Does grammar matter?

[deleted account] ( 164 moms have responded )

Does it bother you (as a reader) to read all of the grammatical (spelling, capitalization, punctuation) errors on these posts? Do you find it difficult to read such posts or to take them seriously? I realize not everyone can type and, for some, English is not the primary language of the writer. However, I am deeply concerned for the future if the trend of poor grammar continues. Texting certainly does not promote proper grammar. I also see that email is generally less formal than in the past. I am sure I will get criticism for this question. I am not asking for that, nor a critique of my posting. Rather, refer to the top: I am asking if "it bother (sic) you (as a reader) to read all of the grammatical (spelling, capitalization, punctuation) errors on these posts? Do you find it difficult to read such posts or to take them seriously?"

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Stifler's - posted on 06/03/2012

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I am not into picking apart peoples spelling mistakes or obvious typos but command of the English language is important when communicating with others solely in text format. At least write legible sentences/paragraphs.

Johnny - posted on 06/03/2012

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Actually Amanda, I'm only judging the people who admit to nit-picking minor grammatical or spelling errors, not the ones who won't slog through endless unbroken paragraphs, writing in text, ALL CAPS, complete lack of punctuation or other such atrocious acts similar to this obscene run-on sentence. So if that doesn't apply to you, don't take it too personally ;-)

Amanda - posted on 06/03/2012

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This forum seems to be way off track. Just because some of us won't read a post we cannot decipher, does not, necessarily, mean that we are judging the poster. The title of this post is DOES GRAMMAR MATTER? This is a discussion forum, so we can all post no matter how we feel, but I do not recall reading a single poster who says, "People that make grammatical mistakes are idiots, dumb, stupid" or anything else along those lines. However, it seems that all of the people who do not think it matters think those of us who do think it matters are judging them. I am not judging a post I can't read. I am also not taking the time to read it if I have to put more work into deciphering it then they do in writing it. It's just not worth it to me. I grade papers for high school and college students five days a week; I get paid to slog through their nonsense. I am a part of this community for fun and friendly advice, not to work.

Stifler's - posted on 06/03/2012

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Yes. It bothers me a lot. The main thing that is important is paragraph breaks. How can I read something that is about 2000 words with no paragraph breaks or full stops and manage to understand what you're talking about and respond?

Johnny - posted on 06/03/2012

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I am truly concerned about the state of the education system and the very poor level of literacy skills amongst such a large percentage of the population. I have seen 'Idiocracy', and while I agreed with it in general principal, it was also a tad simplistic for my tastes. I think that the proper response to this is to advocate and attempt to drive political and social change that will place greater value on education and literacy, not to get all upset because people are demonstrating poor grammatical skills on a mom's forum. They are the symptom, not the cause.



As far as I am concerned, it is not acceptable for poor grammar and spelling errors to be present in journalism or academic papers of any sort. It irritates me greatly to see the ineffective or non-existent editing that seems to take place at most journalistic enterprises today. Opening my local paper had become such a painful exercise that I cancelled my subscription. I might as well read the badly written pieces for free online.



Circle of Moms is simply not the place for the 'grammar police' to take action. I agree that a certain standard is desirable, providing readability at a minimum. However, this is a site for mothers of all nations, all levels of education, a variety of backgrounds, and different personal issues to seek help and support. Women need not be excluded or critiqued because their literacy skills leave something to be desired. If you want to fight a battle to for a higher level of education for all, I would encourage you to do so. But please, consider that not all mothers have had access to the education or support we might wish that they had.

Danielle - posted on 06/03/2012

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I've been on the 'net since before there was a web. At that time, if you posted anything online in the newsgroups, you were likely to have your tukus flamed to a cinder if you made many mistakes in your post. The thought process then was if you're going to post, then you did it in such a fashion where people were able to read and comprehend what you were sharing. It wasn't the readers' responsibility to determine your intention. Now so many cry foul on those who bother to apply their elementary school education online & express a desire for others to do so as well. There's nothing wrong with writing well and there's nothing wrong, in my honest opinion, for wishing others would take some pride and put a conscientious effort into writing well too. Saying it's wrong for us to hold ourselves and others to these standards makes way for society to become even more dumb down than it has become in the past 20yrs. I don't know about you, but that's a super scary thought for me.



