Punctuation Abuse is on the Rise

It’s a well-known fact that I tend to become a tad upset when people do not obey the rules of PUGS. Blame the English teacher in me. Point the finger at my upbringing. Taunt me if you will, but it drives me completely batshit crazy to see the lack of proper punctuation floating around these days. I swear it’s becoming an epidemic! Spend five minutes reading any blog, Twitter stream, or Facebook Wall and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. It’s enough to make me reach for the unboxing juice… even when I’m not opening anything!

Whether you’re trying to save time or hoping to come across as cute or funny, it’s not working. Intentionally spelling words incorrectly makes you look like an idiot. Adding extra letters isn’t “cool,” it’s just plain silly. Attempting to be l33t is so 2009, dude. Knock it off! Take the extra time to spell words correctly and add in those commas or periods.

How is anyone ever going to take you seriously if they cannot figure out what the heck you’re trying to say? Sadly, it’s not only teenagers I see doing this on a regular basis. There are many adults out there who are just as guilty. I actually read a blog post a few hours ago that might have been phenomenal if it wasn’t full of run-on sentences and words spelled incorrectly. This post was written by someone I respect under normal circumstances. Glancing quickly through other pages on his site, I was saddened to learn that this happens regularly. Apparently, he doesn’t think enough of his readers (YOU!) to take the time to get things right.

I’m not perfect. I make mistakes occasionally – even with my PUGS. The key is that I don’t do it on purpose. I also don’t do it often. I spend those extra few moments to check through my work. I fix up any errors I may come across, and go back to correct anything that is pointed out to me later on. Maintaining a professional image is important to me. I would hope it is to you, as well.

For those of you who are sticking your tongue out at me right now due to the fact that you’re only fifteen, you need to pay attention. You aren’t a business person yet, no. You likely aren’t worried about how professional you appear. It’s also quite probable that you haven’t yet realized that your digital footprint will follow you for the rest of your life. You read that right: the rest of your life. Just a few years from now, you’ll want to get into a great college. One look at your Twitter stream may get you turned down pretty fast, young grasshoppers.

Be mindful of what you’re doing. It only takes a few seconds to type out a word the right way. It takes even less time to add in some punctuation. Doing these small things can boost people’s perception of you in a very big way.

9 thoughts on “Punctuation Abuse is on the Rise”

  1. I definitely agree with this sentiment; however, it doesn’t seem that young people (by that I mean 30 and under) are even being taught the value of proper grammar and spelling in school. The number of people I meet on a daily basis who don’t know how to correctly string together a simple sentence with subordinate clauses astounds me. You don’t have to always be perfect in your spelling and grammar – but making an attempt goes a long way vs. those who do not.

  2. I definitely agree with this sentiment; however, it doesn’t seem that young people (by that I mean 30 and under) are even being taught the value of proper grammar and spelling in school. The number of people I meet on a daily basis who don’t know how to correctly string together a simple sentence with subordinate clauses astounds me. You don’t have to always be perfect in your spelling and grammar – but making an attempt goes a long way vs. those who do not.

  3. Okay. I found two mistakes: in your first paragraph “do not the rules of PUGS”; and in your fourth paragraph, “I fix up an errors”. I only took the time and effort to point these out because of the statement in that same sentence in the fourth paragraph, “go back to correct anything that is pointed out to me later on.” I also make unintentional mistakes in grammar and punctuation, and strive to find them all before I post or print. I believe text practices are responsible for the lack of diligence and casual attitude of acceptance of poor spelling, grammar and puctuation so common today. Just for the record, I never graduated high school!

    1. As you and Cody both pointed out, there are some errors. That’s why it’s always important to have someone else read through what you write (especially blogs or articles); there are times I’ve published something I’ve read through 5 or 6 times and didn’t catch any errors, but the instant someone else reads it, they find a few. Though, as fast as Mr. Pirillo publishes stuff, I’m not sure he has time to have someone else proofread!

  4. I’m fourteen, still in middle school. And @AmbrosePendragon:disqus Jordan Burke said, “it doesn’t seem that young people (by that I mean 30 and under) are even
    being taught the value of proper grammar and spelling in school.” I must say that I totally agree. In school they waste time watching movies, doing projects, and other miscellaneous things. I think that schools need to go back in time a little to when all you learned in English was how to read and write, and look at the practices they did to obtain their writing skills.

  5. @google-d67499c8c77cd71af3b00fc795440627:disqus you are right about digital footprint. Can you tell me what software was used to make make Chris’ picture look like in comics?

    Thanks.

  6. My comment is more about grammar than punctuation, but I need to vent, right here, right now! Just this past week, I noticed three grammatical errors from my children’s elementary school. The Principal wrote in his monthly newsletter, ‘This has been a real good year!’ (ouch!) The head librarian replied to an email,’You can pick up the material from Katie or myself.’ (ouch, again!) Then my son’s teacher wrote in a note home, “There was a mix-up between my assistant and I. (not too bad, but still not correct.)

    This is considered one of the best schools in the Chicago area, so what is everyone else supposed to do? If elementary students aren’t learning proper English from their teachers and Principal at a top rated school….well then, American English has gone to hell in a hand basket.

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