If there is anything that drives me up the proverbial wall, it’s bad grammar and spelling. While it can be funny to see the results of those with a poor understanding of either, typically those mistakes are made on everyday things.
An attribute that not everyone can possess is a strong attention to detail. While grammar contains hundreds of rules, spelling typically does not. This fact calls into question how people can make such mistakes so easily. Aside from not using spell checkers, the only answer I can think of that allows spelling mistakes to happen: not asking someone else to look ‘it’ over.
A fresh set of eyes does wonders for avoiding spelling errors. It’s this same reality that makes images containing spelling mistakes so funny to us. As natural communicators, we tend to overlook things ourselves because of a small amount of pride: a false sense of pride, where we believe what we have written is good, if not excellent.
It would be very easy to say that it is that very same sense of pride that prevents some from fulfilling their professional duties correctly. Except that it isn’t just our professional side that suffers from this false sense of pride. It just happens to be funnier when it actually is.
Why? because in a professional setting, someone should have looked over your work. That’s why. When work isn’t checked over by another, that’s when you get results worthy of internet derision. Remember, your only saving grace here is internet anonymity.
But, feel free to feel guilty about it for the rest of your life.
Outside of your professional life, it can be even easier to make mistakes that show the world your tenuous grasp of language. More often than not, this seems to be displayed via home-made signs and social media.
Trying to convey a strong message or idea can (and will) be shot down pretty quickly when you misplace a punctuation mark. As was the case for this confusing sign asking people to clean up after their dogs. At least, I think that’s what being asked.
Sadly, sometimes, you will come across things that may actually be correct but because of a difference of opinion, are falsely pointed out as incorrect. Take the example at the right here. What we have here is a cute little image someone has created showing their intimate preference. They would rather cuddle than have sex. Meaning, they prefer cuddling OVER sex.
Unfortunately, some smart*** has come along thinking to correct this image, believing that THAN was incorrectly used in place of THEN.
I would rather not think of what sort of state of mind would lead someone to thinking this image’s caption is incorrect and why they felt the need to slap on a Someecard meme image with a “correction”.
Let’s skip over the fact that they thought it necessary to add an ellipsis, but with FOUR periods instead of the proper three. Clearly, their horniness is such that they aren’t able to think clearly and punctuate correctly. Perhaps they should consider cuddling with someone instead of having sex. Might do them some good.
In the grand scheme AND in defence of our beautiful language, it should be hard to accept such mistakes. However, the truth is, these mistakes are small and insignificant on their own.
Collectively, they erode away at the beauty of the English language.
Collectively, they fuel the internet humour sites that rely on pictures showing bad spelling and grammar.
Collectively, they create excellent fodder for smart people to laugh at dumb people.
In almost every case, it comes down to one simple matter – a better choice of words. Attention to detail aside, these mistakes are often a result of a poor choice of words. Yes, this is an oversimplification of the reality, but it lumps the twin problems of spelling and grammar into one convenient package.
pro·mis·cu·ous [pruh-mis-kyoo-uhs] adjective
1. characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, especially having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis. 2. consisting of parts, elements, or individuals of different kinds brought together without order. 3. indiscriminate; without discrimination. 4. casual; irregular; haphazard.
Heaven forbid you get promiscuous with your choice of words. [Definition 3/4]
But, in all seriousness, that was a horrible choice of words. Whomever wrote that status update, probably thought it was a great word to use, but did not realize what it meant and what it says for Olloclip as a brand.
So what would’ve been a better word? How about PERVASIVE or UNIVERSAL or PREVALENT or WIDESPREAD.
Anyone can make mistakes. Anyone else can prevent them from happening.
Next blog: Spelling and Grammar Mistakes I have found in my Job search — OR — Why HR people shouldn’t write Job Postings.