Friday, 12 April 2013

Kendal's Column: Stupid things people say #6

@Bookfangirling did this segment a while ago but, whilst sat in a cafe with my dad today, I overheard a group of people talking. The topics within the conversation all began with 'young people today' and were laced with the tuttings of disapproval.

Picture it...
Me and my dad have just sat down and I'm just about to start eating my sandwich when one of the ladies in the group sat on the next table says 'young people today don't know how to write with all this *taps on the table as if typing*'
These were the first two interpretations of what she said that came to me

  1. she means young people today are physically incapable of picking up a pen 
  2. she means young people today have no grammar skills and so don't know how to write correctly
Either one of these interpretations is grossly inaccurate as every single child in the UK receives some form of education which a) teaches them how to write letters and b) teaches them how to form words, sentences and paragraphs correctly with correct punctuation and grammar.
I can understand that some people may not have fantastic grammar skills but that is no reason to generalise and say that young people in general have horrifically bad writing skills.
Moreover, everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs to learn how to use more complex punctuation which can take time so you shouldn't judge a persons writing ability whilst they're still in mandatory education.
I could also ,possibly, register her comment as hypocritical as i highly doubt she has never made a mistake whilst writing, whether it be punctual or grammatical

The argument that I think she would have made is 'text talk' which I understand however, I don't see it used much anymore and even if it was I (and I what I hope is the majority) know not to put in a piece of writing  about Romeo and Juliet 'OMG U WULDNT BELIEV!!1!! U NO HOW ROMEO SED HE LUV ROSALINE, I KID U NOT HE SED 2 JULIET I LUV U AT DA CAPULET PARTI <3333' instead of 'Romeo, unbelievably, declared his affection for Juliet at the Capulet ball. This would shock the audience as he previously lead us to believe that he had an unrequited yet everlasting love for Rosaline that left him unable to love another... ' for example. 

The only other interpretation that I can think of for the comment the woman is talking about is that she is talking about the neatness of handwriting. If this is the case then I wonder if she is aware that under most exam boards handwriting is taken into account and that there is a rise in handwritten university/college/job applications so if an individuals handwriting isn't legible they could lose out on marks in an exam, a job or even a placement at university.
If this lady wants to argue that typing is less useful than handwriting i'm not going to disagree nor agree as both are equally important as companies and universities often require both computer skills and good handwriting to excel.

As the conversation progressed I picked up snippets of this groups other observations of 'young people today' and I just...

I wasn't intentionally listening in but ,when you are in a cafe that's empty apart from you, your dad and a group of people who are talking quite loudly about what they think of your own age group, it's hard not to listen.

Please don't generalise.

Happy Friday!

P's. I am aware of the irony that this is typed and that it probably has several grammatical errors that I haven't noticed


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