Being a netizen, I’m used to the rather poor grammar and spelling that pervades the blogosphere. Folks are often more interested in the speed of getting their content out rather than the formatting of that content. Even though, ironically, it may turn out that all that “rushed content” may be the most permanent legacy of anything that folks today are producing. These people are not necessarily all that well schooled in written expression and content may absolutely be the focus of their efforts.
I accept that the English language is changing (evolving?) on an almost daily basis and, for the most part, I see this as a good thing. One of the greatest strengths of this language is its ability to grow and diversify in an unstructured and yet amazingly universally understood manner.
But I do take exception to news outlets being similarly sloppy with their written products. These are professionals, or at least the articles are published by supposed professionals whose job it is to make the form of the message every bit as relevant as the content. Presentation, in all aspects of life is important. Poorly crafted messages, in my opinion, degrade the perceived intelligence / care / thoughtfulness of the writer regardless of the reality of the situation.
I was reading this article this morning, and while I found the content compelling – it’s a situation we may all face some day – I couldn’t help but being struck by the fact that there had been very little care taken to proofread it before publishing it on a reputable site (WSBTV’s website). I found incorrect homonyms, missing possessive apostrophes and missing words. All perfectly acceptable in an amateur posting which is exactly what this isn’t.
You may call me nit-picky but I do feel it crucial that professional publishers set an example of what the current epitome of writing should look like. Folks producing their own content can use this to gauge the professionalism of their own work. They can choose to strive for such excellence in their expression or not, but I think it important that the examples continue to be produced by those who are supposedly trained in the art of writing…