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Friday, 20 January 2012

Things which bother me: Lack of Spelling and Grammar

I've decided to write about some of the things which bother me, mostly because I'm bored, and also because the next time I complain in public and someone makes the snide comment that I should write about it, I can direct them here.

Today's topic: spelling and grammar.

I know this topic has been done to death, but it was on my mind, and I want it off it. I really dislike when I am reading something and there are spelling and grammatical mistakes all over the place. I do not understand why, with the basic knowledge, people make so many mistakes, especially after the invention of spell-checking software.

I proofread everything I write. Yes, I make mistakes now and then, but I would sincerely hope they are very infrequent. Funny thing, it's not the mistakes I hate; it's the lack of caring at all. How you present and communicate your ideas is just as important as said ideas. While I get a little upset when people dress up nonsense, like adding big words in essays to sound smarter, I am even more upset when people do not take the time to ensure that their message comes across clearly.

When I'm reading a book, and I come across an error, it stops the flow of the work. Sure, the editor(s) may have missed something, but if I am concentrating more on the mistakes than the content of the piece, well, that's just as much my fault as it is the editor's and writer's. When I'm reading an email from a colleague, or a website or proposal of a professional manner, mistakes make me lower the overall rating of importance of the entire article. It may sound callous, but I feel that the more important something is, the more attention should be paid to the proper spelling and grammar of the message which brings it to my attention. To not do so is, as I've said, a sure way of me decreasing the inherent value of the content before I've even finished reading it.

Most of my friends and, thankfully, most of the people I know agree with me on this. But, I know many people who just couldn't care less. They think I'm being too serious, too critical, and that as long as people understand them, well, job well done. Yes, communication is about getting ideas across, so if you've done that, great job. But, if you want me to take you seriously, you'll look it up online or, by the gods!, pick up a dictionary, and ensure that you have spelled everything correctly.

Somewhat unrelated, but remember when you used to read in elementary and high school English class? Remember when someone else would read, and they struggled with a word, and the teacher would say that word for them? Remember how that kid would just say ya, and continue on without saying the word, thus establishing that A) they didn't care and B) they would make the same mistake again? Remember that?!

I hate that! Say the word! It's not hard, and I don't want you to make the same mistake again, wasting my time, ruining the flow of the work, and hurting my pretentious ears!

And...well, I've run out of steam tonight. I just want to end this by saying that, of course, I'm not perfect. So, if I make a mistake, please, call me on it. I take every mistake as a personal failure, which may be a bit harsh, but I would rather know and fix it than otherwise. Plus, you'll help restore my faith in humanity by pointing it out.

Finally, I don't care if it's instant messaging, texting, or what, but as long as you aren't using short-forms for convenience, please take the time to write it well.

1 comment:

  1. Its pretty ridiculous when people dont even know they're own language.