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May 25, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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teh internet grammerz

tehgrammerz

There is a large group of people out there who present a great threat to grammar. These people constantly pollute the English language (and other languages) with ungrammatical sentences, inconsistent capitalisation and apostrophe placement, excessive use of exclamation marks, and little to no punctuation. If left unchecked and un-moderated, it could mean the downfall of language as we know it. That’s right—I’m talking about people on the internet.

Take this fellow for example:

Dr.DRe wat kan i say he iz da shit he iz ma fav rapper hiz lyrics r guud az fuck n he n snoop dogg wer guud rappin 2gether but N.W.A wuz da shit 2 he shouda neva left cuz dey wer a raw asss group!

Do you find this as hard to read and unsightly as I do? I think this makes a good example of how spelling and grammar are important to legibility. To illustrate this point, I’ve fixed it up:

On the subject of Dr. Dre, I think he is the shit. He is my favourite rapper; his lyrics are most excellent. He and Snoop Dogg were well good rapping together, however N.W.A was of the highest quality. He never should have left because they were a raw-as group.

So, which was easier to read? Hopefully it’s the latter. Although I’d like for everyone to write legibly, not everyone can type, or can be bothered typing (or texting) properly.

A popular hangout for these types is YouTube, as shown by the webcomic xkcd.com here and here. Looking at some of the things people comment on the videos, I found a few disturbing trends. People like to spread spam such as this:

Here are ten facts
1. Your reading my comment
2. Now your saying/thinking thats a stupid fact.
4. You didnt notice that i skipped 3.
5. Your checking it now.
6. Your smiling.
7. Your still reading my comment.
8. You know all you have read is true.
10. You didn’t notice that i skipped 9.
11. Your checking it now.
12. You didn’t notice there are only 10 facts
Copy and paste to 1 video, tomorrow will be your best day ever! no matter what

So by posting their (usually ungrammatical) comment on another X videos, you will a) not be killed by some ghost; b) your crush will kiss you; or c) you will have the awesomest day ever. Seriously? Where’s the logic in this? There’s nothing mystical about spreading spam on YouTube.

Another thing people like to do is repeat something funny or awesome that is said in the video, only incomprehensibly. I found a good example from this video:

spiderman will you stop narrorating plz what you were narrorating its kind of unessacery unessacery but how will ppl know what ive been up to all this time spiderman were not idiots just go and do your thing oh….well….alright then

I find this example quite ironic. It is essentially an unnecessary narration of something that is said in the video (because you’re obviously watching the video, right?), which is about unnecessary narration. Sigh.

Anyway, enough with the bad internet grammerz. Now I’m going to teach you something useful—some basic HyperText Markup Language (HTML) tags, which you’ll be able to use right here on the Salient website when you write your (hopefully legible) comments.

You can use HTML tags around your text to change its appearance, to make it bold or italics and such. Tags are marked by angle brackets < >, within which you place the code to edit your text, placing the HTML markers around the part of text you are modifying. You need both an opening tag and a closing one—the closing one is marked with a forward slash / inside the angle brackets.

For example, to write in the bold typeface, you can use one of these:
We are <b>men</b> and we are <b>manly</b>!
We are <strong>men</strong> and we are <strong>manly</strong>!

Although the tags are different, they do the same thing:
We are men and we are manly!

Other useful things you can do:
<i> for italics or <em> for emphasis (both do the same thing).
<u> to underline your text.
<s> for a strikethrough effect.
<center> will centre your text (note the American English spelling in the tag).
<font size=”4”>Text</font> will make your text bigger. You can change the number from 1 to 7. 2 is the default size.

You can also make a segment of text link to another webpage:
I want to link the Salient site <a href=”http://www.salient.org.nz/”>here</a>.

This will make the word ‘here’ link to the Salient website, or whatever website you want—just paste its address in between the quotation marks.

So, remember that you place the tags around the text you modify, and you have to close it with the forward dash. A useful feature of the Salient website is it shows a preview of your comment before it is posted, so you can see what it looks like with all the HTML modifications. Go ahead, try it out!

Questions about grammerz? Email me at mikey@salient.org.nz.

Useful sites:
www.noslang.com (brbigtp)
www.codesupplier.com/htmlquickchart.htm

Useful sights:

A grammatically correct comment under this article.
That would mean someone read this! Yus!

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About the Author ()

Mikey learned everything he knows about English Grammar in an MSN chat room when he was 13. Believing that people don't say "LOL" enough in everyday conversation, he has made it his mission to teach the world about grammerz one person at a time.

Comments (5)

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  1. Daniel says:

    Read; grammatically acknowledged.

  2. mickey says:

    hey gud artical bro.

    (lol 2 ez sry)

  3. Phoenix says:

    I less-than-three xkcd … and correct grammarz

  4. Gordon Tan says:

    I think Michael is a pretty cool guy. eh fights with grammar and doesn’t afraid of anything.

  5. Guy A says:

    Good one Mikey LOL brb W00T STFU LMAO. Rotflol az wele. Thowz moo-V endingz roole.
    Never 4gett abowt Dray.

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