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“I’m really glad you corrected me, Lisa. People are always really glad when they’re corrected.” – Homer Simpson

February 1, 2012

I’ve got really good grammar. I know the rules and I generally follow them, unless I’ve made the conscious style choice to bend them. And when I’m speaking to someone I do notice mistakes that stand out and of course I have my own pet peeves. But I’m certainly not going to correct them or think less of them because they aren’t focused 100% of the time on crafting their sentences perfectly.

These YouTube ranters (and their counterparts across the Internet) are so pathetic. Do you really have so little thought in your head that the only thing you can think of is to nitpick peoples grammar, spelling, and punctuation? Are you really so insecure that that’s the only way you can feel good about yourself, by using grammar as a way of looking down on others and glorifying yourself? Meanwhile, most of these people are saying things of great substance but you’re too shallow to even give it any consideration.
Picking apart someone’s Facebook status or YouTube comment is like if your teacher in school decided to collect your notebook and grade it for grammatical or spelling errors. You didn’t take your notes with consideration of that kind of judgement because your notebook is a casual place where your main concern is recording your thoughts. The Internet is the same way–you generally don’t type out a comment with the expectation of it being graded, so you don’t put the time and care into proofreading it that you would if you were handing it into your teacher.
Imperfect grammar is like the vernacular of the web, perfectly acceptable though not considered proper in other venues. Especially when you’re talking about social networking sites like Facebook, we’re supposed to feel like we’re just hanging out with our friends. We’re conducting social activities, not academic ones, and thus most of us are focused on the message, not the propriety. In fact, the crazy spelling allows personality to shine through our words, and the crazy punctuation, I think, helps others to understand how we’re feeling much more easily and thoroughly.

You know what happens when you make everyone else feel like shit when they talk to you? They don’t want to talk to you anymore. They don’t want to feel like they’re under constant pressure to be perfect and every sentence is like a homework assignment. Is that fun for anyone? No. So they’ll just stop bothering with you. I know I’d much rather spend my time with people who aren’t so petty and pathetic and judgemental that they’re going to base their perceptions of my intelligence and character on my word choice, pronunciation, and punctuation.

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One Comment
  1. You should say this in class!

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