Every generation of human beings, every generation without exception, has bemoaned the fouling of their precious language by the younger generation. My parents do it, their parents do it, their parents did it, and you can bet your ass their parents did it. I would do it too, but I’ve become immune. Immune not because I’m too young/hip/jacked-in/manly for these things to bother me, but because I’m not ignorant enough to believe that change is something language suffers from.
Oops! I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Shoot me.
The language Tony holds so dear is a terrible, horrible bastardization of what earlier generations held dear, and admired writers the likes of Shakespeare and Joyce and Austen (and Swift, as Tim mentions) would turn in their graves to see his work. To be reviled in the eyes of your heroes; is there anything more tragic? Well, it already happens in music, sculpture, photography, and every other artistic human pursuit… why would writing be any different?
That Long would label me an apologist is telling of his naïveté. Here’s a heads-up: linguists are people who study language and language change, they are not “apologists” for “bad writing”. What a fucking jackass.