Yup, you read that right. Apparently more and more English speakers are learning that the way you talk over Facebook chat and the way you should communicate in an academic paper aren’t quite the same thing.
According to Waterloo University in Canada, around 30 percent of entering students fail a simple grammar test. Common errors include writing ‘cuz’ instead of ‘because’ and mistaking emoticons for things which belong in formal writing. On top of that, it seems that students “have absolutely no idea what an apostrophe is for. None. Absolutely none,” so says Waterloo University’s director of academic advising, Rummana Khan Hemani.
The problem, sadly, seems to be that the education system doesn’t bother to teach that there are multiple ways to speak English these days. Back when kids grew up reading formally published books for leisure on a larger scale, picking up proper English was fairly simple. But now kids spend their time online, communicating via a form of English which, to say the least, is not acceptable in academic circles.