If you do not spend a lot of time online, especially reading blogs, you will probably find this entry either (A) Boring or (B) Overly excited. If this is you, I apologize and suggest you ignore the entry entirely.)
Awhile ago I was alerted to a mistake I had been making repeatedly in blogging. I had been saying things like, “It didn’t even phase her…” when I should have been saying, “It didn’t even faze her.” (God, I hope I got that right this time.) Two different – very kind – people alerted me to this at the same time. Which was odd in the timing, and also a little embarrassing.
Okay, a lot embarrassing.
Once I read their information, I knew it was true. But I tell you this: At no point in typing “phase” in those instances did I actually know it was wrong. I use the wrong words a lot or spell things incorrectly when I’m typing fast and my brain is just not taking the time to re-read what I’m typing. No biggie. But this time? A total shocker.
I’m very glad they – very nicely – told me. One of them was even apologetic, like she knew it would be embarrassing and she really didn’t want to tell me. I appreciated that because..OMG…so embarrassed.
And in a similar situation, if I’m making the same obvious mistake over and over again. I want to know. If it was apparent that I didn’t know the proper spelling of something due to repeated errors, or some mistake I made over and over again. I’d want to know. Even if I was to be embarrassed by it.
BUT – there are two times I don’t want to know:
1) If it’s a periodic mistake because I’m not proofing what I write
2) If it’s a grammar concept not everyone knows or understands
That last one is going to bother some people.
Here’s the thing – I’m just as annoyed when I am reading a real article and I see someone use apostrophe’s wrong. (See what I did there? THAT’S FUNNY.) To me – that’s a simple concept we all learned a long time ago. Professionals with editors should not make those mistakes. But if they do it incorrectly on there blog (SEE? AGAIN WITH THE FUNNY.) I’m just not going to be bothered by it. In their facebok status? Nope. In an email? Nah. I just feel like the more casual the medium, the less worked up I can get about typos and proofing errors.
(Sidenote: I still want to see manners and courtesy. I completey HATE the fact that so many people email from their phone and therefore leave out courtesies like a greeting or salutation just becuase they don’t feel like typing it. I’d rather someone leave out apostrophes all together than to leave out something like, “Hey, Kim!” Or “Thanks, Frank.” I just like those courtesies in email. )
But not seeing perfect grammar or spelling on a blog or on a Facebook status? I’m fine with. And you know what? I think people who snottily critique another person’s grammar? Are just not nice.
There. I said it. NOT NICE.
I know this is personal because I’m not a grammar expert – but what do you expect me to do about it? Do you expect me to memorize some grammar rules just for my blog? I’m very intimidated by grammar and verb/tense//noun/adverb/conjunction/whatever agreement. I’m educated in many things – but grammar is not one of them. AND THIS IS DAMN OKAY. Please quit making fun of me. And please quit making fun of typos and misspelling on casual platforms. Do you see it on a Wet Seal t-shirt? THEN MOCK IT MERCILESSLY. But if it’s someone’s Facebook status, or personal blog, give them a break. Allow the periodic (or even frequent in my case) mistake that is obviously just a proofing error. These are CASUAL PLATFORMS.
(Sidenote: There is a line. TXT SPK IS ONLY OK WHEN TXTING IMHO)
And if someone (like me) is using commas incorrectly repeatedly, or never displaying proper verb/whatever agreement, please don’t make fun of me. Somehow, making fun of writers online and their incorrect grammar use became funny. And it’s starting to bug me. I would love to look at a sentence and know for a FACT that it was perfect. But I don’t know how. And when I try to examine it, or listen to edits and such, I get overwhelmed by how little I know.
BUT I KNOW A LOT OF STUFF. Just because I don’t know exact grammar rules does not make me dumb. And only grammar snobs think that. The rest of us? Don’t associate intelligence with perfect grammar. I have degrees in sciences. I work with computers and design and code. None of these educational paths led me to intense studies in grammar. It was freshman comp in 1993 and that was the LAST TIME anyone taught me anything grammar. Don’t judge me because of that.
I just like to write. I like to share my stories and my life. I write as I speak, so talking to me would probably annoy you too. (Except I have a much thicker drawl in my speech, of course. The southern accent doesn’t read well.) And if there was a Grammar For Dumbies book I might try to read it. Someday. But maybe not because I’m not sure if I care. Because, often, the people who are bothered by my crappy grammar, are also making mean-spirited jabs. Do I want to stress out about pleasing mean people? No.
Some of us just want our thoughts to be heard in an understandable fashion. Sometimes that means we forget an apostrophe or we use the wrong TO/TOO/TWO. Sometimes these errors are accidents and sometimes we actually don’t know the rules. But why is it okay to mock someone for not using punctation properly, but not okay to mock them because of their weight? If I saw people make snide comments about someone’s weight as often as I do about their grammar skills – I would not follow/read/correspond with those people any more.
It is never nice to make fun of people. PERIOD.
The two people who I mentioned earlier were perfect. They noticed a mistake that I made consistently – indicating I just didn’t know it was a mistake. They knew it was easy to explain and not a difficult grammar concept. They approached me kindly and gently. They never made fun of me. I thank them for that.
So, it’s okay if you don’t know all of the rules of grammar. I don’t either. It won’t stop me from reading you. And you’ll never hear me make fun of you. As a matter of fact? Your incorrect comma use won’t even faze me. I promise.