Sometimes, things happen or I witness things that make me lose my cherub-like demeanour. For instance... as you are all well aware, I am somewhat of a punctuation, spelling and grammar freak. I cannot bear misuse of the English language. However, I am willing to overlook it when it is accidental. I can even overlook certain abbreviations in this age of IMs and texting (or should I say txtng?). But what I saw today is just one example of what pisses me right off.
As you may be aware, the Hollywood legend Tony Curtis just passed away and of course several friends mentioned this on Facebook. In the comments underneath one such update was a reply saying the following:
gota feel sory 4 jamiAs you can see, this is neither accidental nor is it a time-saving abbreviation. Would it have really been that hard to put an extra T in gotta, and extra R in sorry and the final e in Jamie? This is deliberate misspelling to be cool, much like writing the word 'teh' for 'the'. I was having an in-depth conflab with my Sis about this over dinner, and she tells me she cannot stand it when people write '2moz' for 'tomorrow' and 'soz' for 'sorry' , but what's really aggravating is when they write 'tomorroz'. That's just plain thick. And don't even get me started on the overuse of the word 'da' as in 'Gud luk 2moz in da big test'. Ack!
We need to get our language back. This is just symptomatic of a larger problem, which is that much like people not knowing how to cook due to the preponderance of ready-made convenience items, and people not sending letters because of the ease of email, people are now not bothering to learn how to spell and punctuate because of the sheer amount of people texting and IMing and Tweeting and Skype-ing all over the place, assuming we all know what each other means. We all are limited to a certain number of characters and so we try to remove vowels and shorten words to get our point across, which is all well and good when texting, but on Facebook, where they'll let you write as much as you want, it just looks idiotic.
So that was the first thing that bugged me.
Then I received two pieces of mail from the Dept. Of Work and Pensions. As you may know, I recently started work at Smallhythe Place, and so I called the Job Centre folks the other day to inform them of this fact, and mailed the little booklet to them to reiterate this. Two days later I received my P45 and gave it to my employer. All good so far.
Today I get two letters, one slightly thicker than the other, so I open it first.
"Dear Mr. Hickmott" it starts. Good, they got my name right.
"About Job Grant
I am writing to tell you why we are unable to pay you a Job Grant."
What in the blue blazes is a Job Grant? I thought.
The letter went on to tell me in great detail all the conditions that I must satisfy in order to get a Job Grant. Now, bear in mind that I didn't know what a Job Grant was, hadn't applied for one, and now they're telling me I can't have one?
Turns out that I would have had to be unemployed longer than six months before I even could qualify for one. I've been unemployed about 7 weeks. And they KNEW this. So why would they even waste a stamp on this pointless information?
Then I opened the other letter.
"Dear Mr Hickmott
YOUR CLAIM FOR JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE
A CHANGE IN YOUR JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE
We have looked at your claim again following a recent change.
We cannot pay you an allowance from 25 September 2010. This is because:
you are working 16 hours or more per week."
Now, let me reiterate... I TOLD THEM THAT! I called them and told them I'd got a job, and here they are sending me letters worded so poorly that it sounds like they found out some big secret I've been hiding from them. "Ooh, we just found out you're working, so you can't have any more free money." Well, thanks, DWP, you mean I can't claim unemployment when I'm employed? How frustrating.
I wonder if they'd be interested in hiring someone to write their form letters for them, because whoever does it now is doing a piss-poor job. Hmmm, now that's a thought. That's a job-creation scheme if ever I heard one. Wonder how much that pays?
But hang on though, aren't we supposed to be becoming a paperless society? One where bureaucratic bumf such as the above letters is supposed to be on the wane? Not to mention the waste of postage. I want to know why this stuff still flops through our doors periodically. I want to write to my MP! No, wait, that's wasting paper - I'll email him instead! Second thought - I'll text him. How green is that, eh?