Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blogging and Bad Grammer: When the hell did writers stop learning how to write?

Did you notice it?

The computer age, started with the UniVac Computer back in 1947, has revolutionized the world in many ways...but possibly the most incredible revolution has taken place among the writers' community.

Gone are the days when a writer (probably an excellent one) would be turned away from a fantastic career because the publisher was in a bad mood that day. Want to get published? Do it on the web! Want to publish a book? Do it for free with CreateSpace. Want to be taken seriously? CHECK YOUR WORK.

By now, you have either noticed the glaring typo in the headline, or you're one of those people who A) either doesn't care or B) doesn't know the difference. If you're a reader and don't care, that's fine. If you're a writer and you didn't see the spelling error, shame on you.

Time after time I read articles and blogs posted on the web that have foolish typos, incorrect grammar, and even entire words missing out of the headlines. Ok, an occasional misuse of "you" in place of "your" or an unintentional "the" floating somewhere may be acceptable. But kids, your computer has a wonderful spell checker. Why not use it already??? (clue: if the word is underlined when you type it, you did it wrong)

I just read an article on a PROMINENT blog site, about Social Networking. It was written by an industry "expert" (that term gets thrown around a lot these days; Social Marketing Expert, Paranormal Expert, Alien Abduction Expert...) whose grammar was pretty awful for someone who is supposed to be college edgeecated, and he left a word out of a headline. The whole word!

Doesn't anyone proofread anymore? Come on!

Ya know, in the ’50s, if you wanted a job as a writer, you had to be an expert writer. That meant years of learning the ins and outs of the English language, grammar, punctuation, communication skills and proofreading.

Today, you are all lucky enough to be writers - published writers - without even going to college. If you can write fairly well, and people enjoy what you have to say, you will be successful, at least in the context of web publishing. But you won't have the luxury of an editor, proofreader or typesetter to cushion you against the world. What you type is what gets read. Dig? The world is looking at your posts, and forming an opinion about you through them. Do you want them to think you're a dumb ass? Hell no!

Proofread your work before you publish. At least make sure there are no glaring typos, like in my headline. Learn the difference between "it's" and "its", "your" and "you're". You'd be surprised how easy it is.

By the way, make sure you always double check your facts too. Just for fun, I threw a bad fact into this post. Can you spot it?

1 comment:

  1. You know when I first read your title I didn't notice grammar was spelled incorrectly.

    Grammar is one of those often misspelled words.

    "clue: if the word is underlined when you type it, you did it wrong."

    Sometimes spell check underlines words that are spelled correctly.

    Chris I'll admit that Grammar is not one of my strong point, but I'm one hell of a writer.

    Nonetheless, I never purposely ignore misspelled words.

    I think I'll make a list of every word I spell incorrectly this week starting with the word incorrectly as when I first typed it I forgot a c. lol :)