My husband and I went snowshoeing early yesterday morning – it was one of those crisp, winter mornings when the snow squeaked and crunched beneath our feet, glittering and sparkling under the sunlight.
Afterward, we made a quick stop at our local mini-mart for a gallon of milk, and I watched a younger father walk in with his two children. He was wearing a winter jacket and pajama pants. I wondered, not for the first time, when it became OK for people to head out dressed like they just rolled out of bed. I see pajamas in public often enough, and I’ll stick my neck out here and say it’s a sad trend, a devolution of style, if you will.
It reminded me of a dinner we had with friends a couple of years ago. Paul had returned to college to pursue a second degree, and was studying Hebrew and Greek as part of his college requirements. These studies refreshed Paul’s interest in language, encouraging him to take another look at English and the disturbing trend he was noticing: the poor quality of instant messages and texts holding traditional grammar hostage to speed and convenience.
“Language is devolving,” he said. “We’re so into shortcuts that we’ve sacrificed quality for speed.”
He was right. And since that conversation took place a couple of years ago, things have gotten worse. Grammar is suffering, and it’s become acceptable, OK, for shortcuts (and not caring how words should be spelled) to be commonplace. Shortcuts have their place, as I discussed in an earlier post, but poor grammar has no place in the work world.
Like pajamas at Wal-Mart.