I believe in correct grammar. I’ve never really been the one to use slang in my every day vocabulary. I guess it all started in grade school. My friends often corrected me in my grammatical errors and soon it became a competition. Everyday we were constantly correcting each other, challenging to see who was smarter than whom. Since then my speech and even my spelling has never been the same. I however, seem to stand alone in my convictions. With constant new developing technology, our generation becomes more and more lazy. We look for the quickest way to get from point A to B. Email or text, rather than snail mail, and even three to four letter abbreviations to describe entire phrases. Nowadays it seems more often than not, especially in my own age group, that true words and definitions are swapped for their slang or shortened counterparts. Often times it becomes even hard to communicate effectively with those that aren’t within your immediate social networks. And I stand among my peers defiant and determined to turn the world around. At first, the constant ridicule of “always trying to right” began to bother me, but soon the chase for errors became more like a game. Why choose an alternative word, when Webster already provided us with the perfect remark? Everyday jargon is only one long and detoured route to the root meaning of the word. I am a strong believer in “say what you mean and mean what you say”, and proper English is just one way to ensure no discrepancies in verbal translation of your thoughts. Our words are meant for all means of communication, a national common heritage and understanding that should help us relate more than set us apart. Yet, our slang can divide us by generations and even social groups. Our evolvement of language only furthers this gap. I believe words have power, great power that can display the character of a person in a precise and eloquent manner. We must use these words for good. We have the ability to do great things with our words. So the next time you feel the urge to cut a long winded word loose, take that extra second, do the right thing and use the RIGHT word. That extra second used is no time wasted. It’s a job well done!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.