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btw, i'm lol, but i don't understand

When I read papers, text messages, e-mails and so on I frequently find myself thinking, "Do you even remember how to write?" It's a sad day when people don't use proper English.

Sometimes I receive text messages and I have no clue what the sender is trying to tell me. Obscure abbreviations fill the screen of my phone. One abbreviation that really irks me is "lol." (Meaning laugh out loud.) When I receive messages that say that I think, "When you laugh, you don't actually say, 'LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!' do you?" I mean, I certainly don't.

Other abbreviations include "rofl" (rolling on the floor laughing) or "btw" (by the way). I don't understand how writing out the whole word has become so hard.

Simple errors in writing puzzle me. Many people don't realize the difference between "your" and "you're." I just can't fathom the idea of not knowing how to properly use those words. For example: You're about to eat my banana. Now that's how you use an apostrophe! As opposed to, "That's your banana. I promise I won't eat it." It would make absolutely no sense at all if I were to say, "Wow! I love you're banana." In no way does that make sense. The same thing goes for "it's" and "its." The distinction is simple.

I do have to admit that I sometimes forget the simple rule, "i before e except after c." At times, it slips my mind. I often have to recite it in my head while spelling some words.

Well, I might as well address spelling errors while we're on the subject. Everybody does it! Your (see what I did there? Correct form!) spelling isn't always going to be perfect. Simple mistakes will always be there. When words as simple as "printer" are spelled wrong, I start to get worried though.

In the English language, we have these things called homonyms. Their, there, they're, wear, where, right and write are some examples. There are many homonyms out there. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember which is which, but it's really not that difficult at all. Remembering how to "write" can help significantly.

Sometimes, when, people, write, things, they, think, they, need, a, comma, after, every, single, word. Unfortunately, for these certain people, this is not the correct way to utilize a comma.

Sure, an occasional comma adds a nice touch to your writing, maybe even some dramatic effect. Although using one too many times can be detrimental to your written work. Sometimes where you place a comma changes the whole meaning of a sentence.

Lynne Truss used an interesting amphibology as the title to her book on grammar: Eats, Shoots and Leaves. She tells a story of a panda who goes into a cafe, eats, shoots and leaves. Or is it that he eats shoots and leaves?

One of my largest pet peeves is when people don't capitalize "I." I don't understand. It's basically like not capitalizing your name. "Hi! My name is beret. i like the rain." It looks horrible!

I feel so formal writing about the proper way to write. Kind of ironic, eh? It would be slightly embarrassing if I were to make an error in this article. Would I be contradicting myself? The pot calling the kettle black?

Any one of these mistakes can critically hurt your writing. Remembering how to write is the essence of communication. You know, you don't want to look like a fool. After all, your -- oops -- you're going to need writing skills sometime in your life.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a sophomore at Detroit Lakes High School.