I complain at this URL about “post-literacy,” our culture’s becoming less and less competent at communicating in or understanding the English Language. I tip my hat figuratively to Jerry Collins, who first drew my attention to “post-literacy.”
I came upon fresh evidence of post-literacy yesterday. I ordered a copy of Walter Lippmann’s classic, “Public Opinion,” from BN Publishing. The book was well bound and handsome. I turned it over to encounter BN Publishing’s logo and its motto: “Improving People’s Lifes.”
Now you should not take my word for this datum. Instead you should go to http://www.bnpublishing.net and click on “About Us.” There you will see that the motto is not an aberration. It appears that BN Publishing has deliberately decided to treat “Lifes” as the plural of “Life.”
Now that BN Publishing is committed to that motto in print, I suppose they will have to claim that they were saying something via this solecism. I do not know that they intended the misspelling. I do not know what they intended to convey by the misspelling.
I cite this tiny evidence of post-literacy to make the point that the printed word staved off some abuses of language because the abuses, once published, endured. BN Publishing could change its logo in seconds because cyberspace is so ephemeral. Printed materials were longer-lived.
Here is to the shallow and the short-lived present in which we find ourselves. If you never learned to spell or mastered grammar, simply claim that you were erring deliberately for some purpose.