29 January 2014

10 things that shock me (but probably shouldn't), 2014 edition

As I read various entries on the internet—Facebook posts, blog posts, news articles—I am shocked at so many things I see. As I leave my home, my bubble where I can control grammar and behavior, I am shocked at so many things I see out in the world. Frankly, it gets on my nerves and it makes me sad. It makes me feel like society as we know it is in decline. Some say “change is inevitable; change is good”, and while I agree in the inevitability of change, these changes I see are not good.

I bring you 10 Things That Shock Me (But Probably Shouldn't), 2014 Edition (because you can bet I'll have more to add to the list next year).

1. Adults using sentence fragments as sentences. For example, “That moment when you realize the state of linguistics in America is in rapid decline” is not a sentence. Try adding a few words at the beginning to make it a sentence. “Have you experienced. . . ”, “Do you know. . . ”, “I dislike. . . ” would all work at the beginning to make that an actual sentence that sounds like it was spoken by an adult.

2. High school graduates (and beyond) that make more spelling errors than my first grader. How did these people graduate? (This is not an auto-correct problem; that's another issue completely.)*

3. Auto-correct. I think that's all I need to say. Pay attention to what you're typing before you hit “send”. Don't blame auto-correct. Revise and edit before submission, please.

4. Adults using made-up words and phrases like “welp” and “prolly” and “all the sudden”. It makes you sound dumb.*

*I'm a firm believer that the simple act of reading books can help erase so many common grammar and spelling errors. There are millions of books out there on every imaginable subject. Pick up a book and read it! Preferably one with dialogue so you can get an example of how adults should speak.

5. Texting shortcuts. LOL, OMG, thx (or worse: thx u), and so on. It's bad enough when people text these things, but some people are using them verbally. And kids are using them, too, thinking they are real words. Help!

6. Using phones in inappropriate places and/or at inappropriate times. At the playground with your kid? Watch them, not your app. Waiting in line? Strike up a conversation with a fellow human, you know, in real life. At a party? Spend time with the people at the party, not the people in your news feed.** At the dinner table?? Put down the damn phone!!

**As I looked through photos of a holiday celebration at my house on Christmas Eve, I was shocked to see so many family members on their phones instead of interacting with people at the party. When I got onto Facebook later that night (after everyone left, thank you very much), I was even more shocked to see party guests interacting with each other on Facebook during the party instead of actually speaking to each other! I'm hosting phone-free parties from now on.

6a. If your phone rings or a notification beeps when you are eating with a group/having a real life conversation/going to the bathroom/driving, it's really, truly ok to ignore it for a few minutes. It will still be there when you check your phone next, and 99% of the time, it's not anything life threatening. Once upon a time, we didn't have cell phones. We left messages for people and they called us back when they were available. And the world did not end.

7. People that smoke cigarettes. Really? It's 2014. I thought everyone stopped smoking in the 90s.

8. Wearing pants that sag below your bum or shirts that rise above your navel. Seriously, just stop.

9. People that complain about how broke they are and then go get a manicure. Or ice cream. Or Starbucks. Really? Do you not see a connection there?

10. People that use other people's photos/words/creations and fail to see it as stealing. Some people even claim them as their own and take credit for them. It makes my jaw drop every time. Do people not think theft and plagiarism apply to such things? If you like someone's photo/words/creation, just ask if you can use them. It's that easy. And no, things posted on the internet are not free to use in other places on the internet.

Ahh. It feels better just to send that out to the internet and not having it clutter up my head. I know some of you will disagree with me, and that's ok. This is not fact, and it is not directed at anyone personally. It is simply my opinion of the decline of American society, on my blog, where no one is required to read anything. Please pass on by if you find anything offensive.

What shocks YOU in 2014?