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Don’t Write If You Can’t Write Right!

July 18, 2010

That great philosopher, the illiterate Festus Haggen on the TV series Gunsmoke, once posed this question to his friend Doc Adams: “How do you know if the feller that wrote the writin’ wrote the writin’ right?” Doc didn’t have an answer for that, but he should have said: “Because that ‘feller’ and I learned to read and write right.”

Now, I’m not the greatest writer in the world by any means and my punctuation is far from perfect, but I’ve been writing for more years than I care to admit. And, when I write, I try my best to use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling. The blogosphere has turned everyone into a writer these days – some great, but many horrible. I defend everyone’s right to speak their minds. But when it’s done without any regard for proper English whatsoever, I cringe, I gnash my teeth, and I form an opinion that such a blogobutcher is an idiot- whether he or she really is or not. Sometimes it’s so bad that their meaning is completely lost behind a veil of nonsensical jibber-jabber.

So I have a few suggestions on the subject for you bloggers who apparently slept your way through English class. When spell-checking is available, USE IT! If not, find a dictionary and USE IT! When you end a sentence, do so with a period followed by a space. Start any new sentence with a capital letter. Learn the difference between to, too, and two. Know that the words effect and affect are not interchangeable. Stop using texting abbreviations as though they were actual words. And proofread what you wrote before hitting the “submit” button.

Use the correct pronouns and always put yourself last… it’s not “Me and him went to the store”! To know whether you’re right or not, examine each pronoun (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they) by itself. Would you say “Me went to the store”? I hope not. Would you say “Him went to the store”? God, no! “Me” and “Him” are not even pronouns. You’d say: “I went” or “He went”. Then put yourself last: “He and I went to the store.” Ahhhh… much better.

I can’t recall all the linguistic sins I’ve encountered on the internet, so I’ll end my rant with these examples: They’re is short for they are, their indicates ownership of something by them, and there is where something or someone is. You’re is short for you are, but your indicates ownership of something by you. I’m going to set the book on the table where it will sit until I want it. Then I’m going to lie down while my hens lay their eggs.

Maybe I expect too much, but if you have something to say, at least try to say it without sounding like a complete moron. Otherwise, don’t waste the blog space.

UPDATE: Here are some great links for anyone interested in improving their written or spoken grammar –
6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2010 2:19 PM

    dang! it’s the grammer monster let loose on the blogworld. you are right. right but scary.

  2. July 20, 2010 2:29 PM

    You forgot one. One that I see and hear all the time. On T.V. and on the internet. People using the word that instead of who when speaking of other people. This isn’t the best example but it is the only one I can think of right now. If a mother were to say, this is my daughter that is going to camp next week.

    • July 20, 2010 3:19 PM

      Like I said, I can’t recall all the sins. I make the same mistake myself sometimes but that’s the purpose of proofreading before submitting. That doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the ones I noted in the post.

  3. July 20, 2010 2:32 PM

    crap i spelled grammar wrong in the first one. please forgive me.

    • July 20, 2010 3:26 PM

      Believe it or not, I committed the same misspelling when I first started writing the post. But I noticed it two words later, backspaced, and fixed it. Nobody’s perfect. The monster wants me to point out that you should have capitalized the C, I and P.

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