He clicked on the attention-grabbing headline while sipping a cup of decaffeinated coffee. The advertisements in the margin of the web page were but blurs whose existence had long ago been forgotten. Five minutes later, he realized his eyes had been focusing on one spot for the past four minutes. He had no idea what the article was about. Shaking himself out of his reverie, his brain connected with his eyes to magnify the words “should of” off the page away from their neighboring words like a trick with mirrors.
He kicked off his dress shoes and plopped himself down in front of his gaming setup. Mindlessly, he loaded his friends’ status updates in a superficial attempt at being interested in socializing. His mouth twitched with every “your” instead of “you’re” and “there” instead of “their” his eyes magically jumped to. At the bottom of the page, he realized he has been absorbing his friends’ updates, all this time, with nary a punctuation mark present. He fought back the urge to click in the comment boxes to correct all the lapses in grammar.
After the sounds of gunshots died out and the last taunt in chat faded from the screen, he quit the game and shut the computer down. With the water running down his body, he wondered why he was letting himself become unsettled. Carrying additional self-imposed stress was counterproductive. A wry smile accompanied his guilty admission that his grasp over grammar was no more masterful than that of any of the offending authors’. Back pedaling further, he also admitted to understanding everything that he had read. He saw little point in adhering to formal rules when most people’s goal is simply to communicate.
Today’s misuse and abuse of grammar is tomorrow’s language.