The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

The widespread use of "should of" instead of "should have" will result in the doom of humanity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 581 times Debate No: 41926
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




We live in a world where our youth have role models such as Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Snookie, and Honey BooBoo.

While it is wonderful to see that today's teenagers use technology, read a lot (even though they're just reading junk like TMZ and tumblr memes), and write a lot, it is sad to see that they are losing the ability to write proper sentences.

Already, terms such as "selfie" are becoming a part of our lexicon.

One the most appalling, infuriating and alarming symptoms of the deterioration of our language is the use of phrases such as "should of", "would of" and "could of" instead of "should've", "would've" and "could've".

The world needs future leaders who read classics of English literature and produce speeches and works of similar quality.

The use of proper language is a reflection humanity's wisdom.

If we stop producing writers like Hawthorne and Dickens, and continue to produce lyrics like "we run things, things don't run we", we will lose our ability to communicate valuable and even remotely intelligible ideas to each other. Technological progress, as well our quest for renewable and sustainable energy resources will be stunted.

Most importantly, poetry and prose, will no longer inspire our youth like they inspired our greatest leaders such as MLK, JFK, Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson and others. We will be lost, and we will be doomed. The lives of human beings will lose the wonder and beauty that good poetry and prose generate.


This is truly an intriguing topic! I look forward to a thought-provoking debate.

"We live in a world where our youth have role models such as Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Snookie, and Honey BooBoo." Don't forget Justin Bieber, Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, and the worst male celebrity role model (according to the New York Daily News) Chris Brown [1].

"It is sad to see that they are losing the ability to write proper sentences." This level of tragedy has never been witnessed before in the history of mankind. There are no events so dangerous to human existence as teenagers writing improper sentences.

"Selfie" is a natural evolution of language. Language is, after all organic.

I agree that "should of" and the others are appalling. I have not seen something so disgusting since I opened Fifty Shades of Gray. Nothing, that is, except for one atrocity far greater in scope than 'should of.'

I will argue that it is this tragedy, and not the 'should of, would of, could of,' that will bring about the doom of humanity. But first I will respond to the rest of my opponent's points.

"The world needs future leaders who read classics of English literature and produce speeches and works of similar quality." I don't know. If someone was reading Wuthering Heights to me, I'd get bored pretty quickly. Do our speeches really need to spend pages upon pages describing sensory details irrelevant to their actual content? I love English literature, but for speeches and other matters of policy, I think clarity is more important. We don't need to obfuscate the windows; we need to board them up.

I do not see what renewable and sustainable energy resources have to do with the debate at hand. Additionally, I can recall lyrics that are far worse, even if they make some grammatical sense. (No, I am not attacking these singers. Except maybe Justin Bieber).

"Baby, baby, baby, oh!' - Justin Bieber
"A** a** a** a** a** a** a** a** a** a** a** a** a** a** a**" - Big Sean
" I be on my suit and tie, sh** tie, sh** tie" - Justin Timberlake
"7 am, waking up in the morning, gotta get dressed, gotta go downstairs..." - Rebecca Black

And many more.

Now, let us reimagine the tragedy I mentioned earlier. This catastrophe is a butchering of the English language far viler than 'should of, would of, could of.' Perhaps it would be more accurate for me to say tragedies, as I can envision two massacres worse those provided by my opponent.

1: Commas.

The gradual destruction of the comma poses one of the gravest threats to humanity itself. The usage of commas can save lives! Commas are the difference between:

Let's eat, grandma!
Let's eat grandma!

In the first scenario, grandma survives. But as the comma gradually fades away or takes on improper usages, well, a lot of grandmas might start getting eaten. My opponent may argue that just because grandmas start getting eaten does not mean humanity itself will collapse. Very well. I shall provide another example.

Russia nuked 20,000 people.
Russia nuked 200,000 people.

This at first seems like an issue of digits, but if the comma is misplaced, that forces another zero to be added (or taken away).

2: Your and you're; they're, there, and their.

The merciless slaughter of the above words plagues the Internet. The sheer quantity of these mistakes are enough to end civilization and humanity as we know them. Because they are more common in speeches and great literary works, they have an even greater potential to strip our literature and poetry of their beauty and doom humanity to an infernal pit riddled with the graves of murdered words. I will provide another example.

