Thursday, 29 September 2011

The arrogance of youth

o tempora, o mores...

First let me say if you are reading this, are young and not at all arrogant, this doesn't apply to you. But I bet you can recognise several of your friends. Also, if you're reading this, are not so young and very arrogant - well, welcome to the club.

This post has been inspired by a seventeen-year-old recent member of the Goodreads community. This person, who shall remain nameless save to say he goes by a shortened version of Shakespeare's first name, has apparently never encountered the concept of spellchecking. Neither has he discovered the shift key. Punctuation? Never heard of it.

R u stil wiv me? lmao.

That sort of language, in and of itself, is perhaps excusable. Maybe he missed many years of schooling due to some loathsome and socially embarrassing disease. Maybe he has an old keyboard and the shift key doesn't work. Or maybe he has merely fallen into bad and lazy habits while endlessly texting drivel about American Idol.

What is not excusable is that when it was pointed out to him, gently at first, more scathingly later, that in a group devoted to fiction writing and the improvement thereof, it behooved him to use such basic constructs as sentences; that it was impolite to pour out meaningless, illiterate drivel riddled with errors of spelling and syntax; that complete ideas are often possible even in the most difficult of circumstances; why, what was his reaction?

'i wrt how i wrt lol; lmao; its my ideers thast re impotent.'

When it was mentioned that asking a question like 'how do i publish an e book' showed an arrogant reluctance to do even the most basic of research for himself before asking other people to spend their time on him - same response.

A lazy, arrogant youth with, apparently, precious little to be arrogant about. Maybe he thinks he looks like Brad Pitt.

I have to say he is only the third example of such feckless idiocy I have encountered in three years as a Goodreads member. They generally are self-selected out when they realise it's a site devoted to books.


  1. Ha ha, Rita!

    "This person, who shall remain nameless save to say he goes by a shortened version of Shakespeare's first name..."


  2. Just worry when they're the future readers!

  3. Descriptivism at its finest. Kind of you to try to try to help in the first place, though.

  4. Hi, John. Everyone deserves a few chances, even if they should already know better. But not seventy times seven...