If You See Something, Say Something

I like to think that my published posts are error free. No typos. No misspellings. No incorrect word usage. No punctuation faux pas. No grammatical errors. But I am my own proofreader, my own editor. And thus, my eyes often see what my brain is expecting them to see. And my brain is not expecting to see typos, misspellings, incorrect usage, punctuation and/or grammatical errors.

So I’m asking you, my fellow bloggers, to give me a helping hand. When you read my posts, if you see something, say something. Let me know in the comments if you spot an error, a mistake. I’m a big boy. I can take it. And I’d rather know of my error and fix it ASAP than let it be discovered by countless bloggers forever and for eternity.

I promise I won’t shoot the messenger.

Thank you

Blogging Insights — Reformed Grammar Nazi

Dr. Tanya has decided to change things up a bit for her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Instead of using the Q&A format, she provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and ask us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week, quoting author Ruth Rendell, Tanya wants to know if we are grammar Nazis.

“What I mind in modern society very much is the awful lack of grammar.”

When I was in elementary (aka grammar) school, I spent a lot of time diagramming sentences. Grammar rules, proper punctuation, and correct use were emphasized. As a result, I grew up with much the same attitude that Ruth Rendell expressed. It drove me nuts to encounter grammar, punctuation, and usage errors. I used to get really annoyed and would actually stop reading anything that displayed poor grammar. I thought that there was simply no excuse for such errors, especially when I found them in published works where, presumably, an editor, or at least a proof reader, was involved before publication.

I will admit that I have mellowed quite a bit vis-à-vis poor grammar. While it still bothers me when I come across blatant grammar, punctuation, or usage errors, I try, like the proverbial duck, to let them roll off my back.

That said, if a blogger’s posts are regularly filled with grammatical errors, incorrect punctuation, or inappropriate usage, I will likely stop reading his or her posts. Especially if he or she uses an apostrophe to make a word plural.

Truthful Tuesday — The Grammar Police

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts, and this week Frank wants to know…

What are your thoughts on Grammar? Are you part of the Grammar Police, or are you a Syntax and Spelling Renegade? Explain.

Blogging is a communications medium that relies on the written word. I believe that to be effective communications via the written word requires at least a fundamental proficiency in punctuation, grammar, and usage.

Thus, I’m more on the grammar police side of the equation. And to illustrate my point, I’m not a fan of the way that Frank used capitalization in his question for this prompt. Why did he capitalize the words “grammar,” “grammar police,” “syntax,” and “spelling renegade” in his question? Not only was it grammatically wrong to do so, but it was totally unnecessary.

On the other hand, we bloggers are only human and we make mistakes and typos. Most of us don’t have an editor on retainer to review our drafts and to correct our grammar, punctuation, usage, or spelling errors. So sometimes our posts aren’t grammatically perfect.

And I concur with Frank about using “text speech” in blog posts (like “U” and “K” for “you” and “okay,” respectively). That’s not okay.

Bottom line, I believe that, as Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is the message, and that blogging is a medium of the written word. Hence, for a blogger to get his or her message across, proper grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling are a must.

So sayeth Fandango, a member in good standing of the grammar police.

“ent” and “ant”

A39D4C26-BC49-4184-824A-35D019E749E7Today’s one-word prompt from Sheryl at Your Daily Word Prompt is “dependant.” The problem with that word is that my spell checker keeps highlighting it and my autocorrect keeps changing it to “dependent.” That’s because I have my spell-checker and autocorrect set to US (American) English. And in American English, dependant is a misspelling.

According to my exhaustive research, in British English, “dependant” can also be spelled “dependent.” In British English, dependent is an adjective, and dependant is a noun. “Dependent” is the adjective meaning needing something or someone else for support: Many adults are dependent upon coffee to help them wake up in the morning. “Dependant” is a noun used for a person (such as a child) who relies upon others for care: The parents must sign for a dependant to be able to have the surgery.

But for those who use American English, the word “dependent” is used for both meanings. There is no word “dependant.”

Interestingly, the word “defendant” rhymes with the word “dependent,” but the former ends in “ant” while the latter end in “ent.” This is just another example about how screwy the English language is. And that doesn’t even include the myriad other spelling differences between American and British English.

And don’t even get me started on the differences between how punctuation relative to quotation marks is different between American and British English, which I whined about here.