Dear Grammar Police, yes you over their.
If the ‘their’ really bugged you and made you want to comment and correct me, then I am speaking to the right person. Yes you, Mr or Mrs Clever Clogs who are so clever that other people’s mistakes NEED to be pointed out by you. Ridiculed or just smugly corrected, preferably in a public way.
I have plenty of people on my list of friends on social media who get their ‘theres and theirs’ confused. Who write somethink instead of something or have something ‘pacific’ to say rather than something ‘specific’. Do you know what though? I wouldn’t dream of correcting them and making them feel small or rightfully angry with me.
Unless you are stood at the front of a classroom teaching, then really what right do you have to correct other people’s grammar or to post things mocking the ‘mistakes’ others make?
My grammar is definitely not perfect, I write exactly how I speak and often that involves a few Cornish inflections and mistakes. However, I know that people can understand me and I really don’t care what anyone else’s opinion of my grammar is.
However, some people do care. Some people are hurt and belittled by your smug corrections. There are people with dyslexia or other conditions that cause them issues with spelling and grammar that they can’t help.
Some people just aren’t great at spelling or with words. I know dyslexic bloggers who work so hard to get their voice out through their blogs and who won’t always spot the errors that a spell checker misses.
Then there are some people who trawl the social media platforms just aching to find someone to correct.
Seriously if you are that obsessive over grammar … volunteer at a school or an adult education centre. As really, apart from when talking to your own children, that is the only time it is okay to correct someone’s grammar when they haven’t asked you to. It is actually just plain rude in my opinion.
Don’t make others feel that they shouldn’t have a voice and that what they have to say isn’t important purely because they didn’t spell or get the grammar to meet your high standards.
Basically don’t make others feel bad to show off how ‘clever’ you are. Don’t make others withdraw and not get involved online because they are worried they’ll sound ‘stupid’. And read this …