Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Adults Who Make Third Grade Grammar Mistakes on a Regular Basis
Before you jump down my throat for being a grammar Nazi, I ask you to note two things: number one, didn’t you read my post about comparing people to Nazis? Asshole. Number two, please look at the title again, carefully. Then read on.
From Kim Karshadian's Twitter:
@KimKardashian Kim Kardashian Good workout today! Did everyone get there's in?
Okay, I know Kim Kardashian doesn’t exactly set the gold standard for intelligence, but this is a frighteningly common mistake amongst our population. There. Their. They’re.
A place with unlimited Chinese food? I want to go to there.
Their family adopted a boy from Korea named Annyong.
Alison’s farts? They’re the worst smelling things in the world!
There. Their. They’re. Everyone did not get there’s in, Kim. People may have gotten theirs in. Like I wanna get my slap in your face. Speaking of your...
Possessive. Not possessive. That’s all you need to know.
These are your hammer pants.
You’re the only person I know who still has hammer pants.
If you can’t replace it with “you are,” it’s your. That’s all you need to remember, people. Why is that so hard?
Speaking of possession...
What can I say, I belong to the little green wedge. It's not. That. Difficult.
The honeybadger killed the prey with its sharp teeth.
Honeybadger don't care if it's dangerous out there.
If you can't replace it with "it is," then you need to write its. Got it?
Now back to the title of this post: the key words here are THIRD GRADE GRAMMAR and REGULAR BASIS. I rarely smite people for incorrect use of a semi colon or whom vs. who - these are things a lot of people don’t learn until they’re a little older, and I understand that kind of stuff is easy to let slip. But when you correct anyone on “you’re/your” or “their/there/they’re,” they almost always KNOW what they did was wrong afterwards. Because everyone learned that shit when they were seven years old! There’s NO excuse.
At the same time, I’m not unreasonable - I understand the occasional flub, especially in a quick text message or instant message, gchat conversation, whatever. It happens. As some of my friends know, that doesn’t stop me from correcting you when it happens, but it doesn’t make me groan with shame and disrespect.
This brings me to the “regular basis” piece - there are people - people I have worked with - who had master’s degrees - that made these mistakes so fucking often that I was embarrassed to be employed by the same institution that hired them. That’s when I truly start to question your intelligence, because if you’re screwing these simple basic words up so often that it becomes an office joke, you need to look at your life and your choices. No, I don’t believe anyone truly made the choice to misspell everything or use their/they’re/there inappropriately, but they did make the choice not to read over their email again. They did make the choice not to have a trusted friend with a sharp eye read over their email before they sent it out to several colleagues. And that’s where the annoyance comes in - if you know you write like shit, you better have some plan in place to correct it, because you don’t want to be seen as the village idiot. Unless you don’t think you write like shit. In that case I don’t know what to do with you. Go walk into traffic.
I could go on about this general issue for 10 more pages - discussing how “acrossed” (across’d? acrost? How do people assume that is spelled?) is Not. A. Word. Or how “alls we have to do” makes me want to punch a baby. Alot is never, never, never a single word (auto correct wouldn’t even let me type it without a fight!). Apostrophes are so misused it's almost useless to discuss. I could also write an entirely separate entry about spelling errors, although I tend to be a bit more forgiving with those, having several highly intelligent friends who are notoriously shitty spellers.
I could also make an entirely separate entry about how anyone under the age of 20 is seemingly incapable of communicating effectively and clearly - thanks to lax school standards, email, text messaging, tweeting, etc., spelling out full sentences seems to have gone down the drain. As someone whose job used to involve many many emails from 18 years olds*, I can tell you the "urs," "thx," and "plz" are now considered appropriate by today's children. Holy shit do I fear for the future.
But nay, for now I will only focus on the little things. Because when you can't handle the simple stuff - the stuff you were supposed to know by fourth grade - you need to grab a childrens' grammar book, hunker down, and study. No matter how technology changes, I think writing will still be around for awhile. Learn how to do it.
*That makes me sound like I was a professional molester or something. I worked with college students, you dirty minded bastard!