I found this one on a friend’s Facebook page. It strikes a chord with me (composed of the sour notes I hear whenever I read what passes for “formal” English these days), so I thought I would republish it here without permission, of course.
Join the Society for the Protection of the English Language
Today I am launching an organization, The Society for the Protection of the English Language (SPEL) in an attempt to raise awareness of the flagrant daily abuses suffered by our mother tongue, and by extension, her conscientious users. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the sinking feeling I experienced today when I witnessed the word “with-out”.
No one is perfect, but if you are writing for the public, especially for advertising, be it signs, flyers, television or radio commercials, you will be held to a high standard. At a minimum, you should practice :
1) The proper use of apostrophes.
2) Subject and verb agreement.
3) Proper usage of there, their, they’re, your and you’re.
4) Resisting the urge to unnecessarily hyphenate words longer than one syllable.
For now, anyone who wishes to join SPEL need only post their favorite latest example of fractured grammar or creative spelling. In the future we could organize a membership drive and fundraiser if we can think of an efficient way to spend money on combating the abuse. First we need a catchy slogan, along the lines of “Take a bite out of crime” or “Only you can prevent wildfires” or “It takes a village”.
Come on, people, let’s do it for the children.