For the love of the English language

I don’t want to be pegged as the Grammar Gestapo or the Spelling Special Squad.  Lord knows the post is above my pay grade, ;-) and I don’t have the patience for it.

But, for the love of the English language, can we (users of all forms of social media) please employ even a passing knowledge of spelling and grammar?  

englishabuse

My cousin was the English teacher par excellence when I was in high school.  She set a high standard and had no problem giving an F in her class if it was deserved. But she was willing to work with her students to bring them to the point of grasping the basic concepts of the language.  Like…

Subject-verb agreement.  Syntax.  Grammar.  Punctuation.  Spelling.  

Are they as outdated as rotary phones and eight-track tapes?

The downside of reading entries on social media is that we get to see how much abuse the English language is subjected to daily.  Blog posts, blog comments, Facebook statuses and responses, tweets… The opportunities to become repeat language offenders are endless.

  • Doesn’t it matter any more how one writes or spells?
  • Are people no longer reading quality material; therefore, they’re not exposed to proper language?
  • Is it that poor speaking has morphed into poor writing?
  • Have we accepted subpar English language skills in the education system, and, as a result, they show up elsewhere?  

I admit that my eyes glaze over at laziness or ineptitude in writing, unless I have a vested interest in a blog or really connect with the writer.  It makes me wonder what can be done to encourage spell checking, dictionary checking, or proofreading our words before we hit “publish” or “post”.

I work with words every day.  I love language.  I enjoy the aptly-used noun, the deftly-applied adjective, the spark-plug of a verb used judiciously to enliven the action it is conveying.   Le mot juste.

So imagine my horror (in some cases) and laughter (in others) when I came across the gems listed below.  Who knows? Maybe these word wranglers are creative, artistic types who are merely taking license with words and terms with which we’ve grown overly familiar!  Or they might just be thinking (or spelling) outside of the box.  

You be the judge. 

  1. Double Aunt Andre
  2. New clear weapons
  3. Invegetable
  4. Sillow wet
  5. Orderbs
  6. Flaming young
  7. Card again sweater
  8. Planktonic 
  9. Terrace attack
  10. Time heals all wombs
  11. Falls gods
  12. Torcher
  13. Jellis
  14. Bazaar
  15. Hollow cost

What are your thoughts on the state of spelling and grammar in the social media world in particular?  Which of the terms went straight over your head, and which did you work out pretty quickly? 


Comments

  1. Yes!! I majored in journalism. I take pride in good grammar and spelling. I was just having this conversation last night about how nauseating it can be. “Your” and “you’re” is my worst pet peeve. How can they not know by now? There are so many things floating around on Facebook that makes fun of it and they don’t see it?

    • I majored in journalism too, Tamara, so I get you re: the crazy stuff that passes as English nowadays. “Their” and “they’re” and “there” are another example. But in some ways I can tolerate that stuff; it’s the made-up words and general laziness that gets to me. Mercy!!
      Alison recently posted..For the love of the English languageMy Profile

  2. Now those were dome dooozies! I am less aggravated since I started blogging. The busy rushing lifestyle of blogging sometimes (especially from my iPad) has me looking less that educated. I always cringe when I see someone reply to my comment but then I shrug my shoulders and hope that they know me better :)
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted..January AddictionsMy Profile

  3. Bwhahaha I am going to to totally use New Clear Weapons and Card Again sweater. I do not use proper form on webs or social media at all so I am guilty of the too, to, and two and I also use ad and add wrong. I know the correct forms but I don’t catch it as I type if I just have the sentence in my mind and type however not paying attention to the actual form until I go back over it at a later date. If it’s too (did I use the right form) bad I will correct it with a follow up tweet or edit it on FB.
    Kita recently posted..The Fashion ReignMy Profile

  4. Oh my goodness! I find myself going back to correct a typo or poorly constructed sentence more than I care to admit. When Rick and I were dating we communicated frequently through cards, letters and email. His correct usage of [to, two, too] and [there, they're, their] gave him a distinct advantage over any would be competitor for my attention. :)
    LydiaF recently posted..Carrot and Beet SaladMy Profile

