean? It means that I am a teenager.

    I appear to be a contradiction of the entire thesis of this post, as well as thse of many of the other posts on this site. I consider proper grammar and spelling to be of the utmost, online and offline.

    I shall not launch into a long tirade, but I would ask you to pay heed to the others who have.

    Perhaps you should rectify these posts by adding that these insults and attacks only apply to certain members of the teenage population. The American portion, to be specific. America is not the land in which people have Freedom of Speech. It is the land in which people have the Freedom to be Ignorant.

    • Xavier McDonnell permalink
      11:38 pm

      Corrections:
      “…as well as those…”

    • 12:41 am

      Many thanks Xavier.

      Apologies if my offensive stereotyping twisted your shorts. You’re absolutely right – if I’m going to pass judgement on large groups of people much better to do based on nationality than age. Just look at those miserable Mongolian Nationalists. What a sad lot they are – young and old.

      Anyway, I know you didn’t come here looking for advice, Xavier, but you might want to consider loosening up a little. You’re 15 for Christ’s sake and a little young to be haunting the internet telling old men to “pay heed.” I appreciate the fine sentences, proper spelling and archaic language but it’s a little disconcerting coming from someone who still gets an allowance. You sounds eerily like the Ghost of Christmas past.

      No offense, son. Seriously, I’m sure you’re a good lad. Just relax a little. I think you’ll find it’s good for you in the long run.

      A pleasure to hear from you. Verily, a pleasure indeed.

      All the best,

      Don

    • Sedate Me permalink
      3:44 pm

      It’s so nice to see a young person so dedicated to proper grammar.

      You may very well be “The exception that proves the rule.” While the criticism may not apply to you, it doesn’t mean the generalization isn’t otherwise 100% accurate.

      If you are that exception, my condolences. Prepare for a lifetime of frustration as you get lumped in with your pathetic age group and get frustrated, disaffected and perhaps ostracized by them yourself.

      It is likely that in about 15 years from now, you too will be marching in step with Mr Mills.

      • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
        11:50 pm

        Sedate Me–that describes my teenage life… Being literate and thoughtful when surrounded by people that aren’t can only lead to misery.

        As Lisa Simpson said “happiness declines as intelligence goes up” or something like that…

        The solution was to befriend older people or relax-have fun and enjoy the vitality of youth.

    • Sam permalink
      7:37 pm

      As an American, I agree. We here in the USA do NOT have freedom. We lose what little we have everyday in the form of laws that only appeal to the criminals. They do not follow laws at all. I am ashamed of my American heritage and dream of the day when I can leave without a second glance.

  65. Xavier K. McDonnell permalink
    6:11 pm

    I am writing to see if I can make contact with that bright 15 year old with the very intelligent sounding name! My father and I are the only other people with our name that I have ever come accross here in the land of the ignorant. We have a cousin Xavier in London but he spells his name Macdonnell. I am wondering if I am related to this astute 15 year old Xavier McDonnell. My McDonnell ancestors were from Slane, Ireland.

  66. DaTruNigga permalink
    4:08 am

    Ye like legit fuck all yall mofos we write gooooood aint no body old like senoir citisen goin to tell use we no good! We gonna run shit soon son so you better hope you not around get ready for DA NEXT GENERATION NIGGAAAA

    • Sam permalink
      7:34 pm

      If you and all your “Niggas” take over this country, you will be the downfall of this country. You’re just an uneducated fool who will never learn how to wipe his own ass.

  67. 4:49 am

    Hi, Don. It’s me again!
    This post is excellent. I still use a wood pencil. I still write in complete sentences. I’m going to become a writer, for Pete’s sake! What kind of writer would dare to butcher our beautiful English language with shortcuts? Long live grammer!

  68. Sam permalink
    7:31 pm

    Totally agree. I compare my penmanship to that of todays twenty-something and youngers, and talk about horrible, sloppy, “I’m still in first grade”, penmanship. I still write in cursive. A style of writing that my child will probably be never taught in school. I will have to take it upon myself to do so. What a shame.

