The above picture was posted on my Facebook wall a few weeks ago as a way to point out what people assume to be a funny and annoying quirk of mine – clearly demonstrating everything that is wrong with my own generation. Don’t get me wrong, I love being part of Gen Y. I am addicted to all social media forms, I am obsessively up to date on all internet memes and I, like my fellow Gen Y’ers am totes (totally) the first to abbreviate any and every word I can find. However, the Gen Y assumption that being able to spell and write in coherent sentences is an amusing and old-fashioned idiosyncrasy that has no place in today’s society is absolutely absurd.
Now, not to brag, but my group of friends are highly intelligent, university educated people who I believe are all going to go very far in their respective fields. None-the-less they have all consistently horrified me in their lack of knowledge of very basic grammar and spelling, and their total lack of shame.
Their failures are excused by one very important piece of technology: Autocorrect.
However, if autocorrect was 100% infallible they would not be making these mistakes in the first place.
I need to make one thing very clear to all of you who place your endless faith in autocorrect and spell check. If I can see through it, so will your prospective and current employers. Especially when working in Public Relations. If I had to ask any of my current and former co-workers and superiors what their pet peeve was, it would be poor spelling and grammar. If I had to ask them what the most important skill I could have in this industry was, they would tell me it is the ability to write well (which is heavily reliant on the ability to spell and form proper sentences).
Auto correct will not teach you that you should not be saying “me and Amy went to the movies”. It will not teach you that “farther” is a word that is similar but distinct from the word
“further” (and is not spelled “father”). In case you think I am being too harsh here, let me enlighten you with an abridged transcript of this particular (and very real) conversation.
Me: The beach is farther from your house than my house
Friend: You mean further
Me: No, I mean farther
Friend: What do you mean farther? F-A-T-H-E-R…that doesn’t make sense, that’s like mother and father.
Me: I’m really not sure if you’re being serious.
Friend: Yeah, that’s definitely not a word
Me: You are bordering on ridiculous right now
I can promise that no matter how much you rely on autocorrect, it will let you down, and it won’t just be me judging you for it.