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Bad Writing: Epidemic, or Just a New 4M?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Yes, we have seen the talks and the videos and read the books and papers. The concept of bad writing prevailing over good writing has existed over the decades — no, scratch that, the centuries since the written form of storytelling and messaging became popular.

But since we have entered the education realm and have seen the product about to be released into society, we are a little hesitant to exclaim that everything is going to be all right.

Some examples:

first off, you have students who have no clue what the first rule is with capitalization. due to texting, it is so easy for them for forget that the united states is capitalized, as well as places like the eiffel tower.

Or, tbh, many of them believe that writing w/abbrevs and numbers is OK. IMHO, that is way cray. Perhaps we shouldn't hate since their communication is on fleek.

Because, you know — you know what that means.

Then again, when we look at how we speak and write versus those in the early 1900s, many of them would be appalled by our loose use of verbs, prepositions, and phrases.

We would be vehemently chastised for starting a sentence with "but."

So we thought, is this simply a new wave of writing and communicating? With the continual rise in popularity of texting and "instant messaging," it is no doubt that primary language must change. You can only fit so much in 100–240 characters, so 140-character spaces and 180-character spaces will start to look quite different. We must modify our speech based on the speed at which it is delivered.

As our interactions amongst each other change (like we said, advertising is a reflection of society) our style of language and messaging must change, too. We must stay relevant to our customers, or else we will find ourselves alone, with only ourselves to talk to.

No Thx.

It is certainly a tough pill to swallow when you see the rules of language that you grew up with molded, modified, or even abandoned altogether in order to create a different way of connecting to one another. Or, it could be a fascinating way to see how different groups of people modify language and see what stays within the social fabric and what is left behind.

k thx bye.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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