  69. 10:53 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am delighted to discover your blog. It is hilarious. Your insight on young people is so spot on, it can hardly be considered satire.

    During the years I taught high school English, I did my utmost to expose my students to Jonathan Swift and the like, as well as punctuation and the communicative benefits of using standard spelling. Hopefully, I managed to get through to a few of them. When I began having children of my own, I decided my energy was best spent raising and educating them myself.

    My husband teaches college-level English classes, some of which are dedicated to sentence-level writing. Honestly, we are both perplexed at how people can have the gall to enter college without being able to write a sentence.

    Respectfully,
    A New Subscriber

  70. 4:39 pm

    As a professor I face this problem nearly every day. I wonder what they do in grade, junior and high school. I really do. They come to college and turn in a piece of indecipherable crap they whipped up in five minutes while they were waiting for their favorite song to illegally download. If I’m lucky, it’s on time. Usually though there was some ‘emergency’ and I should ‘understand the stress they are under.’ Really?

    Maybe I am getting older, too, but I know for a fact that education in the U.S. is NOT what is used to be or as it should be.

    • 5:19 pm

      And don’t you ever dare to say it! or God forbid, suggest a re-write. They act as if you are the first person who ever doubted the quality of their writing. I usually try to sweeten the deal by saying ” I am absolutely sure you can do more!”

      By the way, the Merriam-Webster on-line ask the editor video had a talk about ending sentences with prepositions. According to them , it is okay to do so if sounds natural.
      Cheers!

  71. 5:15 pm

    FUBAR , FUGAZI and SNAFU were coined in your glorious days, right?

    Love your blog! E-mailed it to the family members and subscribed. You, Sir, are hilarious.

  72. 4:18 pm

    This is really funny and accurate. I’m one of the few “young people” (I’m 15) who still consider grammar and writing very important and even go far as to say it is necessary for everyday life. This post is incredibly humorous. I love it. Even if I have grown accustomed to using acronyms in texting at times, and occasionally end my comments or posts with a smiley face for approval. You kind of rock! :D (T’was too tempting. Sorry.)

  73. SickHippie permalink
    11:42 pm

    Don, have you seen what passes for literature with these kids? Twilight is a fine example of a piece of distended rectum masquerading as a book. Now, I enjoy a light story as much as the next man – possibly more depending on who the aforementioned man is – but I prefer a nice Wodehouse to a steaming (or cold) pile of feces.

    http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com/ – maybe you’ll get a kick out of it, I did.

  74. 7:06 pm

    I agree. I am a teenager, as I’ve already mentioned of course, but I always make it a point to NOT “tlk lyk dis”.
    It annoys the crap out of me to no end when people use abbreviations like “OMG how R U??? whuz up?? ur kewl!”.

    Might I also add a short rant about how I hate when people misspell words on purpose to try and look “cool”. More like makes you look stupid, in my book.

  75. Anonymous permalink
    1:16 am

    Hm. :) ;) :P :D

    I like smilies, they cute c:

  76. to the future permalink
    1:58 am

    Somebody who is a university graduate used the word “sinical”… is that a new word? Perhaps to signify someone who is prone to committing sins? Beats me!

  77. 1:43 am

    Hello Sir,

    Even I cannot deny that laziness in our writing is ubiquitous. It is quite egregious – we should really work on that. I don’t think “OMG I was top of my class” looks very good on job applications. If we knew what was good for ourselves, we’d fix it. But then again, we have no idea what is good for us…so we read your blog.

    Fondly,
    Betty Marshall

  78. 6:30 pm

    Mr. Mills, thank you for this. I’m an English teacher and was horrified when I asked my college freshman to list the 8 parts of speech. After a stunned silence, one troglodyte said, “What, you mean, like, words?”

    Great post, sir. Thanks for making me smile after a long day.

  79. aishabooch permalink
    9:54 am

    I write sufficiently and I’m seventeen! But I do understand your point of view, this was humorous nevertheless.