If you haven't seen "Idiocracy", you should. Maybe then you'd have a better understanding of why some of us are very concerned about the status of our nation's education system and the continued degradation of our society's writing capabilities. The fact that there are many more errors with newscasters, in newspapers & in articles is proof of this. Some blame texting. IMHO it's because it is no longer acceptable to hold others to higher standards. I guess that's to be expected given schools keep socially promoting kids to the next grade when they haven't mastered what they were already supposed to know from previous grades.

Allene - posted on 06/03/2012

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Thank you!
Incorrect grammar drives me nuts!
You are right; sometimes people can't help their spelling; and capitals/punctuation/paragrahs even I abuse when I am excited.BUT grammar needs to be corrected. Maybe someone can come up with a "grammar-checker" on our computers!
Grandma Allene

Valerie - posted on 06/03/2012

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and I know I should leave this alone, but it's killing me - there is no "E" in grammar :(

Valerie - posted on 06/03/2012

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Hello Michelle. Err has a few different meanings, but one is to "be incorrect". I did not make a mistake (this time, because I DO make mistakes). I wouldn't write "As humans, we are", because that is an incomplete sentence. ;)

Michelle - posted on 06/03/2012

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Valerie, I see your point of view. But looking at all posts or whatever it may be ..as wrong because of the spelling error or not the right commas, punctuations and etc. I think it is stupid to a certain extent. Too many people criticize others all because of spelling something wrong and so on. What happens when you screw up in that matter..? Do you want someone...saying , " hey look how they write...they are so stupid, they can't spell right...thank God I am not like that."
No, I don't think you want that and neither do I. I think that someone should treat others with respect, wether or not they don't do their grammer in correct form of what someone thinks it should go.
If so, then Valerie, you may want to look at your spelling in one of your sentences. I am not someone who spells right all the time and don't put my grammer in there correctly sometimes and so many out there who claims to be perfect doesn't either.
Here is your sentence....
As humans, we err.
I understand what you are saying.. As humans, we are.
Not everyone is perfect of course. I know, I am not. So, some things can be overlooked.

Valerie - posted on 06/03/2012

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Michelle, there's a point that plays into the equation - the wife knowing her husband "so well". Let's pretend that the husband is a habitual cheater, and their marriage is on the rocks because of this. Or, let's pretend that the husband is, in fact, an excellent speller, so a misspelling would not be the norm for him. :) Does that change the way you view the error? :)

I'm not sure what a grammar-less error would be, unless it is a spelling error, and I can assure you that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but I doubt anyone thinks they are actually perfect. As humans, we err. Plain and simple. I think the issue here is not mistakes, but the blatant lack of respect for the English language, such as the basic fundamentals of English that we learn in first through third grade, for example. How to construct a sentence, how to spell words the way they are spelled (not phonetically, not how we "want" to spell them, etc.), and the difference between past and present tenses are all important factors in written communication. While individuals who are raised speaking and writing a different language sometimes struggle with English since it is not their native language, it should not always be a crutch one falls back on in this instance. Naturally, some may have difficulty constructing sentences and remembering how to correctly spell words, and that's understandable. One of the best writers in my class is a girl from Russia, a girl that turns in impeccable work and has excellent written skills.

The question asked if we are bothered by misspellings and grammatical errors. The question did, however, ask if we judge the people who make said mistakes.

Michelle - posted on 06/03/2012

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Valerie Steffes,

I thought it was a little funny about the post you wrote about the husband texting his wife. But one problem...all because of he wrote is wife saying he wished she was here and didn't finished spelling "here" for "her". I would think that if his wife knows her husband so well, then she would know what he is writing her.

Besides, not everyone has the perfect spelling or grammerless errors as some think they are so perfect.

Michelle - posted on 06/03/2012

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Johnny,
I agree with you about everything you had written in your last posts. You are right!

Too many people judge about someone's grammer. But, the way I see it. Yey one may have a problem with their grammer or even misplelling a word. They could have that problem and yet be better at something else compared to the person judging the grammer problems.

Jlpdesign1 - posted on 06/03/2012

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Oh, thank you for this post! YES, it bothers me that poor grammer is the norm rather than the exception now. Even when listening to news casters on television, my ears cringe at the errors!

