Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spelling, Grammar and the Joy of Facebook

I feel a tad lazy posting this one day after my regurgitation of some good old fashioned creepy/sad Craigslist requests, but I couldn't help myself.

I was privy to some amazing English teachers in high school and once I graduated, I realized how lucky I had been for their guidance. They not only set the tone for college, but for my interest in writing as well.

Thanks, ladies.

Anywho, on Happy Place, I have once again found a way to kill 15 minutes on a single web page and not get bored. Before I even mention what it is, I should say I realize I am tempting the spelling gods by posting about this. Once someone complains about their hatred of grammatical errors, they are doomed to not only commit one, two, five, but also have a group of people seeking them out with a fine-toothed comb, looking to catch any possible mistake.

I'm ok with this fact.

Spelling errors drive me crazy. Please note, I'm not talking about typos or the short sighted errors that incidentally happen in writing quickly. Mistakes happen, c'est vrai?

I am talking about misspelling words that were drilled into us as children, then as preteens, then as teenagers, and maybe even for some of you, as adults. I'm talking about the following:

  • Its and It's
  • Your and You're
  • There, Their and They're
  • Our and Are
  • To, Too and Two
  • Weird (does it look weird because the e is coming before the i? That's because it's the correct spelling of the damn word!)
  • Awe (I'm referring to this not as in "I'm in awe of you!", but more specifically, "Awe! What a cute baby!"). I suppose the same could go for ewe (which is an adult female sheep, by the way, not total disgust).

These are the words that drive me the craziest, although there are a few more, and some are even mentioned in a brief tutorial here. If you don't find the picture of the man riding the manatee helpful, I don't know what will.

[Quick side-note: I hope you don't think I'm a total asshole because of this post. I am merely venting (but really, if you have trouble with the above words, you should commit the differences and proper usage to memory)]

Back to Happy Place. Today I spotted "The Best Obnoxious Responses to Misspellings on Facebook" and voraciously read it from top to bottom. I couldn't help myself. Yes, Facebook is a social media website, and should be a relaxed environment where people should not be afraid to post based on their spelling inabilities; I know this is true. 

However, I am constantly shocked at the creative liberties people take with their writing, as well as what people are willing to put out into the nether regions of the World Wide Web, especially to their loved ones (wink, wink; nudge, nudge). If I'm being honest, there are a few people I'm still friends with on Facebook simply because of their ludicrous (and/or ludicrously spelled) posts.

It can get a little cray-cray, y'all.

Whenever I see Facebook misspellings, I think of one English teacher in particular (if you graduated from LBHS in the last 25 years, I'm pretty sure you know who I'm talking about). One, I doubt she has a Facebook profile; it just doesn't seem like something she'd want to take part in. Two, if she did, I'm positive she would never be online; the grammatical mistakes alone might be too overwhelming for her (we're talking about a woman who wrote out a draft for her 'thank you' notes before committing them to stationery). Three, she was sharp as a tack with words; she had a way of censuring some people in refined language, thus putting them down without them knowing it.

I kinda loved that about her. But much to my dismay, an even amount of students disliked her compared to those appreciated who she was. 

I feel like she'd have a response similar to this if a time ever arose to use it:

Poor Larry didn't see that one coming. He should probably take a page out of Tashanda's book and learn to self edit:

Like they mention on Happy Place, this correction is less obnoxious, more utterly brilliant. I seriously have no clue what she's saying, but the fact that she reviews her posts gives me hope. Keep up the good work, Tashanda! You go girl!

I try to be relaxed about most things, but words, spelling, grammar; they're my tic. They're the thing that won't leave me alone.

And thank goodness for that.


  1. Awe in place of aw always makes me want to tear my hair out, too. In my head, I hear the person pronouncing it AW-ee. So fricking annoying!

  2. Amycakes! I'm so glad I'm not alone in this annoyance! I figured that by posting about it, I could point it out to all "awe" offenders at the same time! Thanks for stopping by!


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