Depressing, but true. Just about everywhere you look online, the English language is struggling a fate worse than dying. The problem, in reality, is so widespread it has begun to affect all facets of the language. “But, what on Earth does this have to do with Internet marketing? inch you may be asking. Well, my fellow netpreneur… Everything!
It has everything to do with Internet marketing if you wish to portray yourself, and become perceived as, a Marketing Professional on the internet. Just remember, professionally speaking, Image can be Everything. On the other hand, if you’re not particularly interested in putting your ‘best feet forward’ when marketing your services or products, and I really hope this is not the situation, then none of this applies to you.
Obviously, we don’t have time right here to do an in-depth study of the many instances of, what I would term, “casual disdain” I’ve witnessed online. So , in order to illustrate my point, Items concentrate on a small, but vital element of the English language: the harmless, harmless apostrophe.
Allow me to try to paint a picture for you. A long, long, time ago, around the time of the De Soto, the Corvair, bellbottoms, the particular VW “bug” (ring a bell? ), and before beatniks grew to become known as hippies, you could look at ad copy and expect, to some degree, it had been reviewed and, presumably, corrected.
In other words, it was safe for women, children, and other life forms to view it, and read its content with out suffering any permanent, debilitating emotional damage, such as a hard to diagnose conversation impediment, or maybe an involuntary nervous twitch across one cheek.
The things i see most of us doing now, at the dawn of the 21st Century, is that we all read ad copy, and then, due to the fact it’s in bold letters upon carefully selected background, surrounded by pretty pictures, we accept the message as Gospel truth. All of us get so bowled over by “look” of it, that we forget to analyze it critically enough.
Talk about your own viral strategy, indeed…
Today, within the age of the cell phone, the Lexus, Viagra, the twenty five cent telephone call, and a PC “in every barn, ” wherever I look, I realize the poor apostrophe maligned and abused. It gets no respect, possibly offline on signs, billboards, plus late-night Infomercials, or (shudder) online in cyber country, on that will very personal and intimate manifestation of its owner’s taste and character: an individual’s web site.
Since I spend so much time online, much more, I think, compared to I spend on the real pavement of our world, I notice the glaring mistreatment heaped upon our poor little fellow- the apostrophe-by careless website owners, even more. The main thing I notice is that the apostrophe’s originally intended use will be slowly eroding; people are just making up their own versions of what its purpose really is. This is a prime example of what I mean by “casual disdain. ”
It’s been reported in ‘The Really Up Yonder Gazette’, an influential publication dedicated to digging up gossip concerning the well known dearly departed, that each William Shakespeare and John Milton have thrown up their hands in despair, and are contemplating turning their backs for good on something that some would consider their own creation: our English language.
As a matter of fact, within a recent exclusive interview, “Willie boy” himself bemoans the effect all of this has on his favorite language, as follows:
“Oh, perfidy that has befallen our instrument of expression, by us as soon as nearly refined. Oh, treachery flung upon us by the masses shamelessly disdainful of reading and writing, of independent thought evidently incapable! ”
Frankly, I firmly believe that this unwarranted offense had been perpetrated by one of the first guys, otherwise the very first, who threw up that first Web site selling, say, floppy disks with instructions on how to prolong the mileage on single-ply bathing room tissue by rewashing it, thoroughly drying it with your wife’s locks dryer (when she’d gone out of the house, natch), and then gingerly covering this with a special jelly for sofness. You know, just your average 3-Step Recycling Process used mainly within Third World countries like Wyoming, for example…
For the purposes of this little tale, let’s call this first internet marketer, Butcher D. Grammer.
Well, this confounded fellow started something which has become a movement, or a new language convention. Grocer decided that the little fellow, my friend the apostrophe, should not be used according to any rules or previous vocabulary conventions; heck no, the little many other would, according to our Bathroom Recycle Consultant, be used any ol’time.
He would use it, and so would the public who were yet to come, but would you follow suit, and our Grocer knew this well, to interchangeably indicate either the possessive or the plural forms in any sentence.
Therefore , a sentence such as, “The seller does not guarantee its potential income, ” became: “The seller does not guarantee it’s potential profit. inch
Here he turned the possessive form of “its” into the abbreviated, or the contraction form of, it is. So , in case you were to read the second sentence, getting rid of the contraction, the last part might read: “does not guarantee it really is potential. ”
But , our little Butcher, a thorough and disciplined craftsman, was not through yet. After all, there was clearly even more damage he could inflict upon American English; and, leeringly, he mused, rubbing his hands jointly, “They’ll follow me blindly anyplace. ”
Next, he turned their attention to the plural form of simple words. Just about any word ending in “s, ” indicating that there was more than one object of whatever unit had been counted or measured, he changed into, you guessed it, the possessive form.
Words or terms for example, buyers, software tools, ingrown toe nail, battering ramps, fools, attractive young ladies, dumb-as-can-be-guys, and many, many others, became: buyer’s, software tool’s, ingrown toe nail’s, battering ramp’s, fool’s, attractive girl’s, dumb-as-can-be-guy’s.
As hard to believe as it might seem, Butcher reign of terror is still not only alive and nicely, but from what I’m going to show you, it’s expanding frighteningly. Please take a look at the following three additional examples, and cringe in terror:
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Obviously, in the very first two sentences, Butcher and his fans have cleverly used the second-person possessive pronoun “your” as a substitute for the cut “you’re. ” Their thinking being, “The heck with that comma-like factor which is supposed to go on top. Nobody will even miss it. And, we are able to get away with chopping off the final “e”, also. ” (So, once again, the apostrophe gets the shaft).
In relation to the third sentence shown above, quite frankly, I have no comment; I more than likely even know where to begin defining or deciphering it… I’m afraid to look at it. It’s just a stroke associated with genius from the hand of our leading man, Butcher, who must have found the particular inspiration for this little morcel during a wrenching psychotic episode.
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Now, I don’t know how other people feel about the particular sinister, pervasive, and, yes, virus-like damage caused by this one crazy guy, but I, for one, hope he’s gone to his final resting location. Let him drive them crazy more than there if (God forbid) he or she finds himself near a typewriter; as it is, Butcher’s handiwork makes me go nuts practically every day within cyber space.
If only we could return to that time in the past, 1962 comes readily to mind for one reason or another, when spelling and a little attention to grammar counted for something.
But , as they say, in Bolivia, “Dude, t’ain’t no use complainin’, ‘dem ‘dere day’s is long gone. ”
Copyright 2004 Jorge M Vega
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