Germany and the USA are talking. Germany has just spilled his milk.

USA: "You're sh**." Now, what the USA means is: "your sh**," meaning that the mess belongs to Germany. However, the USA instead insulted Germany. This insult could easily lead to the outbreak of World War III and end humanity.

I believe I have sufficiently demonstrated two widespread misuses of language that are far more likely to doom humanity than 'should have, would have, and could have.' For this, I urge the voters to vote CON!

Debate Round No. 1


As an honest debater, I must confess that there are two mistakes in my arguments that con has successfully highlighted. I will say, however, that I am not certain that con did so intentionally.

Here are the two mistakes that I made:

1. The words used to compose the topic of this debate were not wisely chosen.

The point I was trying to make was that the deterioration of our language will have extremely harmful effects on society and the technological progress of humanity. In effect, this would have meant that con's examples would have supported my arguments. Unfortunately, since I chose the specific words that you see in the title of the debate, I am left to defend the idea that the use of the phrase "should of" specifically, will lead to humanity's doom. Admittedly, this is a difficult idea to defend since con highlighted much better examples of laguage-deterioration.

I was hoping to debate someone who did not know that the phrase "I should of known." makes little to no sense. Still, I "should have" chosen better words.

2. It seems that con is in fact a teenager, and the fact that he largely demonstrated excellent spelling, grammar and word choice, goes against the idea that the widespread deterioration of language has the potential to affect all youth to a devastating extent. It seems that despite the rampant onslaught of lyricists such as Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj, some youth are still able to communicate well-constructed arguments and ideas. Perhaps, there is indeed some hope for the world. Perhaps, in a desert full of morons, a few flowers may yet bloom.

I also would like to point out that renewable energy sources are vital to the survival and prosperity of the human race. If we lose our ability to communicate, we will not be able to progress our quest to find them/use them more efficiently. This is why I mentioned them.

One more thing that I would like to point out is that "Let's eat grandma!" might still mean that grandma will remain alive but that she will be much more satisfied sexually.

In any case, I acknowledge that I have put myself in a very difficult position with my word-choice for the topic of this debate, and I do not disagree with anything con said. He did, in fact, provide better examples of grammatical blunders and terrible role models.

It seems I didn't use a reference either... so... whateva... yolo.


First off, my opponent ended his argument with YOLO. This should result in an immediate victory for me.

I am not certain what PRO seeks to prove in listing his mistakes. The resolution, as we both agree, clearly limited itself to 'should of' and its sister variations rather than the deterioration of language in general. PRO not only acknowledges this, but he also admits that I "highlighted much better examples of language-deterioration." Since PRO is essentially conceding to me, I win the debate.

I would like to thank PRO for his compliment. Allow me to become serious for a moment. I agree that the deterioration of language could have devastating consequences, and I place extreme importance on the ability to create well-constructed arguments and ideas. However, I have to wonder if the Internet truly offers a credible standard to evaluate the writing skills of teenagers. Many people adopt the mantra "informal setting, informal writing." The same people who write 'lol k thx by' are unlikely to write those in an essay - although, as both 'should of' and 'your/you're' are grammatical mistakes, they still appear. There are still plenty of flowers blooming if one knows where to look.

I agree that renewable energy resources are essential to the future of humanity. I still do not think they hold a place in this type of debate. Destruction of efficient communication poses risks far more dangerous to society.

I have no response to my opponent's counterpoint to my grandma example. I cannot argue with such flawless logic. However, my other examples, including "your/you're" and "they're/there/their," still stand.

My opponent does not disagree with anything I said and even admits that I provided "better examples of grammatical blunders and terrible role models." I will admit that topping Miley Cyrus proved to be a challenge.

I had a truly great time with this debate, and I thank my opponent for providing me with a chance to have a little fun! I hope he enjoyed himself as well.

Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by dunc22 3 years ago
ya seems so much worse than yolo
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I think both debaters had great arguments, and I have to give argument points to Con. After all Pro agreed that Con had better arguments. Conduct was impeccable by both, and as such these points are tied. I penalized on for grammar n yolo. :) On a side note, I don?t care about grammar as I suffer from slight dyslexia.