Gut Rumbles

October 15, 2003

i agree, sort of

I believe that this post is overly pedantic, but she does raise a valid point. I know several people who have college degrees but write as if they were barely literate.

I don't claim to be great at spelling (as people who read this blog regularly already know) but I'm writing a blog here, for crying out loud. It ain't like I'm getting paid for it or I get a letter grade on every post. I am simply too damned lazy to look up words that I don't spell regularly, so I just take a wild guess at them. If the result looks TOO obviously fucked-up, I'll try to substitute a word that I CAN spell.

I don't do that "wild guess" thing if I am writing business correspondence. I'll check my spelling every time. Business correspondence is important literature. This blog is not.

I also commit several Crimes Against Grammar regularly on this blog that I would not put in formal communication. I frequently address the reader as "you." For example, you might read a sentence like this on my page.

"One might read a sentence such as this one on my page is proper diction, but it feels STILTED to me. I don't like feeling stilted. I prefer the vernacular.

I sometimes begin a sentence with the words "There are..." or "It is...", which are both no-nos. I use the word "ain't" on occasion. I also use potty-mouthed language and write a few run-on sentences here and there. I don't call those lapses of mine examples of poor grammar. I call them STYLE. I know better than to write diction-impared sentences, but I write them anyway. It's my blog. I can do whatever I want to here.

I DO have a few pet peeves, however; some mistakes are unforgivable.

1) KNOW the difference between "affect" and "effect."

2) DON"T write "it's" when you mean "its."

3) STOP before you write "your" when you mean "you're."

4) BE DRAGGED OFF AND SHOT for confusing "there" and "their."

Okay, there's my rant on grammer. I DO find it odd that the person who authored the post that I linked to once wrote everything on her page as if the "CAPS" key was missing from her keyboard. Yeah, I remember, darlin.'

That's another one of my pet peeves. PUNCTUATE AND CAPITALIZE, dammit


One doesn't have to go far from the pit to find examples of bad writing. Your own Jay Solo not only wrote this detritus but you quoted it.

""Even if you are religious normally, pretend that we have learned there is no deity or anything along those lines. The prophets and such were all just men, whether deluded, imaginitive, or what. What we see is what we get, plus what we can't see that is more extensive and strange than we have yet imagined, however natural in origin.""

Diction, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and clarity of thought--don't get any worse that this.

And if, "it's only a blog" is a valid excuse, why do you ridicule those who err? I'm thinking now of that kid, Jason, who you lambasted for spelling errors.

Can you have it both ways and remain a man of character and integrity?

Posted by: Mark on October 15, 2003 11:35 AM

Your a jerk. I've never seen such hipocracy. Anyone who is to lazy to write proper english shoud just shut up.

Verancular, my ass.

Posted by: dipnut on October 15, 2003 12:06 PM

Love your pet peeves, Acidman. I agree with them all, but let me add one more: using "comprise" when you really mean "compose." Worst of all is when you see that some big thing "is comprised of" a bunch of smaller things. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The smaller things comprise the bigger thing, not the other way around.

Posted by: Christopher Hlatky on October 15, 2003 12:14 PM

I specifically stated in my post that I AM NOT PERFECT, and also that, like you, I use my blog for diversion and do not make it a point to exercise proper grammar and spelling. But at work and school, I do.

You are a crappy listener, Acidman. You jump to conclusions and do not listen to the entire story.

Posted by: sugarmama on October 15, 2003 12:54 PM

As you know, I, too, was an English major. Bad grammar and usage of the language is one of my major pet peeves.
My biggest one is when people on the news use bad grammar. These are the people who are supposed to know better. I think that I should write copy for them.
My other big thing, as long as we're on the subject, is people who can't spell. These are folks who have been to college and have higher degrees than I do. I don't know if they are just lazy or what.
It's just laziness and I think sometimes bad English teachers.
Fortunately for me, I had 2 of the best English teachers in my high school.
I could go on and on.