Valerie - posted on 06/03/2012

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Danielle, I feel your pain. I, too, am a student and I dread my team assignments. In all honesty, I always choose to do the editing of the paper because I just rewrite it 99% of the time. The students I have been in class with for the last 4 years don't seem to care that they are not writing college level papers, but rather 3rd grade papers. I don't think they actually look at my suggestions, which prompted me to just make changes and then submit to the team for approval. The paper is always approved, and I doubt anyone really takes the time to look at the changes I made and make mental notes. Initially, I complained to my academic advisor because I was really distraught over so many things. First, it appeared that the instructors were not making any suggestions to main forum posts that were all over the place. Some were so bad that it was impossible to understand. I hoped that this was dealt with in a private post to the individual forum, but found it it most likely was not. Second, I did not feel that I was in a classroom setting with my peers. That's when it dawned on me that there was no entrance exam, and I brought this up as well. My advisor explained to me that since I took an entrance exam when I first attended college many years ago, and that since my credits transferred with no problem, I didn't have to take an entrance exam. I honestly think ANYONE can get into this college, and I regret my decision daily. I, too, started with the intent of obtaining a degree in a field I had already been working in for 9 years. Once I obtained that degree, I decided to pursue my passion, which was not what I was currently doing. I also have to agree that my papers, as a result of seeing other people get an "A" on a paper or in the class for doing far inferior work, have not been a reflection of my best work. I don't try as hard anymore. I did have one great team for a few classes, and we decided (against my better judgment - I tossed and turned every night until we got our grade back) to test out our theory that the instructor either never read our papers, or simply did not care about sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. We wrote a paper that I was embarrassed to put my name on, and we got an "A" on it, surprisingly. I also have to add that this particular team was a team full of women who all valued their education and took school seriously and were excellent writers. These women really pushed me to get back into the school mentality as far as my writing. I miss them :(

Valerie - posted on 06/03/2012

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ironically enough, just this morning someone posted the following one Facebook: "One spelling mistake can ruin your whole life. A husband sent his wife an email while on vacation. The email said 'Having a great time, wish you were her'"

I love this!! lol

Johnny - posted on 06/03/2012

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The sad thing about this thread is that many of you may be missing out on interesting and intelligent thoughts because you are too busy nit-picking grammar. I do notice minor grammatical errors, however, I don't bypass a person's comments simply because they may not know or have received proper education in English grammar. Many people manage to get all the way through school and graduate, even get into reasonably good colleges, without actually having been taught all the rules of proper grammar. It is a constant complaint amongst college professors. I am not excusing the poor education system, I think the situation is atrocious.

I think if you are looking for perfect grammar, the internet and a casual internet forum for busy moms is probably the exact wrong place to be doing it. If it really bothers you when people are either too busy, don't know better or are texting from a phone, and make the terrible mistake of using your for you're, then you will probably find it challenging to deal with the majority of posts in this forum.

There are behaviours such as using all text speak or writing in all caps that are too much too accept. However, if you are actually here to share with other moms and not to be the grammar police, you should probably just learn to let those other small errors slide. Otherwise, you are probably going to have to skip 90% of the posts and miss much of the interesting and thoughtful commentary.

Katie - posted on 06/03/2012

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If you wish to be understood, clearly and concisely, you should at least ATTEMPT proper grammar and spelling. When I read misused words, like to instead of too, it causes me to have to interpret intent instead of breezing by and absorbing the sentence. This is my main complaint about this issue. I don't have a problem with misspellings...those are forgivable. The intentional laziness of using your in place of you're is not misspelling, it's miscommunicating. If you want to be heard, without building in frustration into your post, do it right. When I see too many errors like those, I go past your post, ignoring what you had to say because I get tired of the interpretation irritation. This isn't judging you as a person, whatsoever. I'm just letting you know that if your message is important enough to take the time to type, you really should put the effort into doing it right.

Danielle - posted on 06/03/2012

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@Karen -- have you seen Sesame Street's more recent Elmo music video. It's a parody on "I'm Sexy & I Know It" that is subtitled/close captioned to say "Kid's look at these crayons..." I fired off an email to Sesame Street on it. I grew up on Sesame Street. They held high standards for the educational content they provided to kids around the world to help them learn to spell, learn to think, etc. and they repeatedly used the wrong "kid's" in their music video. If Sesame Street is going to make such a blatant error like that and not bother to correct it, it makes me worry all the more about our society continuing to slide into the abyss portrayed in Mike Judge's movie "Idiocracy".