  80. I AM THE VAST MAJORITY AND YOUR FUTURE, SO WATCH YOUR STEP MISTER! permalink
    9:35 pm

    Hey, I’m fifteen years old, and I can definitely use complete sentences! I’m not quite certain you know enough about young people to be writing about them…what are you, like 100? And still, though you undeniably irritate me through pretentious and often insensitive meant-to-be-clever quips, I can’t help but read this blog and laugh. But really–it’s all the adults who try to seem cool by using abbreviations and whatnot that seem stupid, not the children who are influenced daily by their obnoxious peers. I mean, I think you’re ridiculous sometimes, but I still respect you, because you’re old and can’t handle the truth. (Ok, I don’t respect you: in my book, respect goes two ways).

    • 1:31 pm

      Many thanks, lad.

      I’m not sure that someone who refers to himself as “I AM THE VAST MAJORITY AND YOUR FUTURE” should really be calling other people pretentious. You sound a cross between one of the ghosts from A Christmas Carol, a hippie occupy protester and Darth Vader.

      Still, best of luck with being the vast majority and future and all. I’m sure that will work out well for you.

      All the best and thanks for the comment. You young people never fail to crack me up.

      Best regards,

      Don

      p.s. You may be able to use complete sentences, son, but you have a hell of time trying to write them down. Keep working at it though – you’re certainly a step ahead of most of your peers.

      • I AM THE VAST MAJORITY AND YOUR FUTURE permalink
        3:23 pm

        I’m a girl.

        • 5:05 pm

          Well then I’d say it’s even less likely that you’re my future.

          All the best,

          Don

          • I AM THE VAST MAJORITY AND YOUR FUTURE permalink
            7:29 pm

            I feel like you’re a 30 year-old loser. What kind of bitter old man who hates all things modern and innovative would write a blog? You’re obviously either mentally derranged or a social scientist. Either way, you’re a sexist pig. And if you are old, you won’t live long enough to have a future in my hands, so what do I even care? I give up on you, crabby old fart.

            • Sedate Me permalink
              8:03 pm

              Now, that’s the kind of “stick-to-it” attitude that America’s youth are famous for!

              Some old fart says something overtly negative and out comes the kind of tolerance, patience and graciousness that has made America what it is. The future looks bright indeed with this calibre of young person.

  81. Alex Weldy permalink
    4:24 am

    Mr. Mills,

    I am a young person today and I wholeheartedly agree with your position on the way my peers conduct themselves. We need to return to a time when America was great: the America you grew up with. By God, those where the days! An era where women were only allowed to be housewives, secretaries, or nurses! A time where blacks weren’t allowed to vote and they were properly kept out of a decent white man’s bathroom! A day where a fellow could enter into an multi-national war, send Japanese by the thousands to concentration camps, drop an atomic bomb on their homeland and not have any bullcrap “Geneva Conventions” to worry about! A time where the “beehive” was considered an attractive haircut! A time where the song “Stay (Just A Little Bit Longer)” was considered to be a good song! A time where-

    Hold on just a second-

    Oh, I remember now! The proper, respectful and proud America you’re remembering didn’t exist! Your “proper upbringing” was thoroughly riddled with blatant racism and sexism and built on an enterprising system of beating the living hell out of Nazi Germany and living on the fat profits. That is, until adults decided that the Domino Effect was a legitimate threat and decided to invade Vietnam.

    Try as you might to blame problems with society on young people, in the end it’s the old assholes running the country that ruin everything.

    Cheers!
    Alex (16)

    • Alex Weldy permalink
      4:26 am

      Actually, that would be a better post if we pretend I didn’t put quotation marks around “proper upbringing”, because I hate if when people do that.

  82. Adrianna T. permalink
    3:37 am

    I feel that most teenagers and young adults are just lazy. They simply believe that the world is theirs and everything should be handed to them; if it is not handed to them then they don’t work for it. There really is no excuse for lacking the proper skills to communicate efficiently.
    One thing that really gathers under my dermis is when they use the word tense incorrectly. I can’t stand it when I see it written when I’m peer-editing or when I actually hear them say it. Another issue for me is when they misuse words. I understand the desire to come across as being educated when they use “big words;” however, what they really do is make themselves look bad. It wouldn’t kill them to properly look things up in a new invention called a dictionary.
    Working off that idea, I rarely see young people reading a damned book. Books are wonderful things, yet I scarcely see people with them. I’m never without a good book; in fact, I would rather be without my cell phone than a book.
    This is all coming from the mind of a nineteen year old. Most young adults are allowing the group of “Young Adults” to have a negative connotation. The few young adults who are decent enough are simply lumped in with the “God Damned Young People” and the “God Damned Teenagers”. Quit making me look bad other people my age!

