If you’re anything like me, the title of this post makes your blood boil. It doesn’t? Read on…

As my children get older, I am increasingly concerned about social media. Ah! my family (and that teacher I met once) exclaim. At last, she’s seen the light! All that grooming and online bullying, not to mention the the dangers of accidentally clicking on something no young eyes should ever see. Thank goodness.

But it’s not that. I still firmly maintain that the earlier a child gains supervised access to social media, the more likely it is that he will learn to use it responsibly, and to understand that not everyone online is responsible. No, my problem is with the English language.

How terrible grammar on social media makes it difficult to learn English

Learn English image from Shutterstock

It all began with an item for sale in a Facebook group. A lovely chester drawers, three to collect. Hang on. Is it one, or is it three? I wondered. What period is a Chester drawers from? And shouldn’t it begin with a capital C? I discussed this with some online friends. It turned out, that chester drawers were not the only strange things for sale: I could also get a ward roab and some cubbuds if I felt so inclined, and what’s more, they were shabby cheek and only a tena!

I decided not to venture to the portal where everyone is called hun, and asked people to share their own thoughts on this new and alien language I struggle to speak. It was an eyeopener. Everywhere there were people looking for power rangers toys – but it must be cheep. There need to restock they’re cupboards with second-hand toys was right their in black and white. Someone was selling her toddlers cast-off trane engines, and they were going like hotcakes. People who’s children where craving the latest gadget would of paid double, and you was lucky if you managed to get an offer in before it was gone.

It’s not just toys that sell well on social media. Highly-recamended was a serviceable-looking bike – it had a puncher, but nothing that couldn’t be easily fixed.

Should I care? At the end of the day Facebook provides a valuable support service for information and virtual hugs. From tips on surviving the stress of take-off on an airoplane, to pacific instructions on where to find the train station. And I saw an amazing scon resapi up for grabs just last night. So maybe I shouldn’t let it bother me. But I do.

Now I am far from being a stickler for the Queen’s English. I have too much northern twang for perfection, and a likely lad with a mancunian lilt will leave me forgetful of my principles. But I worry that the internet is where children and teenagers are learning their spellings and punctuation. Or from that lovely young BBC Radio 1 DJ who talks about the housemates off of Big Brother. If this is the case, is the Oxford dictionary headed for a dual print-run of accepted words as language evolves too quickly for the grammar nazi’s to keep up?

What’s your take?

Children learning

Teacher and student image from Shutterstock

I leave the last laugh to Helen from Kiddycharts, whose young daughter told her that one day she would grow up to marry a penis. Of course, she meant to say Prince – a small, though fundamental error (albeit possibly not far from the truth). But hey, at least she spelled it right.

Disclosure: I included 20 grammar or spelling errors in this post that are not mine. Can you find them all? If you can, welcome to the grammar nazi club, I’m happy to meet you. If you counted more, please point them out. I’m not perfect. 

With thanks for their contributions to Kirsty, Annie, Andrea, Kelly, Carolin, Aly, Mari, Vicky, Cat, Emma, Jennifer, Cass, Stephanie, Sandy, and Tanya.