Well, at least “down under” it can. According to the Herald Sun, a Victoria-based newspaper, poor spelling and grammar have become a serious issue with the hiring of new employees. It’s gotten to the point that some businesses are now introducing basic language and grammar lessons.
And as we know, as goes Australia, so goes the world. I say that tongue in cheek, but the truth is that this problem is just about everywhere that modern technology has touched. Seems modern skills like texting are starting to have the expected result. This generation, and clearly the one that follows, is being raised on a type of vowel-less shorthand, which is being confused with actual vocabulary.
A study done by the Penn State earlier this year bears this out. It shows that young adults who consistently use “tech speak” are less likely to switch back to traditional grammar when appropriate. In fact, they have trouble switching back when the majority of their daily conversations happen through tapping out messages, where the language has to be tight and concise. Hence the abbreviated form of language.
I understand this. I have witnessed this. And I also abhor it. But that said, I don’t lose any sleep over it nor do I believe that the breakdown in the proper use of grammar and rampant abuse of misspellings signal the end of civilization as we know it. Why? Because it’s fixable. And maybe we’re in a learning curve where not just teachers but employers and parents can help initiate that solution.