    • Kathleen F. permalink
      9:09 pm

      You’re the one making people your age look bad. You sound like an idiot when you say “dermis” instead of “skin,” then directly following that you reprimand people misusing “big words.” Well, I got news for you, sister. I have 447 books, and plenty more on my Kindle, and I’m 13. I have time to learn and grow. Plus, as a part of a younger generation, you at least should recognize the pros of technology-like Dictionary.com. All in all, this website is stupid, and I hate the ad hominem attacks on people you know nothing about. Please, stop and get a life. Maybe you should start trying to figure out how to talk to people and articulate yourself instead of sitting alone in your room gleefully conspiring against innocent peers like me.

      • krentz permalink
        10:23 pm

        Kathleen, you articulate, magnificent bastard. I was considering writing a rebuttal myself but you saved me the trouble, with many more years yet to live besides. I will definitely agree on one thing, however: depending on one’s perspective, this website is pretty damn stupid. Honestly, I just comment because I feel compelled to tip the scales in the other direction. It’s just a shame that we’re the minority, as it has always been.

        I also find it highly ironic that speaking from personal experience, in a business environment, even managerial and directorial staff make some flagrant grammatical foul-ups from time to time. I’m probably one of the most literate people in the company, and I’m an entry-level employee.

  83. 4:27 pm

    I really really like your blog my good sir. I guess I’m one of those “young people” and I understand where you’re coming from. I like writing to people (texting included I guess) who don’t shorten everything down and conversing with people with whom I can actually comprehend everything and know when one sentence ends and another begins.
    I just disagree a little bit on the part with the emoticons. In my opinion, you can’t really extract all the emotion out of a normal sentence written on a piece of paper (or typed on a computer). For example: “My dog just died” versus “My dog just died :(“. Personally I empathize more with the second sentence because I can see how they’re feeling more clearly. People can convey writing tones more easily with emoticons and I believe it only enhances the written language… unless they’re overused, because when they’re over used it’s just ridiculous. ;)))))))))))))))))
    I’ll keep reading, you really do have true words of wisdom to share.

    • 4:32 pm

      And that last emoticon face failed. Here’s the revised version: ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;).
      Have a nice day!

  84. LYK permalink
    5:32 pm

    ALL teens? I’m 11 and I study in Stanford’s gifted youth course. I don’t understand at all what FU or ROTLMAO means. I get grades lowered if I use slang.

    So don’t generalize!

  85. Blah Blah Blah permalink
    10:58 pm

    MST teanagrs suck @ speling & centance 4mation butt knot AWL uff thim.

  86. 3:38 am

    A well-written article. Sir, is possible we can publish this for our next issue of our campus magazine? I would like to share your thoughts with other students.

  87. 4:12 pm

    OMG (just kidding) you are so darned funny. Your type of dry, clean, no-nonsense humour is so hard to find. You don’t say much about yourself but you must have some sort of background in comedy? If you have raised more than two children, that qualifies since being a parent takes a hell of a sense of humour these days!

  88. 11:28 pm

    I heard a co-worker say the word “lol” yesterday. As if it were an actual word. Keep fighting the good fight, Don.

Trackbacks

  1. Room For Laughters » God Damned Young People Couldn’t Write a Sentence to Save Their Lives!
  2. “If I had ever used a lazy-ass short form when I was a boy my old dad would have abbreviated my backside with a copy of Mr. Webster’s dictionary.” | This is a ride, not a fight.
  3. Ceasar Rian: What’s Wrong With the Young People of Today « Adventures In Writing
  4. Fill in the Blank: The Problem with Young People Today Is… | Writing on the Visual Arts, Spring 2012
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