Spelling and Grammar for Dummies

In real life, I am generally a non-confrontational, easy going person.  I don’t usually correct people’s grammar, or pronunciation, unless they are actually my students.  Facebook, however, is a different kettle of fish.  I am not there for the small talk and the making nice.   Well, with some people I am, but not with  everybody.
I sometimes correct spelling and grammar mistakes.  Sometimes people get angry about this.  They see it as condescending and sarcastic.  Sometimes, they are right.
In the incident that triggered this blog, people were actually  arguing about the Garden of Eden story, and a couple of them were taking it quite literally.  So, when one of them wrote “Adam and Eve weren’t white, per say,” I corrected him.
He called me a petty motherfucker, but he capitalized petty, for some reason.
There are three common types of mistake when people write  Facebook comments in English.  There are probably more, but three I’m going to write about here.
First, there are typos.  Of course, when people write something like ‘covfefe,’ it’s a  totally  inexcusable typo because you know darned well that they got a squiggly red line underneath it and didn’t even try to find the correct spelling.  Really, it only takes a second, and that helps a lot with words like ‘occurrence’ and ‘appropriate.’  The computer won’t help you, though, if you spell ‘car’ as ‘cat’ or ‘America’ as ‘American,’ which I’ve done a few times.
Second, there are non-native errors.  I’ve been teaching English as a second language for twenty years, so those are not hard to spot.  I leave them alone.  I am constantly amazed at how many people around the world speak English, and many of them, despite an occasional misplaced article, use it more effectively than we do.
Then, there are misspellings like ‘per say,’ ‘loose’ used to mean the opposite of ‘win’ and ‘could/would/ or should of,’ instead of ‘have.’
These mistakes are caused by people knowing the words from conversation,  and not from print.  The same problem can exist in reverse, and it’s rather comical.  I knew a woman who named her dog Keenoo, because she was a fan of Keanu Reeves but apparently just knew his name from the credits and was pronouncing it wrong.
The thing is, people not reading is part of the problem.  I mean, the whole world problem.  People who don’t read don’t really know enough to argue competently on almost any subject more complex than whether Candy Corn is the most disgusting candy ever or the food of the gods.  Yet,  they do.
The scary part is, they do  not seem to realize that people  who do read can recognize them immediately, and then they get angry  when they’re called out.

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