Posts Tagged "grammar"

Grammar-itis and Other Perils of Carelessness on Facebook

Anything on the internet lasts foreverDear Kid,

I need to borrow this space to yell at a parent. By “yell” I mean “send words of wisdom” and by “a parent” I mean (really and truly) someone you don’t know who I follow on FB for reasons I am beginning to question.

This particular parent posts a fairly even mix of business and personal/family updates on social media. As I may have mentioned two or three hundred zillion times, once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever. Like cockroaches and Twinkies. As I believe I also may have mentioned more than once, how you present yourself is how people will think of you. As I am mentioning now, this individual consistently creates posts and updates guaranteed to cause nausea in the ranks of English teachers across the nation.

Misspellings, missing grammar, and less than a passing nod to general rules of communication are guaranteed to dis-impress anyone reading (no matter how quickly she tries to skim your post).

Today, this particular parent was lamenting the first day of school for the first born and talking about the pride he (yes, it’s a he) felt. I wanted to scream “Bet your daughter will be more proud of you if you learn how to spell and perhaps even take a nanosecond to proof your writing before sending it out for the entire universe see.” I didn’t. Scream, I mean. Aren’t you proud of me?

Just to be clear, I understand people make mistakes in grammar and spelling. I understand that people are typing quickly on Facebook and all too often we hit send and then proofread rather than vice versa. But this is Extreme Grammar-itis. This is stuff to make educators wish for the ability to recall a high school diploma that was (obviously) handed out in error. From a guy who is trying to inspire people to follow him.

I can’t even give you an example because every time I try to copy and paste something my computer locks up in horror. And when I try to retype examples my fingers start laughing too hard to type. Didn’t know fingers could laugh, did you?

Speaking of hor-ren-dous grammar mistakes, way too many of my lovely resume clients are using the word ‘lead’ (as in the stuff in paint) where they clearly mean ‘led’ (as in the past tense of to lead). One even had the temerity to try to gently correct me after I’d fixed it for her.

I am not suggesting that Facebook is a place that should only accept the most formal of English. Nor am I talking about occasionally typing “nad” when you mean “and”. Or even about using “ur” for “your” when you’re in a rush (or not sure whether you mean your or you’re).

But I believe there ought to be a minimum standard as well as a general awareness of what it means when that red squiggly line shows up under a word.

Here’s to exceeding the minimum.

Love, Mom

Read More

This Language of Ours, Caffeine, Meteors, Spiders, and Cement

what does green meanDear Kid,

The English Language. It may not be perfect (ever think about the way the word “cough” is spelled?), it may be a little confusing (your, you’re, ur), but it’s ours.

Oh, English, English, English.

In a new comic,  Maria Scrivan shows four words that have taken on new meaning. The first is green which at one time referred to the color and now means environmentally friendly. I’ll leave it to you to click through to see the rest (my prediction is you’ll like the fourth one the best—let me know).

In other news, today is unofficially Take Your Gun to Starbucks Day. I kid you not. Go elsewhere for caffeine.

We didn’t watch the Persied Meteor Shower this weekend (at least this part of the ‘we’ didn’t—can’t swear that no one got up to view it). As expected, the inconvenient time (when will Mother Nature learn to check our schedules before planning a big event?) and the jam packed weekend meant we were more interested in the inside of our eyelids than the outside of the heavens. I have it on great authority that if you were somewhere without cloud cover (and you were looking in the right place), it was quite a glorious site. If you are so inclined, there are several more crazy early morning watchings available.

We also didn’t build a retaining wall this weekend. Turns out that Dad and I had a misunderstanding of what the wall was supposed to do. When he understood what I thought he meant (follow that?), he clarified. When I understood what he meant, I vetoed. No wall right now. But he and Pi did an excellent job pouring cement around the sewer drain to try to put a stop to the erosion problem. Even without a Blue Ox, Paul Bunyan did a Most Excellent Job of starting the planting bed for the Great Iris Expansion.

We did a fair amount of weeding yesterday. Booker spent most of the time basking in the sun. Note to self: Teach puppy to identify weeds and dig them up. Response to note to self: Ha!

countdown to move inThere is an upside-down glass on the floor in our kitchen. This—as you well know—is the international signal for There Is A Bug Trapped Here That We Intend To Release Into The Wild But Has A 50/50 Chance of Dying Before We Get Around To It. Remember the saying in Animal Farm: Four legs good, two legs better? My version is: Four legs good, more legs outside. As in, Wildlife Belongs In the Wild Not In My Kitchen. Booker was no help at all. When the spider went scurrying across the floor he stared at me hopefully. I’m guessing the hopeful was for food and not permission to play with the spider since I was shrieking “Where is the spider??? Booker, get the spider!!!!” at the time.

Hope your (not you’re or ur) day is filled with the appropriate number of legs.

Love, Mom

Read More

Badly Written and Bad Grammar | Makes My Teeth Hurt

It Makes My Teeth Hurt

Seriously, it’s making my teeth hurt

Dear Kid,

Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. Love social media. There are people who have suggested (in a kindly way) that I have a slight addiction to Twitter and Pinterest. And maybe LinkedIn. Perhaps even Facebook. I believe in blogs—I work on blogs and websites all day long. Often far into the night. So I am anything but a Luddite (any opponent of industrial change or innovation –definition provided for your learning convenience).


my poor little head is about to explode and scatter disgusting bits of brain all over the room.

I just read a guest blog submission that was sent to the fabulous Girlfriendolgy. I’m guessing the author thought it was written in English. It wasn’t written in any language I recognize. It wasn’t that it was written in British or some other widely recognized version of the English language (like Canadian). No, no. This was written in Garbage. Rule of thumb: If you’re not sure, get  someone else to proof read your work.

The author only had a nodding acquaintance with the concept of grammar, and had clearly never contemplated putting together a string of related sentences. She obviously preferred the just-put-down-words-and-let-the-reader-worry-about-it approach to writing. Or perhaps she had studied at the school of if-I-sound-snooty-enough-someone-will-take-me-seriously. (I didn’t.)

It wasn’t that it was written too informally (idk, maybe that would have helped). It was almost that the author was trying too hard to be impressive. Rule of thumb: If you don’t know what a word means, don’t use it until you’ve looked it up.

There are times for writing formally (class assignments especially in college, lab reports, requests for a raise) and there are times for writing very informally (texts, scribbled notes on scraps of paper and message boards). Most communication (like blogs) falls somewhere in between. While each type of communication has its own rules (rule for early morning: use nothing more complicated than a nod and a grunt), nowhere will you find the rule “write badly and use bad grammar.”

You will be stunned [sarcasm font] to know that I sent it back with a request to rewrite (or destroy).

Hope you are having a wonderful, well-grammar-ed day.

Love, Mom

Read More


Can't remember to check for new posts? No prob. I'll send it to you.

Online Marketing

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Blog Directory
%d bloggers like this: