Saturday, November 13, 2004

Writer's guil(t)

Believe it or not, my day job is 'wordsmithing'. Or rather, that's the term I like to use when I refer to my budding career in Public Relations.

I write all sorts of documents, for all sorts of organizations - none of which make me question my morals or social responsibility. I assure you.

My mentors, all confident, beautiful professional women, and have instilled in me a new writing-related value.You see, in the days of e-media, the art of writing has stepped aside to:

1) Save time
2) Save space

And, considering that a ridiculous percentage of the population is functionally illiterate, AND we are instructed to write at a Grade 6-level when appealing to the masses, it is the duty of the loyal few to stay true to rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Language evolves. Haven't we bastardized it enough?

As a Canadian writer, I have particular pride in preserving Canadian English, and resisting American-style. This is not elitism, but rather a silent plea to be recognized as a distinct nation.

We have no late nites in Canada. Nor do we add color or flavor to our prose. We avoid inappropriate behavior and never gossip about our neighbors. I am not saying this in self-defense.

What am I getting at? I am guilty of breaking these rules in this journal. And, I feel that guilt.

A meeting of Canadian English and American English does not frighten me as much, however, as the thought of the complete disintegration of the base language. I fear for the fate of English in both nations. After all, we don't have the best
role models.

To think it has become the international language of trade. What have we done!?

As writers, albeit online, we have a responsibility to carry the torch. I am forced to disagree with the (I can't bring myself to capitalize his 'p') president of the United States, when he says:

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children."
- George W. Bush

Teaching our children proper English is everyone's responsibility.Well, except the president's, because he's clearly incapable.