Grammar, Spelling and Vocabulary

Fair warning: This is a semi-rant/share of something cool so if you’re not interested in reading the rant part, skip to the last paragraph.

I am certainly not the person to provide a grammar lesson (split-infinitive, huh??) nor am I under the illusion that I have never accidentally misspelled or misused words. However, I have a particular sensitivity to the blatant ignoration (yes, that’s a word — I double checked) of grammar check and spell check. In today’s day and age when nearly every application has grammar and/or spell check it’s ridiculous for people to use the wrong tense (e.g., we was instead of we were) or misuse the following words: there, their, they’re, its, it’s, two, to, too, your, you’re. If you’ve graduated from high school, that’s simply inexcusable! Come on, now! And don’t even get me started on people adding apostrophes where they don’t belong or using text shorthand anywhere other than in a text message. It really isn’t that hard to type “you” instead of “u”.

It really makes me wonder if people ever re-read what they write before posting. I am one of those people who reads each word that is written on the page. When I read something I don’t skip words, so when something is wrong, whether it be a grammar or spelling error, it makes me stop in the middle of my thought. Call me what you will, but I find it highly aggravating to have to stop, mentally make the correction, then get myself back on my train of thought and continue what I’m reading. Even worse is when I’m reading a news article, a book or anything that’s gone through the process of being published. It completely discredits the author and in circumstances where there is one, the editor! Seriously, when you’re printing millions of copies of a book (and making millions of dollars on said book), please make sure it doesn’t have typos.

Then there is vocabulary. I enjoy vocabulary. I enjoy interesting words. Words that you don’t hear often. Like overslaugh. Have you ever heard someone use that word? I haven’t. Anyway, some people employ the use of large words because they think it makes them appear intelligent and well-educated. Usually, it does. Until the word is used incorrectly, either in terms of definition or context. If you aren’t sure what a word means or how to use it, either look it up or refrain from using it. Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be self-righteous and say that I’ve never misused a word (um, it took me 4 months to figure out that a word I had used incorrectly was actually the word groak), but boy, you won’t catch me making that same mistake twice. I only need to look like a jack-ass once, thank you very much. You would think other people would feel the same way.

My point in all of this was to vent (I read something today that had so many errors it made my skin crawl) and to make a case for the increased use of grammar check, spell check and websites like dictionary.com! Stand up for good writing people! Demand it from your authors, commentators and columnists!

Ok, so that was my rant. Now the cool part. Well, at least I think it’s cool. I learned a new word today — a word that I can apply on a daily basis to some of the talking heads on TV…

Bloviator: One who habitually bloviates; a pompous, opinionated, typically voluble commentator.

More fun words to come!

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