Technology’s Impact on our Grammar

As an author who is also responsible for the promotion of my work, I use technology. I use it ALL THE TIME. In fact, on weekends when I do most of my writing and promoting, the first place my family looks for me is at the computer. During these times, I find myself reading over Facebook posts, Tweets, comments, e-mails, and many other outlets. 

The more I used these tools online, the more I notice how often grammar and spelling errors appeared. Now, it is almost “normal” to see these errors.When these trends began, spelling and grammar mistakes were often obvious. But I think something happens to us as we continuously expose ourselves to incorrect grammar and spelling. The mistakes become “normal” and if we are not paying attention, we may be teaching ourselves to read and write in this way as well. 

For example, how many times have we read a sentence like this:

“Your being silly.”


“The dog chaces it’s tale.”  

(Bonus: How many errors were in those two sentences? Hint: The answer is not two.) 

The more we see and read errors like this, the less we notice them. With phones and texting, our kids are taking in this information constantly. 

As a mom of three children, including a teenager, I know it is impractical to suggest our kids text perfect grammar to each other. In fact, they probably look forward to a few minutes where they are not graded on their usage.

So, what can we do? Aside from running a militant grammar home, I believe the answer is simple. We need to ensure our children are reading more. We need to ensure they are not just reading the computer screen, but are reading novels, chapter books, and picture books. Our children should be bombarding their brains with as much literature as possible. 

Why? Because just like reading constant errors online trains our brain to see the errors as normal, the more we read literature and other published material, the better our language skills will be maintained and sharpened. 

One way to do this is to encourage our children to read 15-20 minutes a day. If they can and want to do more, fantastic! Sometimes you’ll see that they read for 15 minutes and become engulfed in the book. Other times, they may be tired and have had enough. The important part is to get reading and make it a habit.

For great tips for encouraging children to read, visit Reading is Fundamental. There are great ideas and resources that will help with all readers. 

Share with me:

How often do you read? What do you read? Have you increased your reading this summer?

Grammar Help is Here

As an author and editor, I enjoy reading. I read everything.  I read Facebook posts, books, magazines, articles, and submissions for My Light Magazine. I will read anything just to read. I have been caught reading notices on the refrigerator (that I’ve already read a hundred times), cereal boxes, every memo my boss sends out, and notices posted at work (ones that are usually ignored by everyone else). I don’t just skim these. I read them. Some people are addicted to T.V.  The addiction for me is reading. 

As a result of all this reading, I’ve come to accept that I love the written word. The greatest gift I’ve ever been given was the ability to read and write. My life would be missing something without these abilities. Because of this, some of my favorite Facebook pages are pages such as Grammarly and  I enjoy reading the writing and grammar tips. 
There is a downside to all this. As I venture out in the world and read away, I notice many grammar and spelling mistakes. It happens everywhere. I’ve seen it in professional presentations and many other unexpected places.  I know I am far from perfect. I bet some of my grammar friends could pick out a few mistakes in this post alone. The small and hard to miss mistakes are not what I’m referring to now. I’m talking about blatant “their” for “they’re”, general subject-verb agreement, and obvious spelling errors. I am often tempted to point out the errors I notice. I don’t do it, but I want to. Then, I remember to keep my inner editor in check. 
What about you? How often do these errors drive you to the brink of insanity? 

Jen’s Writing Tips #1 Is the Manuscript Ready?

You finished that wonderful manuscript, the story you’ve been working relentlessly on for months. Before wrapping it up with a cover letter and submission package, be sure it’s really ready to be submitted to editors. Is it free from spelling and grammar errors? Is the format correct? Does it follow the Writer Guidelines? Is the piece age-appropriate for your audience?

As editor of My Light Magazine, I’ve come across promising manuscripts, yet had to reject them based on the above criteria. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. Be sure it’s ready to meet an editor and an editor’s expectations.

Happy Writing!