I ask the question after re-reading more then 325 comments on Read Street about the Stephen King/Stephenie Meyer fan-feud. (It started when King said the author of the best-selling Twilight series couldn't write; her fans retaliated.) Many are teeming with misspellings, the sort that grate on the soul.
I've made my peace with abbreviations common in texting and Twittering: u, cant, ur, omg, lol, idk. Others are counter-culture spellings - lyfe, skilllz, etc. - that impart a certain edginess. I can live with them, too.
But I still wince at the uncaring construction of words: arguements, dimond, jelous, pshychatic, audiance, critizizm. One commenter, invoking the First Amendment, noted that everyone "has a write to his opinion." Another referred to vampire lore, and driving "a steak through the heart."
The question for us all: How much slippage can we tolerate? I get ticked off every time I drive home to Lutherville and see the misspelled sign: Marbelhead Road. But there are larger issues at hand than the misguided public works department. Will all writing someday slip soundlessly into a weird sort of Internet dialect: i mist u 4eva!!!!!!!! Or will we be subjected to a mash of misspellings: King is jelous becuz Meyer took his audiance; he shudnt b critizicing. Or - shudder - both.
Here's what Read Streeters had to say:
Sign seen in Essex: Yard Sale 2-Day: Rain Are Shine - bryanintimonium
I've always been stymied by the fried-chicken joint on the southwest corner of Charles and North Avenue with the neon sign "Mec & Cheese" in its window. - WP Tandy
Today, I received a business letter from a college with the opening line, "Sorry fore the delay in my response." And that was not the only mistake. -- sorchah
I will treat (?) you to a few examples from my 11th grade English classes ... I like Macdonalds b/c they have a dollar mean you. ... Then Queen Elizabeth climbed down from her pedal stool and spoke personally to the troops. - LizzieD
Do you have other examples? Let me know in an e-mail or a comment on Read Street.