‘Scuse the title, hardly succinct and pithy, is it?
I blame the school holidays – this week in particularly is CRAZY busy, so the fact I’m even sitting here typing anything at all is a bit of an achievement, to be honest.
Anyway, bad spelling. And bad grammar. Two of my bugbears in everyday life. And, sadly, ones that seem more and more prevalent these days. You’re and your; they’re, there and their; ‘should of ‘instead of ‘should have’: I could go on endlessly, but those examples seem to be the most common, and pop up on an almost daily basis.
The Daily Mail website is particularly appalling in this regard – I’ve read some absolute corkers on there over the years – surely an organization of that size has proof-readers?
One of those new-fangled light-up road signs, much beloved of my local Council, and which I drive past on a daily basis, is currently showing the message:
‘Drivers – share car’s and reduce congestion’. Shocking. Irritates me every day.
And I had a letter from the Tax Credit people a while back which mis-used apostrophes on two separate occasions. The whole letter was only three sentences long.
Mostly shockingly of all, William’s school report this term contained the word ‘practise’ when it should have read ‘practice’. I was tempted to circle it in red, put ‘sp.’ in the margin and send it back to them – am still considering doing so.
But the above sort of errors pale into insignificance when I have even the most cursory glance at Facebook on any given day: I can’t believe I know so many people who are verging on the illiterate ….!
Now, I’m lucky in that I’ve always found written English comes naturally to me, and I have a good grasp of spelling and grammar. Ask me about quadratic equations on the other hand, and I wouldn’t have the first clue …. we all have our strengths and weaknesses, don’t we? So I do appreciate that it comes harder to some people than others.
But a couple of things happened recently which made me ponder the etiquette of correcting people’s errors in a public forum, which Facebook effectively is.
A few weeks ago I commented on a friend’s status, then a friend of theirs (who I don’t know) commented on my comment saying that my grammar was incorrect. Apart from the fact that it wasn’t incorrect, I just found it IMMENSELY rude that somebody I’d never met would have the cheek to say that. I thought it was definitely overstepping the mark. And I said so, in no uncertain terms.
Then yesterday, I noticed my brother had made a comment on a mutual acquaintance’s status, gently ribbing him about incorrect use of the word ‘hear’ when it should have been ‘here’.
Even I’m guilty of it – on one occasion I corrected my 12yo son’s appalling spelling on Facebook! He didn’t seem to mind, and the next time he used the same word, I noticed it was spelt correctly, so obviously it worked!
So I just wondered what everybody else’s take on this is – in the context of social networking, is it ever OK to correct somebody, or take the mickey about mis-spelling or bad grammar, or is it an absolute no-no?
What do you think?