A Yorkshire Post article caught our eye recently, when it reported on the Prince of Wales’ attendance at a Royal Mail ceremony.
As part of his speech to the crowd, Prince Charles reportedly praised the company for allowing people throughout the country to write to one another, something which is perhaps a dying trend in an era of instant messaging and online communications.
In fact, he is said to have claimed that in this age of texting and social media, the “well-constructed sentence is under mortal threat.”
There will no doubt be lots of people throughout the nation who very much agree, and we’ve been known to share a few sighs with the ‘grammar police’ ourselves. We receive emails every day riddled with spelling mistakes, perhaps as much because people are in a constant rush, as the fact that their English skills are poor.
Abbreviations such as ‘TBH’, the shortening of words for texting convenience, and the notorious challenge of maximising those tricky 140 characters, probably also contribute to the problem.
So, do we risk losing the ability to communicate eloquently in full sentences?
Well, there’s no disputing the world of writing has changed, but that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Yes we’d love it if more people – young and old – took care with their words, learned the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, and continued to communicate with people via all channels, not just texts and tweets. There’s definitely something to be said for receiving a letter in the post and let’s not forget face to face conversations too!
But it is OK to start a sentence with “and” – we think so anyway, certainly when it comes to journalistic style. We’ve also had some great work experience students join us recently, who have fantastic writing flair, so let’s not overlook the talent that still exists when it comes to good English. And, whilst we all perhaps spend a little too much time on our mobiles, at least texts and social media posts do allow us to stay in regular contact, rather than losing touch.
We suppose there’ll always be great communicators and those who perhaps have other talents! But you’d have nothing to worry about if you came to Scriba HQ Prince Charles, we love a well-constructed sentence!