I ask the question after re-reading more then 325 comments posted about the Stephen King/Stephenie Meyer fan-feud on The Baltimore Sun's book blog (www.baltimoresun.com/readstreet
). Many are teeming with misspellings, the sort that grate on the soul. I've made my peace with those common in texting and Twittering: u, cant, ur, omg, lol, idk. Others are counter-culture spellings -- lyfe, skilllz, etc. -- that impart a certain edginess. I can live with them, too.
But I still wince at the uncaring construction of words: arguements, presence, dimond, jelous, pshychatic, accusitions, audiance, critizizm. One commenter, invoking the First Amendment, noted that everyone "has a write to his opinion." Another, referring to vampire lore, wrote about driving "a steak through the heart."
The question for us all: How much slippage can we tolerate? I get ticked off every time I drive home and see the misspelled road sign: Marbelhead Road. But there are larger issues at hand than the misguided public works department. Will all writing someday slip soundlessly into a weird sort of Internet dialect: i mist u 4eva!!!!!!!! Or will we be sbjected to a mash of misspellings: King is jelous becuz Meyer took his audiance; he shudnt b critizicing. Or -- shudder -- both.