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July 30, 2003
A Note on Blogging and Grammar
Posted by Frank J. at 12:50 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (59)

I was going to write some Frank Answers™ today, but I'm going to have to put that off to discuss a different topic now.

Everyone knows what a pet peeve is, right? It's just something that makes you irrationally angry for reasons you can't quite describe. Well, since starting blogging, I've encountered a brand new pet peeve that by far out matches any previous one.

Here's a little secret about my site: all anger is acted. Wit takes a clear mind, and I am not funny when angry. What's great is that I am very hard to get angry. That's why I was able to respond with wit to hate mail; the people writing were completely unable to get a rise out of me. When writing my popular hate mail to Michael Moore, I was laughing and smiling the whole time. If you want to see the only actual instance of me being legitimately angry on this site, read my immediate response to the comment by Minstrel in this post. That's completely out of character for me (I almost never use swear words, and only use them in posts when I think it adds to the humor value), and I felt bad right after writing it. But, I was so angry, that I didn't stop to think that Minstrel is a reader of my site and probably a fan and meant the comment with no animosity, instead, I was so enraged, I just wanted to rip right into her. If she were standing next to me, I probably would have grabbed her by the neck and shook her.

So, let's be clear on something. I am not a high school drop out. I am not retarded. I do not sniff glue. In fact, I was the first person in my junior high to get a hundred on all my tests in English. I graduated high school as a Valedictorian. I got a 1570 on my SAT's. I graduated from a very prestigious engineering college with more than an 3.8. In short, I KNOW FUCKING “THEY'RE” FROM “THERE” FROM “THEIR”, “ITS” FROM “IT'S”, “TO” FROM “TOO”, “YOUR” FOR “YOU'RE”, AND ALL THE OTHER GODDAMN HOMOPHONES!

Maybe some people had never written before except to comment on my grammar, so I will explain this very carefully. You see, before you write something, it first appears in one’s mind as the spoken word. Instead of very carefully typing each word out and pausing to make sure it's spelled correctly and make grammatical sense, the subconscious quickly takes over and takes the spoken thought in one’s mind and transfers it to written language using a number of heuristics it has picked up throughout the years. It is extremely flawed. It will often write the wrong homophone (and forget the question mark for a question... but that's neither here nor there). That's why there is a thing called proofreading. The problem with blogging is that I want to get a post out quickly, and thus I am forced to proofread right after writing. That usually doesn't work too well since what was meant (not typed) is still fresh in mind. I will catch a number of grammatical errors in that proofread, but I will not catch them all. Sometimes, I will come back an hour or so later after posting and reread a long post to catch more errors, but I don't always have the time.

That's why I actually like it when people e-mail me corrections (I don't like them in the comments because it makes no sense after the correction is made). Pointing out mistakes in my post is doing me a favor. But here is how you phrase a correction.

In this sentence (excerpt of sentence) you accidentally wrote "you're" when you meant "your".

See, in that correction, the person shows that he knows that I understand proper grammar and simply made an inevitable error.

What you do not do ever... EVER... is lecture me on grammar like I’m some fucking four year old. It does not matter how politely you try to do it; I will hate you forever. And I mean ever more than a hippy or a Communist, because it will be a deep, personal hatred.


I will put a permalink to this on my sidebar for future reference to new readers.

P.S. There will inevitably be grammar mistakes in this post. That is not ironic, that is apropos, especially since I was a bit angry when writing it.

Rating: 2.6/5 (27 votes cast)

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