I agree that the Filipino blogging community should rejoice at its rapid, exponential growth. I enjoy reading the profound thoughts and insights of many of my fellow bloggers every now and then, but I think the growth of the Filipino blogosphere is hampered by the improper use of English.
Granted that not all of us are good writers, and not all of us have a proper grasp of the rules and conventions of language, but I believe that the proper use of language is not something we should take for granted. While I don’t get my grammar perfect all the time, I think that proper grammar is relevant in blogging.
Proper grammar is more of a “peeve” than a “non-issue.” Yes, it’s true that we should write to express and not to impress; however, “expression” and “impression” are not mutually exclusive. While blogging may be an informal and personal mode of communication, it is a very public exercise that comes with responsible authorship. As bloggers, I believe that we should be expressive and impressive at the same time.
The way I see it, profound thoughts and insights do not make a blogger. For these thoughts to be understood by readers, they must be articulated in such a way that they can be understood. Like any exercise in writing, blogging demands the proper use of grammar and spelling. Just because blogging is informal doesn’t mean that it should not conform to the standards of proper English.
The truth is, there is no acceptable defense for using English improperly in blogging. There are only two reasons I can think of: laziness and incompetence. Either a blogger is too lazy to go over his or her work, or a blogger is writing in a language he or she knows very little of and couldn’t care less for. I know it’s harsh, but it’s true.
The more we ignore – or feign ignorance about – the proper use of language, the more we contribute to the load of useless, irrelevant information that there is on the Internet. For us to effectively communicate our thoughts and feelings, we should pay attention to grammar and spelling. How we write – not what we write about – says a lot about who we are.
For blogging to be a credible source of information – whether it’s about ourselves or it’s about society – it must be written in a credible way. It’s not about “aesthetics” as it is about responsibility: as writers, bloggers should conform and adhere to the rules and conventions of proper spelling and proper grammar. Not that we should get it perfect all the time, but we should strive for excellence in writing.