The Gross National Debt

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How u sez it speaks volumes about your societal status

Me bud Freeman posted this to my FB page:
While I agree that grammar matters, it only matters to your intended audience. If the person you are talking with or writing to understands, your grammar was perfect. English teachers may now go all head splodey as they wish.

But grammar and the use of it speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.

Google is probably the finest analytical tool ever created for mass anthropological studies of the "Naked Ape." Aggregate results only as this is also aggregate information. Getting to the individual level means examining that user's Google Search history.

Searches for information are done privately and without pretension. Searches reflect who that person really is. When taken en-masse, it shows a tremendous amount of information about large groups.

Google aggregates. When you begin typing in a search string, it will offer you the most common search results based on what you typed. Google also tries to generate relevant returns based on your particular search history (or the search history in that computer).

In the above example, the use of "u" in the place of "you" turns up a lot of results related to sexually transmitted disease.  Someone with a lot more education than me would say this is symptomatic of people who are on the low end of the socioeconomic scale.

Since I don't have a lot of education, I say people who run search strings "how do u" are probably verging on being stupid and possibly are stupid. To check the results, I ran the same search in my computer.

Very similar. But, the variable is the pronoun. So, I ran the same search with "you" instead.

Yet different! So, I ran the third search.

Whoa doggie! Part of this has to be the self-identifying pronoun of course. But when there is a difference in how that pronoun is spelled, Google still delivers a marked difference in the most searched terms. I also checked "you" v. "yuo" and it delivered identical results.

Far be it from me to be grammar nazi (OK, I lied, I am), but these Google searches certainly provide some interesting points for discussion.

Correct grammar, at least correct grammar according to the intelligentsia, pretty clearly reflects the overall standing of a group in society.

Google's searches and collated results are already being used for serious SCIENCE! I suspect this is only going to grow.

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