Danielle - posted on 06/03/2012

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Amen to Shelley!! I'm getting ready to go back to school online. I will have to read posts by my classmates, and I know from experience I will find myself wondering why in the heck they're in college as well as how they managed to graduate from high school. Teachers & professors seem to assume to take the "intent" versus "actual product" into consideration when grading projects, and expect us to do the same for what they provide us. I'm paying $1850/class in an attempt to get a piece of paper that says I can do what I've been doing for 20yrs because employers have added so much importance/hype to college degrees, yet professors & students aren't being held to the standards of the past that actually gave validity to the assumption that a college degree meant the student was knowledgeable in the field of study & knew how to write. While the major slacking in students & teachers using correct grammar makes it easier for grading but makes for much less professional results out in the real world.



Also, with my reading more mistakes by others, it doesn't keep my own writing skills up to the level they used to be. Probably has to do with there being less competition/examples of superior writing thus making it harder to keep pushing myself to improve my writing skills. And in an attempt to "just get along" with those who do a crappy job of sharing their thoughts, I've had to work at turning off my internal copy editing filters, which means I don't easily catch as many mistakes as I might make.

Jeannie - posted on 06/03/2012

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Nope- not judging the "yeses" - annoyed by the ones who get soooo upset over the errors made. God forbid they should ever make a mistake! Yes, it bothers me - TO A POINT. I am also one of those who automatically proof-reads - newspapers are the biggest offenders LOL. As for the IQ - just wanted to point out that not everyone is quite as "intellectual" as some who post on here and DO judge others so harshly. Just because I personally know how to spell, etc, does NOT mean that everyone does. Many get basically ignored in school because the teachers don't want to "mess" with them so they don't learn. Many do NOT get to finish school, for whatever reason, but that doesn't make them less "intelligent" - just less educated.

Carol - posted on 06/02/2012

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Of course I care about good grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It is distressing to see so many errors, especially when they are avoidable. One of the best things about the computer is the ability to edit immediately and correct any typos. However, relying on spell check is a big mistake. Spell check is useless when it comes to homonyms, which may explain the perennial problems with to, too, and two. Please, people, pay attention to details and say what you mean, as clearly as possible!

Amanda - posted on 06/02/2012

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I created a post like this once, and all I got was backlash and hate about my post. I hope you have not gotten that as I have not read others' replies yet.

Yes, it does bother me that people want to communicate on a forum, yet they don't bother to think about how their communication is portraying them. Typos and such are not a big deal, but this is not a TEXT this is a forum. Capital letters, complete words, and punctuation are ESSENTIAL to meaning and understanding.

Karen - posted on 06/02/2012

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I agree Jan! Case in point, a book I have for my son drives me insane! It's an alphabet book. "B is for Bear, who I cuddle at night." Anyone care to tell me what is wrong with that sentence? Anyone? Anyone? It should be "whom I cuddle at night." With whom do I cuddle? I cuddle him! If the answer is "him" or "her" the question is "whom?"

JAN - posted on 06/02/2012

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I for one was as English major always see the errors not just grammar but spelling errors but in emails and texts overlook them. But what bothers me is when I see them on menus, store signs, advertisements and other printed material. Those errors are the worst. Not only were they sent to the printer but they were sent back to be proofed.

Valerie - posted on 06/02/2012

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Johnny - in response to your post regarding the typo (omission) of the second "o" in too, one can tell if it is simply a mistake (it happens once) or if it happens all the time (every time the word "too" is supposed to be used, the word "to" is used instead, or vice versa). I can't speak for anyone else, but a simple typographical error does not bother me as much. Actually it really doesn't bother me at all, if it is obvious that it was simply a typo.

Jeannie - shame on you for being judgmental of the judgmental! (lol) but seriously, the question asked if we were bothered by this heinous act. Yes, we are bothered (the ones who answered "yes") but that does not equate to being judgmental. For example, I don't like dogs, but I don't judge them, either. By not reading a message because of many errors, yes, we may be missing out on some insightful information, etc., but in all honesty, it requires too much effort to decipher the hieroglyphics that are sometimes posted. It's more of a headache, kind of like translating a foreign language into your native language, than anything else. If the subject isn't that great to begin with, I just click out of it and go somewhere else. It appears to me that you are offended by the "yes" responses. We are all entitled to our opinions in life, and in this case, we are all entitled to answer truthfully, if I am not mistaken. You are labeling the "yes" individuals as judgmental, which isn't fair.
BTW....My best friend (bless her heart) always posts her (imagined) IQ in online forums when backed into a corner and claims her uncle works for the CIA (he does not). Anyway, my friends have the kindest hearts as well, and I love them dearly, but the kinder the heart, the worse the spelling. That's simply my experience though.

