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I’m noticing a disturbing trend in language, and can’t figure out why it’s happening, but I have my suspicions. More and more, I’m hearing and reading people leaving out the verb “to be” in sentences. It’s not being replaced, just very unceremoniously removed. Ignored. I have to admit, it’s a trend that is driving me batty.
Take, for example:
“The house needs cleaned today.”
“The dry cleaning needs picked up tomorrow.”
It is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
It’s not like it takes a lot more time, energy or space to include the lonely, but utilitarian “to be,” but I think the exclusion is a victim of texting and emailing. In the quest to communicate faster and in under 140 characters (thank you, Twitter), messages are being stripped down to the essentials. What’s suffering is grammar, and more often than not, the close cousin, punctuation.
So please, don’t ignore “to be.” Bring it along in your messages; include it in your text messages and Tweets.
And for heaven’s sake, use it in your everyday communication!