Friday, November 10, 2006

The Lord Loves Good Grammar

Chert on Droop Mountain

Recently I found a link to Blogs and God's Youth on a blog that aimed to ridicule Christian fundamentalists. It is a publication of the The Restored Church of God, a denomination that started as The Radio Church of God, and I'm a little suspicious of churches that focus on broadcast media. I didn't expect to agree with them, especially because I've tried to use blogging as a way to encourage teenagers to write. However, after seeing my students abandon their creative writing projects on Blogger in favor of smutty exchanges on MySpace, I find myself quoting with approval:

People naturally want to make a mark in this world; they want to make a difference, and many believe blogs will allow them to do this. However, most blogs, especially by teenagers, serve as nothing more than public diaries. (Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with a personal diary, as long as it is kept private.) Certainly, professional weblogs can make a positive difference within some elements of society. However, teen blogging does not.

.....There should never be a need to use slang or any type of wrong words. We are commanded to put off filthy communication (Col. 3:8). What type of communication have you used? Certainly not all of it could be considered clean and pure.....The contents of blogs can often best be described as "trashy" and express shallowness....simply a mindless form of entertainment....He that has knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding (Prov. 17:27-28).

Idle words can make you appear foolish. How do you think God feels about the mindless blogging that is occurring?...The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times (Psa. 12:6). How many blogs follow this example?....There should never be a need to prattle on about your life on the Internet.

....In the end, blogging for personal expression is a waste of time. Of course, communicating one on one with people and building friendships and your personality is not a waste of can and SHOULD maintain friends the "old-fashioned" way, through actual personal contact, as well as letter writing, emailing or instant messaging.

Now, after wading through dreary, unintelligible postings on MySpace and FaceBook, this is the Church of God message I like best: Instant Messaging: Communicating in the 21st Century

It has become common to allow sloppy, improper spelling and grammar to creep into online communication. Spawned by text messaging on cellphones, "text speak" can appear in instant messaging. Text speak is a kind of new language--one that you should avoid! The more you use it, the more it will become second nature. By typing full sentences that are grammatically correct, you are training yourself to be a more effective writer and communicator. Writing will become natural to you. This improves other areas of life--especially when writing essays in school. Apply this principle to emails to further accelerate your writing and spelling ability....Instant Messaging with others from around the world can be a wonderful way to develop friendships, learn about other cultures and much more!

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