  5. LOL those are pretty bad. What is the first one supposed to be? I saw a post today on FB that was 10 Signs you are a Grammar Nerd – something like that. I was almost all 10 of them. I shouldn’t be shocked but I kinda was – it was funny though. I know you read my last post. Here’s is a copy and paste of an e-mail my daddy sent me: “What does craughing mean? I saw it on several of the replies to your blog. I couldn’t find it in the dictionary. People can’t be making the same spelling mistake.” My response, “It’s a thing to combine two words to (make up) one word. Crying/Laughing = craughing
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted..The Science Project Story – Part ThreeMy Profile

  6. Eeek! I had to scratch my head at a few of those because I had no clue what they were supposed to be! Lol. I love the English language and hate the way it’s always being butchered around social media. Just the other day I had to explain to a “grown man” the difference between you’re and your. Ugh.

    Great post, Ali. I totally feel you on this!
    Drea recently posted..Let’s Makeup | Featuring MAC Heroine LipstickMy Profile

  7. Alison, I do think social media and technology use has lead to the decline in the use of proper language. That list certainly had some funny ones and some that left me a bit puzzled.
    Wanda recently posted..A Promise Kept {Book Review}My Profile

  8. Finally, someone shares my sentiment. I grew up in an educated household, so oral and written grammatical errors were unacceptable. Now, as a 35 year old mother of a 14 year old, I cringe anytime I see him type comments on social networking sites. I think that the English language is becoming obsolete.

    • Same here, Nakale re: growing up in a household in which correct use of English was expected. We knew dialect and how to use it, but standard English and correct usage were the norm. I hope the language isn’t becoming obsolete!

  9. Hi Ali! I am known in my family as a Grammar Nazi. My mother definitely would correct our English, and we hated that. I always promised myself that I’d never do that to my kids. Broke that one!
    One time, my son corrected me! He was so pleased!
    I also cringe at signs outside businesses that are spelled wrong. One car shop was having a sale on fixing ‘axels’. AHHH!!!
    One of my favorite topics, Ali. I think knowing how to spell and write is a great privilege. And…the spell check helps :)
    Ceil
    Ceil recently posted..Partners in PowerMy Profile

  10. I am VERY guilty of not proofreading my work. I have been better about that this year though!! Forgive me!! I laughed so hard when I read all of those grammar mishaps! “sillow wet” omgosh!!!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted..LIVE from Super Bowl Boulevard 2014 in NYC! {Pictures & Vlog}My Profile

    • Weren’t they some crazy stuff, Nellie?! I had a good laugh at some and shook my head at others. I’m a little anal about proofreading; I guess it’s a spillover from my daily job. But you write very well, and I honestly can’t recall seeing any typos in your posts, so kudos to you!
      Alison recently posted..For the love of the English languageMy Profile

  11. ha ha. I admit sometimes I fudge the two when typing on social media. it’s laziness though… not because I don’t know.

    I think a lot of people also type one or the other and need to read it out loud. Otherwise, the brain will dominantly spell one over the other out of habit
    Michelle recently posted..The Best Way to Freshen and Brighten Your SkinMy Profile

  12. LOL! Some of them look like auto correct horror but I don’t know what the first one was supposed to be. I admit that on Instagram, I’m horrible. Also when I write comment on people’s post from it. My phone does not let me scroll properly, or I’m in a hurry, and I don’t get everything correct. Then I apologize profusely in the comments. I’m trying to get better at it. I do proofread my posts but that doesn’t mean that when I reread later I won’t find something horrid that has to be corrected. Worse is when someone notices it and calls me out in the comments instead of sending me a nice private email (which I feel is the courteous thing to do). Hopefully, I’ve not done anything this bad. Butchaneverknow. :)
    Carla recently posted..Fitness Friday 1: It Has a Great Beat and You Can Dance To ItMy Profile

    • Carla, they should definitely send you an email if they see an error instead of putting you on blast like that. I think we all look back at posts and see stuff that slipped by us the first time. I know I have! Thankfully we can edit our posts after we hit “publish”.
      Alison recently posted..For the love of the English languageMy Profile

