Grammar Snobbery…Reading With Your Nose Up

Some people loathe poor grammar as much as some people loathe poor manners.  They read a piece of writing and become appalled at grammar errors like a belch at the dinner table.  First thought that comes to mind is, what’s wrong with this person?

Like Chris Tucker says to Jackie Chan’s character in the movie Rush Hour, “do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?”

Do you understand the words that are coming out of this screen?  Even if the grammar was atrocious, I think you would.  Not wanting to read someone’s writing because of their written English errors is like not wanting to have a conversation with someone because of their less than perfect spoken English.  Would you rather hear about the tales of a person who lived an interesting life in broken English or the life of an English language scholar who lived in a box their whole life?  Sorry Sultan of Brunei.  Your English is not good enough so I don’t want to talk to you.

I guess their isn’t a rite or wong when it comes down to what you prefer.  You like what you like.  If I possessed advanced basketball playing skills then I would only get enjoyment from playing with people who had similar skills. Why would I want to play with someone who sucks?

I think sometimes that’s the rationale behind reading blogs.  Readers with advanced written English skills prefer to read posts written by people with a similar skill level.  I think I prefer that as well but when it comes to writing…grammar and other English correctness is not the be all and end all.  To disregard the content of an article because of simple grammar mistakes is letting your ego get the better of you.

If the grammar and spelling are so poor that it becomes a chore to comprehend then it would make sense that you would might not want to continue to read.  But most grammar and spelling mistakes are just errors of formality that can easily be understood.  Can you understand this?… Yo, wazzup bro.  We gotta get goin cuz we gonna be l8.  If you can understand that then you can easily figure out that their was supposed to mean there and its was supposed to be it’s.  If you can easily understand then what’s the big deal?  It might not be the exquisite piece of written art you were hoping for but it might have as much to offer.  The idea seems to be that if your grammar is not up to snuff then it’s an indication of the quality of material that you are able to produce.

My written English is good enough for most but at the same time probably not ideal.  Proof reading for me is more of a chore than it would be for others who are more advanced at written English. There’s going to be more errors on my first draft which means I am more likely to miss something when I reread it.  Sometimes I make simple English errors and don’t know any better.  When it comes to errors with misplaced modifiers, words that should be capitalized or a semicolon…if it bothers you that much then I guess we can’t be internet friends because I’m just a ghetto blogger.

Stellar grammar would be ideal because there isn’t any confusion when reading a grammatically correct piece of writing.  Even people with a sub-par English understanding will better comprehend a grammatically correct piece of writing than an atrocious one.

I know, I know, it seems confusing to some people that so many can mistake using their for there but just like anything else, if it happens often then there’s a perfectly good explanation for it.  It might not be perfectly glamourous but it’s justifiable.  Perhaps they dropped out in the 8th grade and spent their adolescent years living on the streets.  Maybe correct grammar is so overwhelming for them that checking all aspects of their written English would not be worth its while for a mere blog.  Maybe that’s just too bad for them.

Again, in the end, it’s your preference as to what you want to read.  I bet you though, the formally uneducated homeless adolescent has many more interesting poorly written stories than most grammatically correct university graduates and working stiffs.





9 comments on “Grammar Snobbery…Reading With Your Nose Up

  1. I still have to meet an interesting blogger who writes poorly, which may mean I value content or substance more than the unerring use of English. I will admit, though, that a blogger taking the time to proofread what he or she has written is better appreciated. Such practice shows respect to both the reader and the language.

    Still, gaffes every now and then are justifiable. My hidden blog is proof of that. Hey, I ain’t perfect. 🙂

    I do love your writing, by the way.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Yes for sure, proofreading is something that should always be done. I find that proofreading is more effective if done a little after the post has been written. My brain and eyes are kind of tired after writing something. I don’t do that though…haha. I proofread it right after writing and then press ‘publish.’

      And thank you, by the way.


  2. cctyker says:

    Quoting you: “I bet you though, the formally uneducated homeless adolescent has many more interesting poorly written stories than most grammatically correct university graduates and working stiffs.”
    Personally, I’d love to hear the street kid’s stories. Notice I said “hear”, not read. I’m not sure the kid could write well enough for me to understand the meaning of his words, especially if he wrote in the idiom you used above (Yo, wazzup bro. We gotta get goin cuz we gonna be l8.). Go too much farther with that lingo, and this old man would have to live in the kids area for a long time to understand what was being said.

    Wouldn’t that be something; maybe scary for me, to live where muscles win, weakness loses, and old age is a rarity. I wonder why?

    Quoting you again. “I guess their isn’t a rite or wong when it comes down to what you prefer.” First I don’t care about “wrong” being spelled “wong”. What I wonder about is the word “rite”, as defined in a dictionary as – “An established ceremony prescribed by a religion.” You got some hidden meaning in that word usage I can’t fathom?

    I get the feeling you believe grammatical correctness has some merit, and I agree. I love sentence constructions that use decent grammar. I’m apparently one of those snobs you find fault with. Hell, all that grammar is, is a convention developed over history that generally improved understanding of the written word. It’s not a law like Newton’s Law, F=MA (Fart=Mass times Air.) Grammar is only convention and it changes over time; you might be part of that change too.

    Toodle do!
    (A way to say good bye in the 1920s)


    • MrJohnson says:

      Young people these days often send text messages in that format that you don’t like. It’s a good indication usually of how much they like school.

      I was using “rite” as an example of how someone might spell “right.” No hidden meaning..haha

      You’re right, I do think there needs to be at least some degree of grammatical correctness. As bloggers though, we shouldn’t be held to the same standards as professionally published material. We’re not working for the Huffington Post! If I come across a blog and it has simple grammar doesn’t matter to me as long as the content is entertaining in some way.

      Peace out
      (A way to say goodbye by youngsters)


  3. I haven’t been blogging / around the blogosphere much, but, believe it or not, you’re (lol) blog’s one of the few that I missed reading. No BS. I love it. BS is BS.

    Grammar nazis are just regular nazis in disguise when you think about it. People getting “offended” over poor grammar is, well, it’s offensive. I’ve also noticed a trend; the people that seem most offended by poor grammar often can’t grammar themselves. Grammaring properly is actually pretty difficult if you wanna do it properly. For one thing, you can’t make up words. Which kinda sucks. Grammaring – a new gerund? I vote yes. Let’s call Oxford. Stop the presses.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Ya I’ve noticed you haven’t been too busy around the blogosphere. I figured you went and got a life..haha. Mr. Robert, I had no idea you felt that way about this here blog. I’m flattered and thank you for saying so.

      I guess even grammar nazis need a code to live and die by. People pick on grammar all over the internet. It’s part of their comment arsenal. I guess we’re still living in an age where better grammar puts you in a higher class. They can all conjugate my rectum. I would stop blogging if I was no longer allowed to make up words..haha


  4. BerLinda says:

    Oops – looks like I touched a nerve! Still, glad you didn’t get put down 😉


    • MrJohnson says:

      No no, you inspired a nerve..haha. I think it’s good to write about your perspectives. It’s fun to make people feel uncomfortable as long as it’s valid and not hateful. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but I kept forgetting. I’m at the stage of my life now where I need to write everything down but am still in denial. The vet didn’t think I had a valid reason for being put to sleep. He said you were full of shoit, O’Grady.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BerLinda says:

        Ha ha, yeah, I’ve had that diagnosis before 🙂 I’m past denying that I need to write stuff down – I don’t even use my phone like a normal person. I carry a diary around with me 🙂


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