Friday, November 26, 2010

A minor rant

Some days it's more minor than others, but I really feel concerned sometimes about the grammar and spelling skills of people I love. I used to worry a lot about the Favorite Son's eventual transit into adulthood with the kind of skills he had in high school, but his dad, the English major, took him in hand---or maybe spellcheck did or his own good sense, who knows---and he's quite skilled these days. He's actually writing a thesis, and though his dad the English major or his sweet wife may be proofing it occasionally, I have no doubt but what it will look pretty good under the university's microscope.

But other people I love! Those unnecessary or misplaced apostrophes! Those run-on sentences! Those barely-phonetic spellings of words! People! Don't be careless when you're posting on FB or MS----get it right! Please.

Some folks are great. They know what they're doing and if they make a mistake, they go back and fix it. Others are just typing too fast and don't proofread. Others don't give a darn and never proof anything. Others? I hate to say it, but it looks like they flunked English. Now maybe that's forgivable if a person has a learning disability or some other handicap. But people who are writing for publication or emailing colleagues about a professional matter or drumming up support for a cause-----you really need to have a proofreader if you can't do it yourself! Or refrain from putting things in writing if you can't do it right.

We aren't going to quit loving you or donating to your cause or dealing with you professionally just because you don't know the difference between it's and its or your and you're, but we who know better cringe when we see your goofups, especially when we know personally how really smart you are.

But how hard can it be to re-scan what you've written and correct the glaring ones at least? Or ask someone else to look it over?

I realize I'm asking too much. That's why it's only a minor rant. And, of course, I have been known to make a mistake or two myself!

6 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

Like those unnecessary or excessive exclamation marks?!!!! :-)

For the record the UUA and other U*U organizations tend to use rather too many exclamation marks in their "electronic communications" AFA*I*AC.

ms. kitty said...

I certainly do like exclamation marks myself, Robin! But usually only one at a time. Thanks for your thoughts.

Masasa said...

"Don't be careless when you're posting on FB. . . .you really need to have a proofreader if you can't do it yourself! Or refrain from putting things in writing if you can't do it right. . . .We aren't going to quit loving you or donating to your cause or dealing with you professionally just because you don't know the difference between it's and its or your and you're, but we who know better cringe when we see your goofups. . . .how hard can it be to re-scan what you've written and correct the glaring ones at least? Or ask someone else to look it over?"

I don't know anyone who would ask for a proofreader before posting on FB, and FB posts seem to be among your first complaints.

I recently found myself compelled to post something on FB despite a broken laptop keyboard with several non-functioning keys. I am sure it looked terrible, but people post enough on FB from phones that I was hoping it could be forgiven. Unfortunately, FB posts can't be edited later, only deleted.

What I am really writing to say, however, is that I have been diagnosed with a semi-progressive neurological disability that has in recent years interfered with my writing. I do make an effort to have major communications proofread, but we now live in a world with a lot of written communication. It would be impossible to get everything I write proofread. I'm lucky if I can get 15% of what I write proofread. I would need a full time personal secretary to have even half of what I write proofread. I have sometimes caught errors in relatively important emails that have already been sent, and it makes me cringe too. I always hope that the people on the receiving end will be forgiving.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks for the reality check, Masasa.

faded said...

I have always had poor spelling and writing skills. I have to really pay attention to get it right. The only "F" I had in school was for spelling. What I see today make me look like an erudite scholar.

I saw a study that analysed the content of all the Twitter messages that were sent on a particular day. It turns out that 85% had no content at all. They were partial words combined with random punctuation.

I avoid a service that has the word twit in its' name.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks for the chuckle, Faded!