  13. I know I’m not perfect, but I HATE when I see there, their, and they’re misused (among other things). I think part of the problem is communicating in texts. People are using “creative spelling” and grammar on purpose, and it flows over into other written communication as well. The part that hurts my heart is that people are starting to think it doesn’t matter. Not you and me, but the younger generation. *sob* What is going to happen to us when nobody think it matters anymore? –Lisa

  14. These were pretty bad. I think society in general has gone downhill in this regard and it’s sad. I know I am not perfect but I do try to proofread and get it right. Once someone completely called me out on something that was grammatically incorrect in a post on why people might not be commenting on your blog. Someone had shared it on Facebook and when I went to comment and thank them, another person had commented that I had used poor grammar in spite of making that comment. Ouch! I fixed it. Basically what I had said was more conversational, but not grammatically correct…it was more of how someone would talk. Lesson learned.
    Michelle recently posted..Tangy Sesame Chicken WingsMy Profile

  15. Oh my! When you said typo I was thinking of more like the your and you’re, which is easy to glaze over and miss after you review your post a few times. I sometimes go back and reread posts even days, weeks and months later and will correct something I found to be wrong in them. I know I’m not perfect and can miss things. However, these typos you mentioned….seem more than typos and just…like maybe someone doesn’t know the real word for something. Almost like a child learning how to say spell something they’ve only heard for a few years of his or her life. Awkward. LOL.
    Brittnei recently posted..Countdown in Style- Week 9My Profile

  16. That’s the problem, Brittnei. Words that can easily be checked in a dictionary are reimagined in a totally new spelling and context that leave readers scratching their heads. It’s awkward for the reader, but it doesn’t seem to be awkward for the people who write this stuff. I guess the internet has made public what before was only seen by a select few. Everyone can put his or her writing, good and bad, out there. There’s no filter, so we are exposed to it all. Some of it is funny, but a lot of it is just plain sad.
    Alison recently posted..For the love of the English languageMy Profile

  17. the ‘you’re/your’ error could possibly be one of my biggest grammatical pet peeves. or ‘their/they’re.’ one of my good friends who is a lawyer, gunning to be partner, always gets your and you’re wrong. i constantly point this out and he reprimanded me, that he was always going to get it wrong and to just leave it at that. i was appalled. he is a lawyer!!!
    Catherine Gacad recently posted..Pregnancy Question #2: Diaper DecisionsMy Profile

  18. *Hangs head* I am guilty as charged. I’ve been trying to work on it, but I know I make these mistakes for sure!
    That first one had me scratching my head!

  19. The first one is “double entendre”, Kalley. Unbelievable but true! LOL
    Alison recently posted..For the love of the English languageMy Profile

  20. Oh my WORD!!! Pun INTENDED!!! LOL

    Any time I see a ridiculous spelling error in a writer’s posts, I naturally lose respect and interest. It’s just not good enough- for me and it should NOT be good enough for that writer.

    I am behind you all the way in this Alison!!!
    Chris Carter recently posted..Devotional Diary: SeasonsMy Profile

  21. Oh my goodness. I had to say most of these out loud to get them. “Flaming young” took me the longest, but I got it. It would be funny if people weren’t truly using these as real words that they think are spelled correctly. Wow.
    Dana recently posted..Introducing my love listMy Profile

  22. Bahahaaaaaaaaa…that last list is hilarious!!! Alison girl, you took the words right out of my mouth!! For the LOVE of Christ. It is NOT THAT hard! Your and you’re; there, they’re and their; were, we’re and where, and to, two and too…to name of FEW of my writing pet peeves. Girl I can’t, I won’t, I refuse! And drops mic………..
    Michell recently posted..Mastering YOU Monday…mind over matterMy Profile

  23. This post. THIS POST!!!! I am laughing and shaking my head all at the same time. I’m going to spread the love and share this post. Yes ma’am.
    Andrea recently posted..The Working Poor: Just Having a Job Isn’t EnoughMy Profile

