The Daily Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry, who seems to do an excellent job covering the NBA for the paper, had a Q&A with Kevin Durant in Sunday’s paper.
Most of it was the usual stuff (*makes jerk off motion with hand*). Durant is a great basketball player and a model citizen. But he makes the “English Patient” seem like “2 Fast 2 Furious.”
But at the end of the interview, there was this exchange:
Q: When you growing a beard?
A: I been trying to grow a beard for 21 years.
Presumbably, the end of the interview became less formal. So both parties didn’t feel the need to use the verb “have” in the exchange. Or … they were keeping it street. Without rowing into any unwanted racial or cultural conversation here, should this exchange be printed like this?
-This type of exchange is really how many people talk so its a clear representation of the conversation.
-This type of give-and-take might appeal to younger readers who spell great as “gr8” and skater boy as “sk8r boi.” And newspaper editors will fellate a hobo to garner more younger readers.
-Its not correct grammar. And its not a radio or television interview where the comments are broadcast without editing. So the newspaper willfully printed incorrect English.
-Should this type of print journalism become pervasim, it will dumb down the industry and the English language as a whole, helping create a society that doesn’t demand clarity in language or spelling. Then if there are no clear, defined language rules, i.e. what is correct and what isn’t, that could lead to written contracts becoming irrelevant because there is no respect for language. Then 100 years from now, the only people writing proper English are lawyers and tweedy, bearded professors that smell of leather book musk and pipe.
This seems to becoming a standard now and I’ve seen it more in print interviews. You see this on the Internet and in blogs all the time. But this exchange was in the printed, inky, take-to-the-toilet version. Taking out infinitives, dropping “g”s, omitting verbs and inserting slang. Soon your local newspaper will be like the liner notes of a rap album.