Collapsing vocabulary

Eric recently had a post that generated a lot of comments about how the spelling of various words in the English language has changed over the years. One thing that drives me batty is the number of people who don't know (or, perhaps more accurately, can't be bothered to account for) the difference in meaning between "your" and "you're", or between "there" and "their" (and possibly even "they're").

Will we see these different words disappear over time, so that there is just one spelling with all of the above meanings? You pretty much have to be able to deduce the intended meaning of the words based on context anyway, since so much of the stuff that gets written today gets it wrong (especially on the web, in e-mails, and in software specifications :-)).

(P.S. I blame any spelling or grammatical errors in this post on the Tablet PC's hand writing recognition...)

Comments (5)

  1. Jim says:

    It would be much simpler to just transition back to using hieroglyphics as a way of communicating.

  2. Mike Dunn says:

    For a funny take on this topic (specifically its versus it’s) see [flash toon, work safe]

    Be sure to watch the easter egg at the end, click on the little beefy arm in the final hand-drawn news logo.

  3. Peter Torr says:

    NOOOOO!!! Not Strongbad! My friends drive me crazy with constant references to Trogdor et al. (Although I do actually have a Trogdor t-shirt as it was the gift given to the groomsmen at one of the afore-mentioned friend’s wedding).

    I’ll (temporarily) lower my security settings and check it out. Thanks for the link…

  4. Smelly says:

    This drives me nuts too. I recently spotted a company-wide memo from our marketing communications manager with the word "your" where she should have used "you’re." I was frantically pointing out to my co-workers that a person in her position should know better, but the standard response was "yeah, I do that all the time too." Sadly, there’s no hope.

  5. damien morton says:

    The one that drives me crazy is when people write "it was a mute point" instead of "moot point".

    The other one, at least amongst gamers, is the use of "turrent" for "turret". I have no idea what the hell thats about.

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