  24. Thanks, Andrea! I knew you would be able to relate. The struggle for the English language continues… LOL
    Alison recently posted..For the love of the English languageMy Profile

  25. I really enjoyed this, thank you for saying what so many have probably wanted to say. :)
    Debbie @ Heartbeats Soul Stains recently posted..Sportsmanship, Confidence and ArroganceMy Profile

  26. I was brought up on all of the above mentioned grammar/spelling rules. As a Communications student in undergrad, it became the norm to shorten words and sentences. But, this whole English-less society is a bit much. The teens don’t even know how to form subject/predicate sentences. I get lazy with my tweets at times, but for some reason, my texts are always correctly punctuated and thorough…go figure, lol!
    Sherelle recently posted..Grad School Bound: Who Knew?My Profile

  27. I agree completely! I agree with proper punctuation and grammar. How difficult is Spell Check, etc.? There are too many electronic tools available for spelling and grammar to be incorrect. I remember how important these elements were for me throughout my educational career; it’s sad what’s occurring now-a-days!

  28. the state of social media and grammar today is scary.. i am particularly concerned about the next generation as they are so used to writing in 140 characters or less that in translates into their everyday writing as well.. also, it’s making people lazy. they are not taking the necessary steps to proof their work, etc.. the list above is hysterical though…
    Cassandre recently posted..A Snowy Super Bowl Monday and Music MondayMy Profile

  29. I read this post twice from my cell phone, though I commented but I guess it didn’t go through. Girl. you are so on point with this one. I thing because of social media/ technology, folks started using all kinds of short hand to communicate. It’s gotten to the point where as long as you can figure out what’s being said (what it sounds like), grammar and spelling becomes irrelevant. I’ve been guilty of using some short hand like “ur” for your, but I can’t stand when I see too for 2 and other’s you’ve noted. That list at the end…smh…lol. GREAT POST!!!!
    Hope recently posted..Birthday vlogMy Profile

    • Hey Hope! Thanks my dear. I marvel at the foolery that passes itself off as English nowadays. It this keeps up, there will come a day when we will not recognize the language! Here’s hoping that day never comes.
      Alison recently posted..Got Superpowers?My Profile

  30. Oh, this kind of thing makes me crazy, too! I heard a funny one the other day on TV–wish I could remember it now! You know, I’d feel a lot better if people would just get down “your/you’re” and “its/it’s.”
    Hausfrau recently posted..Four Tiny French CookbooksMy Profile

  31. I LOVE THIS POST! I am constantly complaining about this (my kids have heard it so much, THEY are now starting to complain about it!) and I am appalled at how poorly kids are at spelling and proper grammar! Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in my frustration! :)
    Suzanne recently posted..Empowering Children to Believe Anything is PossibleMy Profile

  32. Judging by the number of comments on this post, I’d say you hit a nerve!
    I’m dying laughing at the list of, um, creative spellings. “Orderbs” sounds like something you’d order with a really bad cold. :)
    Alexis recently posted..Bring it, 2014: Goals for the YearMy Profile

  33. Oh, my eyes!! I can’t believe those misspellings are real–that’s just terrifying. I do my best to proofread my posts, and my husband is pretty reliable at pointing out any typos he finds in my blog posts. I used to edit comics, so I like to think I’m pretty good with grammar, but no one is infallible!!

    #SITSblogging
    Angela @Little Apple Tree recently posted..The Year In Books: FebruaryMy Profile

    • Same here, Angela. I edit for a living, so I guess the errors leap off the page for me. But a lot of it could be avoided if people would proofread before clicking “post”.

  34. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Sure, my grammar is not 100%, especially when I start rambling on and on, but it is nothing compared to the atrocities I’ve seen. Some of the spelling is outright shameful. The sad thing is that it is everywhere, not just this country. Have you ever seen the movie Idiocracy? Sometimes I feel that is truly the way we are headed.
    Amanda – A Cookie Named Desire recently posted..Red Wine Brownies Recipe with Drunken CranberriesMy Profile

  35. Yes please know the difference between your and you’re! After you’ve learned those two please look into learning their, there, and they’re. I want to scream when I read status updates from adults and they write things like “luv it” and “totes.” You’re an adult, write like one please.
    Allison B recently posted..Why I Don’t Do My Kids School Projects For ThemMy Profile

    • I learned “totes” just about a month ago when that TV ad with James Earl Jones was airing. I love slang, but I think folks go way overboard with it, especially grown folks.

