Cold Toilet Seats

6-02-2014 Thursday

I am no spelling or grammar prodigy, but how come people my age still make mistakes in the use of words like ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ and ‘their’, ‘there’, and ‘they’re’. The basic principles of the usage of these words were taught to me in elementary school. It is hard to believe that the elementary school I went to was any better than yours (or theirs). What is it that makes it so difficult to use these words correctly? I have absolutely positively no idea. First let me tell you what got  me to write about this.  

Today I went to the toilet at school – which I hardly ever do… just because – and somebody had written down ‘Your an arse’ on the toilet seat. True, it made me smile a little bit at first, but the sheer stupidity of writing ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ really took away the only little bit of humour in this joke. The irony here of course is that this mistake was made in a school where they are supposed to teach you grammar. I know they are teaching us grammar, but obviously school is not doing a very good job.   

Sometimes I wonder if Internet has anything to do with this. Was Internet really ‘a small step for man, but a big step for mankind’? and if so, was it a big step in the right direction? As you’ll understand I have never researched anything I am about to write down, it’s just my flow of thought at this very moment of writing. I don’t have many of these flows, so let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

In the The Men Who Stare At Goats I stumbled upon a chapter in which a man, who works for the US army, has a dream or maybe a vision. They were using a computer network to communicate with each other. This man’s vision was that in the future the whole world would have access to this and everybody would have easy access to a vast amount of knowledge which would mean that mankind would get smarter and smarter. As far as I can see the Internet has only made us dumber and dumber.

Grammar rules are being taught in schools all across the world. Besides schools there are many websites to teach the world English grammar rules. And there are probably more ways of learning English. How come we make so many mistakes: I think we are underestimating the power of social media and the likes. Schools and grammar sites are no match for the rapid spread of stupidity via Internet. If things continue like this, the film Idiocracy might be closer to the truth than it appears.

While school is trying to teach us the correct use of ‘their’ and ‘they’re’, we are more often exposed to the bad examples. The Internet is full of ‘Your an arse’-like mistakes. Especially social media is like Facebook and Twitter are full of it. And please oh please do not try and correct anybody on these sites, because they’ll be calling you a grammarnazi before you know it. I am not going to correct anybody, because it’s their/they’re/there life.

Sometimes I also wonder if there are more people who have problems visiting public toilets. I know we’re all there for the same reasons and maybe that is exactly why I have problems with it. When you leave that small room and people know what you’ve been doing in there, and they can smell it, too. I don’t know, maybe I just need time to get used to it. Not now, because now it’s time for some shuteye. See me tomorrow. 

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