Over the last five hundred years, billions of people have pulled their families from generations of poverty by applying their intellects to become literate. With this crucial skill, people were able to market themselves better to employers, earn better salaries, and send their children to school. These educated children could do more than their parents, so entered the workforce with better skills to market. They also ensured their children when to school. This cycle repeated itself generation after generation until, finally, the luxury of completing high school and a few years of post-secondary was so commonplace that it became a requirement for the simplest of part-time jobs, let alone long and rewarding careers. But something's changing ....
While attending middle-school, I started to notice a disturbing trend. Students were making very simple spelling mistakes in their writing assignments, as students often do, yet some teachers were not correcting these errors. Some of the "harsh" teachers would deduct points when words were spelled wrong, indicating that everyone had access to the school library or, at the very least, a dictionary ... but these instructors were more the exception than the rule. High school was much the same, with only two teachers being known as "hard-asses" for deducting points when somebody didn't make the effort to look up proper spelling for words like "pneumonia".
Post-secondary was even worse, with no marks being deducted for spelling unless the reading was so unintelligible that it could not be deciphered by the world's greatest code breakers.
Any time I would ask a teacher why proper spelling and, to a lesser extent, grammar was not being enforced, I was told something that would haunt me to this very day: communication is still taking place, and it should be commended.
Commended? Is this another one of those "everybody is special, everybody's a winner" concepts that sound warm and fuzzy but have long-lasting consequences for society?
It certainly seems so; and the screenshot at the top of this post is proof that dire consequences do exist in a world where something as fundamentally important as reading and writing is not hammered into our youth at every opportunity.
If this is what the future holds for the English language, I'll be sure to teach my children "Classical English" here in Japan.