Hi there, internet. It’s me, your ancestor, print media.
I hope you’re doing well. I hear good things about the cellphones and whatnot. Not really my thing, but if you’re into it, then good for you. Me? Oh, you know, paper. Same as ever.
Maybe my timing is strange, but I just wanted to get in touch with you really quick to clear up a few things. You may have forgotten them, or maybe decided they don’t matter anymore, but yeah, they kind of do. So here’s this:
“To” means in the direction of. Or it precedes a verb as in, “to go,” or “to use the wrong spelling of to.” If you want to say “also” or “as well,” use “too.” The number is “two.”
“It’s” means “it is” or “it has.” It’s not its own possessive: that’s “its.” I know it seems counterintuitive and all, what with the other possessives like “Sally’s” or “Billy’s,” but you’re over 25 years old now, internet, and that’s old enough to know the difference.
If you need an easy trick to remember, just think “it’s lost its apostrophe,” which means “it has lost the apostrophe belonging to it.” If you don’t know what an apostrophe is, look it up on yourself.
You’ve done some pretty cool stuff, internet. Some pretty dopey stuff too—I guess that whole Innocence Of Muslims thing didn’t really pan out as being a wise decision—but you know, every time I go on you, it just seems like people care less and less about these little things. Not that I don’t also have my word counts, but maybe that’s the hazard of trying to distill life down to 140 characters. That’s not much room for complexity or, say, the commas one might otherwise put around an aside to signal its separation from the original thought and subject of the sentence.
Or, for that matter, the sentence.
No need to get defensive, I make plenty of mistakes too. It doesn’t take any extra characters to start a sentence with capital letters, though. That probably makes me sound old.
Well, I am old. Over 500 years old, if you want to go by movable type, which, no, is not the laptop keyboard you can take with you. It’s hand-carved blocks used in the first printing presses, and actually it goes back even farther than that. I had my wild early years too, but eventually, you want to settle down, stop making an ass out of yourself, and learn how to spell three-letter words. I guess it just comes with age.
So maybe you’ll get there, internet. Or maybe the dumbing-down and corporate hegemony of culture that has turned you into a cat-picture-filled commodity where once you were hoped to be the ultimate arrival of truly democratized information will continue unabated until finally words like “literally,” and “epic” lose all meaning whatsoever. Doesn’t putting a number sign—which is what we used to call your “hashtag”—in front of a word automatically make it just a little bit dumber? Take another look.
Think about it, internet, before you go and post that the Emmys were “#unbeleivable” or that you, “totes thot @BreakingBadAMC would win to,” and make us all seem a little less intelligent. I may be out of date, but at least I can fucking spell and at least I don’t think three-syllable words are too long to say, should the situation arise.
Congratulations on all your success.
He’ll forward the email over