This is the dateline from a real CNN article:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Hurricane Gustav could inflict as much as $10 billion in damage, making it one of the more costliest storms in U.S. history.
As a software professional, I’m constantly amazed at the number of people I work with on a daily basis who routinely master dozens of computer languages, but butcher English. Granted, the “grammar checking” tools available to us can’t hold a candle to the syntax help we get with most IDE’s, but I think the point is still valid.
Sadly, though, it appears that the typical American continues to become less proficient in the use of the English language as each year passes. You can hang the blame on everything from our schools to the rise of IM and texting, but it’s clear that people just don’t give a damn about grammar anymore.
Every once in a while, I’ll see a show on the History channel where they read a letter from a long-dead soldier or farmer or the like. Despite the extreme lack of educational opportunity relative to today’s kids, these letters invariably demonstrate far more precision and care than anything you’d see written today. In short, they cared about what they wrote. They took the time to master our language and to use it carefully and thoughtfully.
Maybe we just don’t have time for language skills anymore. Maybe we just don’t have enough gray matter to hold the rules of grammar and the cheat codes for Ultimate Whack-a-Mole 2009 Tournament, too. But when our journalists start to stumble, we just may be in trouble.