I Can’t Take The Illiteracy Anymore: An Open Letter

Thanks to the combination of politicians who care more about “freedom fries” than educating the young, parents who are too busy or oblivious to care what their children know, teachers who are just as ignorant as their students, and spell-checking software, an entire generation of children in this world has grown up illiterate. In other words…

…most of you and your children cannot read and write your own language.

You should be appalled by this.

I can’t stand it anymore. It’s time for a little lesson in elementary English.

For those of you who don’t know what a homophone is, it is not a device used to call 1-900 gay sex lines. A homophone is a word that sounds exactly like another word but is spelled differently, as opposed to homonyms, which are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.

What’s even more pathetic is that when someone gets corrected over this stuff, they act as if the person correcting them is some kind of nitpicking freak. The fact is, they embarrass themselves and prove they are ignorant and illiterate.

If you truly are too lazy to learn the most fundamental words and rules of our written language, then do the whole world a favor: DON’T EVER WRITE ANOTHER WORD AGAIN.

Here are the prime examples I see used and abused every single day of my life:

The words THERE, THEIR, and THEY’RE are not interchangeable. They have totally different meanings. If you or your children weren’t taught this stuff in elementary school, you should consider moving to a different school district.

THERE means thither, referring to a place apart from where you are. “When you get THERE call me.” “THERE it is.” “I can’t be THERE until tonight.” THEIR is the possessive form of THEY. “THEIR mother is on the way.” “This is THEIR car.”

If you care to notice, THEIR is an exception to the rule of “I before E except after C.” Other words are exceptions as well, such as WEIRD. If you can’t deal with these exceptions, move somewhere where you don’t have to deal with it, like Somalia.

THEY’RE is the contraction of the words THEY ARE. “They’re on the way” means THEY ARE on the way. Now, let’s use all of this basic and elementary English together in a sentence:

“There is no excuse why their English skills are so poor that they’re bound to look ignorant.”

Got it?

Another trio of homophonic disasters are the words TO, TOO, and TWO. I see adults mix up TO and TOO. Where were these people educated, and who had the balls to give them a diploma?

TO is a preposition. If you don’t know what a preposition is, look it up in the dictionary.  “I work from 9 TO 5.” “I need TO learn how TO write my own language.”

The word TOO means “also” or “as well.” “I failed the English test TOO.” It can also refer to being excessive. “This is TOO much for me.” The word TWO represents the numeral 2. It comes after one and before three. One, two, three.

Another prime example of the illiteracy rampant today is confusing YOUR and YOU’RE. The word YOUR is the possessive form of YOU. “Is this YOUR handwriting?” The word YOU’RE is the contraction of the words YOU ARE. “YOU’RE illiterate.”

Here is another common mistake made on a continual basis: confusing the words THEN and THAN.

THEN usually refers to a time, past, future, or next in order. “Back THEN, people knew how to read and write.” It can also mean “in that case” or “as a consequence.” “If you don’t know your own language, THEN there is no reason to apply for this job.” The word THAN is a conjunction that creates a comparison between two subjects. “I can read and write better THAN you.” “I know you can write better THAN that.”

Oh, by the way, how does one possibly confuse the words lose and loose? They aren’t even homophones. LOSE is pronounced ‘looz’ and LOOSE is pronounced ‘loos.’ LOSE means either to misplace, or to fail to win. “Did you lose your keys?” “Did she lose the competition?” LOOSE is the opposite of tight. “You have a screw loose.” “You will lose the race if your shoelaces are loose.”

Oh man, I just saw someone use the word AFFECT instead of EFFECT. He wrote “I tried ‘blah’ and got the same affect.”

AFFECT is a VERB, EFFECT is a NOUN. “Your illiteracy can AFFECT people in ways you cannot fathom.” “The EFFECT your stupidity has is beyond your comprehension.”

Finally, let us dispel any confusion you may have about the words ITS and IT’S.

While it is true that an apostrophe plus the letter ‘s’ is used to show a possessive, such as “the girl’s hair,” the word IT’S does NOT mean “belonging to it.” The word IT’S is the contraction of IT IS . “IT’S a terrible thing being illiterate.” ITS is the possessive form of IT, not IT’S. “Turn it on ITS side. Yet another exception. Deal with it.

What is so hard about this stuff? What were you DOING in second or third or even fourth grade? If you didn’t master this stuff early in grammar school, I strongly suggest you do it now, before you end up embarrassing yourself in front of a prospective employer.


6 thoughts on “I Can’t Take The Illiteracy Anymore: An Open Letter

  1. Haha.

    Your humor is so negative and condescending.


    Have you seen Smart People. I recommend it. The plot involves a pedantic, pretentious, arrogant, overly academic professor who tries to publish a book called “You Can’t Read.”

  2. I noticed you are really pissed off about THIS…Unfortunately Morons are part of THIS world TOO…Do you think I understood YOUR English grammar lesson, Professor J? :p

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