  36. I think most people have gotten lazy due to social media and all of the language short cuts. My biggest fear is for the youth under 30. The younger they get, the more scared I get.
    aimee fauci recently posted..8/31/05 My Baby Turns From a Blue Baby to a Pink BabyMy Profile

    • Aimee, that’s the group that’s most lax with language. Here’s hoping they can turn it around in their favor before they forget what real English looks like!

  37. I have SO much love for this post! I love finding others who still care about basic grammar- it’s refreshing!

    -SITS Love
    Alisha @ Pondering Reality recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  38. Hi! I’m visiting from the SITS comment love tribe. I feel like I am constantly correcting grammar at my house, though I do love how little children speak. (aminal instead of animal or pasketti instead of spaghetti, for example) I have to admit some of your list had me confused until I read them out loud. My husband and I had a good laugh at New Clear Weapons.
    DB Landes recently posted..How to Spray Paint SnowMy Profile

    • Some of them were hilarious, DB, but others were just sad. It’s as if the English language is sliding down a steep slope and very few people are interested enough to want to save it from further degradation.

  39. Some of these are funny. It is true that in this age of social media, some rules of grammar and spelling tend to go by the wayside. It’s a shame actually but so true.
    Alecia recently posted..Tasty TuesdaysMy Profile

  40. Great post!
    I, too, am a word nerd. It pains me greatly when someone uses poor grammar or spelling. I understand that English is alive and therefore changes, but you can’t break the rules until you know the rules. I think your second and third questions are hitting the point. People read poor quality materials, they will write poor quality text. People learn to write just like they learn to speak. I’ve always been saddened by the fact that reading and writing are secondary to science and math in schools. You can’t do either of those things if you can’t read!
    Remember when it was fundamental? Writing is too. #SITSBlogging
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  41. I’m good at grammar and spelling but my punctuation isn’t perfect. My husband wants everything he posts on Facebook to have perfect grammar and spelling so he always makes me check it for him.
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  42. I loved this! I too am guilty of being quick or being on social media with auto-correct. That makes errors worth. I really liked the reminder and will slow down in the future. One person said errors to her were like fingers down a chalkboard. Point well taken! #SITSblogging
    Laura Hinckley recently posted..Valentine Deviled Eggs! Turn them Red! Fun and Delicious!My Profile

  43. I have to double check Your and You’re all the time, I hate when I’m in a hurry and don’t catch it until after I’ve hit publish! Stopping by from The SITS Girls.
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  44. Amen to this! I come across ridiculous spelling and word misuse every.single.day. It seems 25% (I’m being generous) of social media users snoozed through years of school. If I’m not sure of a word, I google it or look it up in the dictionary. Not sure why others haven’t caught on to this tactic.
    Andrea recently posted..Lemon BarsMy Profile

    • Yes, you’re being generous, Andrea. I’d say it’s more like 40 percent. And the thing is, it’s easier nowadays to check these things because of all the online tools that are available!

  45. I am right there with you! All these simple grammar and spelling mistakes can drive me wild at times. I was an English major in college, so words are my thing too. And that list is unbelievable-I have to hope that some of those (Please, God) are the result of auto correct… Always nice to meet another Alison with one L! #SITSBlogging

    Alison
    Nancherrow

    • Yes! Here’s to Alisons with one L! Although some of these errors are autocorrect flubs, most of them are pure, unfiltered ignorance, which seems to be a superpower nowadays.

