Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grammar Tyrants

Dear Diary,
I have found a draw back to making this diary public; there are topics I’m afraid to address. However, I have made a commitment to myself to use this public forum as a diary. Looks like I have also found a benefit to having a small following. Here I begin my attempt to break out of my comfort zone. The topic that I am currently apprehensive to address is my take on spelling and grammar. I am admittedly terrible at spelling and part lazy part ignorant when it comes to grammar. I am pretty good with using the right words in the right places, but punctuation leaves me scratching my head. Why do we need a comma, semi-colon, and a colon? 
That last sentence is why I didn’t want to address this topic, because now someone will feel obliged to tell me why. Not to mention make them read my diary entries with a more critical eye.  I guess I appreciate that. The problem is I’ve been taught before, it just doesn’t stick. Maybe I’m just not a detail oriented person or maybe I don’t care enough. Either way sometimes I misuse or omit punctuation; anyone who has read past posts already knows this. To clear up any potential misconceptions here, if you see a spelling or grammar error feel free to tell me. Maybe with enough repetition it will sink in. Hey you never know.
So now that I have admitted my short comings with regards to the English language (I have many more with other languages). The point I want to get to is my feelings regarding grammar tyrants. To be blunt I feel like grammar tyrants need to get over themselves and start listening to the thoughts and ideas expressed and just let the punctuation and misused words go. I see so many comments to thoughtful posts and articles picked apart by grammar tyrants, is that really necessary? I understand that grammar might be one of your strengths but that doesn’t make your ideas more valid. I have heard the argument that it confuses the reader; do you really want to claim this? (If someone writes “Regardless of weather the child dressed her age or not, rape is rape.” instead of “Regardless of whether the child dressed her age or not, rape is rape.”  with your intellectual powers you cannot determine that, this comment has nothing to do with the temperature outside?) If that is the case, if you honestly thought that comment had something to do with state of the atmosphere, you have my sympathy and may continue to post remarks about grammar.
If you did understand that the person used the wrong word for whatever reason, then listen to the message. Grammar tyrants go on and on about what the abundance of grammatical errors means for our future.  I wonder what it means when people spend so much time looking for errors that they miss the message. I wonder what it means when people are quick to submit corrections rather than provide constructive solutions. We understand that you are smart and want the rest of the world to acknowledge it, and we do we admire your sentences with nothing left dangling. There are many people who do not have the education to match your grammar abilities, but life has taught them many things that are worth listening to. So please put down your red pens and listen to the intended meaning. I’m sure that I have given you many opportunities to use your red pen here. If you must employ your red pen of power do it here where nothing much is being said.
Until next time,

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