Posted by: UZI--Q on October 15, 2003 12:57 PM

What I hate is to hear President Bush say nuc-u-lar rather than nuc-le-ar.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on October 15, 2003 01:44 PM

I've been blessed (or cursed) with the ability to cause typos and grammatical errors jump off the page and smack me in the middle of my forehead. Years ago, I used to frequent Yahoo chat. I learned to clench my teeth and ignore the "loosers" who couldn't manage to spell the simplest words. It was interesting to note that I could eventually sort out those who committed an inadvertent typo from those who were truely illiterate.

In chat (and when I use Yahoo im), I don't use caps. I type quickly but using caps interferes with the conversational flow that exists in chat. For a long time, I didn't use caps when I posted at the political forum I belong to - but because I had earned the title of Spelling Dominatrix (which I wear with pride), another member shamed me into using them in posts. Since he was a lawer, I figured I should probably do the right thing. It's the only thing we have agreed on over the years.

I am appalled by school systems that graduate students who cannot spell and who have not the slightest understanding of simple grammar and punctuation rules. When I went to school, my work was graded on both content and presentation, which included spelling and grammar. Now, it seems that only English teachers take the trouble to correct errors on homework; teachers in other subjects only grade the content and leave the spelling and punctuation alone.

That's wrong. A mistake is a mistake is a mistake, no matter where it happens. Whether on a science test or an essay for history, any work that a student submits that is supposed to demonstrate his/her mastery of a subject should be graded based on more than just the content.

My daughter had a fourth grade teacher who taught her students that writing consists of two stages - the "sloppy copy" and the final draft. The kids would turn in their "sloppy copy" version and she would edit them and give pointers for improvement. The final draft received the grade, and no errors were allowed.

Are teachers lazier now? Don't they have enough time to thoroughly grade the work their students turn in? I want to know how they can rationalize and justify wearing blinders while grading papers.

The message the students get is that they don't need to bother doing their work correctly as long as the teachers don't care. And I admit I've seen teacher who have marked spelling errors that weren't wrong in the first place - because they themselves didn't know how to spell.

If you can't tell by now, this is a touchy area for me....LOL! The decline of academic standards is inexcusable. It's just another area where the parents have to step in and fill the void.

Oh, and Dipnut? It's VERNACULAR, not verancular.

Posted by: Trish on October 15, 2003 01:53 PM

I believe that Dipnut was making a joke, darlin.' You spelling freaks are just SO UPTIGHT!

Posted by: Acidman on October 15, 2003 02:03 PM

I knew that.

Posted by: Trish on October 15, 2003 02:22 PM

P.S. Spelling errors don't bother me anywhere near as much as the usage of "ur" or "b4" or any of the other countless shorthand text message crap that is so common now.

Posted by: Trish on October 15, 2003 02:26 PM

My pet peeve of solecisms is the hypercorrection of pronouns, as in "He pissed Jane and I off," where objective case "me" is required. The educated are the usual culprits, and it is becoming epidemic on television.

Posted by: Brett on October 15, 2003 04:31 PM

Let's ammend one thing, Acidman...
Know the difference between there, their and they're...
And, there ain't nuthin' wrong with "ain't", it is too okay to start sentences with 'and' (see this one) and if I felt I couldn't use 'potty language', I'd sound like Bill Cosby, trying not to cuss in front of a kid.
I, too, write the way I talk. It's just me.

Posted by: Stevie on October 15, 2003 05:19 PM

lose: opposite of win

loose: the vagina of every woman older than 30

Posted by: Horse with no-- on October 15, 2003 07:41 PM

Oh hell, I must piss you off all the time. I know the difference between it's/its, your/you're, and there/their, but I typo on homonyms all the time. Since I ain't getting graded anymore, I let it go most of the time. My weirdest habitual screwup is know/no/now. I will almost always write or type the wrong word first then have to correct it.

But I never mix up affect and effect. Ever.

Posted by: shell on October 15, 2003 07:43 PM

Shell, you have a nice ass. You cannot make mistakes in MY book.

Posted by: Acidman on October 15, 2003 09:03 PM

Being able to re-edit one's posts is a beautiful thing.

Posted by: Juliette on October 15, 2003 09:43 PM

there's really only one