  46. This made me laugh! I agree with you 100%! I receive pitches from bloggers to pass on with brands we are working with everyday and I am sorry, but if you have spelling errors the e-mail gets passed on. I think people should take pride in their speech as it’s such a reflection on them! Bloggers especially! Words are our voice! We want to come across as powerful and professional!
    Amanda recently posted..Amish Baked Oatmeal with Slow Cooker ApplesauceMy Profile

    • That’s the truth, Amanda: we should be coming across as professionals, not as language slobs. No way would I want to work with people in a professional capacity who don’t take their written communication seriously.

  47. “The opportunities to become repeat language offenders are endless.” <—- Yes! Yes! Yes!
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  48. I had to click on this post because I am right there with you. It drives me nuts. I am also the person that types out full sentences via text and back in the day with IM. so yeah, I’m lame :)

    #sitsblogging
    Rheanna recently posted..Valentine’s Day Nails with JulepMy Profile

    • You and me both, Rheanna! I guess old habits die hard. Once you’ve been taught to write clearly, it’s hard to veer away from that. I think it’s a skill we should be proud of. We’re not lame at all!

  49. YES YES YES! I am often known as the grammar queen, correcting people’s errors on Facebook. It drives me insane how people think “It’s social media – it doesn’t matter” but to be quite honest, I often can’t even figure out what people are trying to say. If your point is lost to poor grammar, don’t bother posting.
    Carrie recently posted..Litter Genie Essentials Pail Saves the Day! #CollectiveBias #shopMy Profile

    • Amen, Carrie! If I have to work too hard to decipher people’s posts, I consider that they have poor communication skills and I am wasting my time attempting to make sense of their mess.

  50. Oh gosh, I knooooow how you feel! This sort of things always drives me crazy (of course, a typo escapes editing from time to time). Depending on who did it, I usually say something. I have a friend that always types “thoughs” instead of “those”, and she’s the type that would be hurt by my pointing it out. It drives me CRAZY!
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  51. Wow, that’s a funny list! I tend to place a lot of importance on grammar and spelling in my writing. I proofread like crazy to make sure everything looks and sounds right. It bugs me when people don’t proofread their work before publishing. It’s usually very obvious.
    Ashley recently posted..Lush HaulMy Profile

  52. HAHAHA I cannot even begin to figure them out. I really can’t.
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  53. I think everyone has gotten so casual with texting, social media, and the like that they just don’t worry about it anymore. At least that’s what I hope and not that they don’t know any better! I am a stickler for grammar too, so these things bug me to no end.
    Andi @ The Weary Chef recently posted..Creamy Dijon Shrimp PastaMy Profile

    • Yep, they are literally bugs in our rugs, Andi. It calls for a lot of patience when reading a lot of what we find online. It’s good to know, however, that so many people do care about their writing!

  54. These are great! I try not to be a grammar nerd, but some people just drive me nuts. Texts are the worst, the abbreviations and “autocorrect” lol. #SITSBlogging
    Desperate Houselife recently posted..Why You Need a Home WarrantyMy Profile

  55. i’m with you alison. misspelling jumps out at me and screams, “uneducated!” but i’ve known too many intelligent people who just can’t spell…don’t even know the difference between your and you’re. i guess i’m too out of date…or not!
    had to laugh at double aunt andre! oh my:(

    • You’re not out of date, Martha. There’s a pervasive laxness when it comes to language that is a bit scary, to be honest. And yes, Double Aunt Andre is a classic!

  56. Ah Alison, it’s so hard to get the balance between “grammar police” and “it doesn’t matter as long as it’s understood” isn’t it? I am a bit fussy about apostrophes but my spelling is awful, I also tend to type too fast and publish my comments before properly checking them so typos are a big problem for me. I also find the whole American/UK spelling thing a bit of a problem sometimes – mold/mould, color/colour, organization/organisation, center/centre – I’m sure there are loads more!
    I love your list, you really do have to say them out loud to know what was meant, all that said though, didn’t Shakespeare spell words in several different ways, and if was good enough for Shakespeare….
    Julie recently posted..3 Pink BraceletsMy Profile

    • Yes, but Shakespeare was a literary genius, Julie! Most of us can’t get away with the poetic license he took with the language. But I do get your point! LOL

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