Dora - posted on 06/02/2012

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I try to think of the intent of the writer. Good thinking can occur without good grammar. If I can get the message, that's the most important thing. However, I am concerned that we're really falling into horrible writing and speaking habits. And yes, that does bother me. I wonder sometimes what has happened to the teaching of proper language in the schools. To use good, clear language you almost have to understand something about the structure of the language. We learned it in elementary school. We even diagrammed sentences. Some people didn't agree that diagramming was useful. I just happened to enjoy doing it. I also realized that the diagramming helped me to understand the structure of the language. I can respect the thoughts of a writer even if she breaks all the rules of grammar, but it is refreshing to read things that are well written.

Diane - posted on 06/02/2012

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if its a communal blog/board like this, it doesnt bother me. above im refering to news agencies etc.

Diane - posted on 06/02/2012

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it bothers me when the article is incorrect. writing is the profession of the author. do it right, please. otherwise it comes off as lazy.

my excuse is i type one handed as im holding the baby and have to reach strangely for the keyboard...as many moms here. :)

Diana - posted on 06/02/2012

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I, too, seem to have a proofreader hiding in my brain. BUT as long as I can understand what the writer is trying to say, I overlook the mistakes. We all have our strong suits and our weaknesses. Let's be understanding. And ... let's try to make sense when we write. Read it through a couple of times.

Pat - posted on 06/02/2012

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It sure takes the fun out of a casual conversation when you have to worry about crossing yout T's and dotting your I's. Really, i sure didn't think that my every word was going to be scrutinized. Wow!

Karen - posted on 06/02/2012

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Oh my, YES! It does bother me! I, like a lot of people, use capitalization to emphasize certain words to make my point. Also, like a lot of people, I am not a perfect typist or speller, however, I do my best to edit my writings when necessary. It is Very difficult to take some people seriously when they constantly use "your" for "you're," confuse "they're," "their," and "there," and say things like "could of," "should of," or "would of" instead of would, should, or could HAVE. I even use proper punctuation in my text messages and usually I spell out all of the words.

Jeannie - posted on 06/02/2012

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Omigosh! I would never have thought there were so many well-educated geniuses on CoM! And sooo un-accepting of others not being their equals! My personal IQ at last testing was 137. MOST of my closest and dearest friends were NEVER made aware of that - didn't come close to mine- but had the biggest and best hearts and intentions in the world! I look to see the INTENTIONS of the person, not the so-called "intellect". Grandpa had an 8th grade education and was one of the wisest people I EVER knew! I suppose I should have judged HIM??? I think NOT!

Junia - posted on 06/02/2012

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There are typos, and there is just ignorance. English is not my first language, and even I can master the difference between their, there, they're, then, than etc... It's not that hard! If an adult like me can learn anyone can!

Paulette - posted on 06/02/2012

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What upsets me most is when job hunting and the ads FROM the companies have misspelled words, words left out and improper grammer....but will refuse YOUR letter or resume if you do the same by accident.....

I also do feel texting will destroy our English language. Lots of kids are having problems using proper grammer because of texting and tweeting etc.

Jeannie - posted on 06/02/2012

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I've noticed several people commenting on those using all caps. I had a friend on a game I once played who did that, and was criticized steadily for it. THEN we learned that she was legally blind and couldn't SEE the smaller letters. She explained, and MOST backed off. I do wish you all would take that thought into consideration. If you refuse to read a post because of grammar, spelling, or caps, you just MAY be missing the most interesting, and helpful, post. Shame on you for being judgmental!

Johnny - posted on 06/02/2012

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Huh. Interesting. Tough crowd. As I said in my previous post, I do prefer when people use paragraph breaks, proper punctuation, and capitalization in order to ease readability. I also abhor posts entirely in 'text speak'. However, I had no idea that errors, such as typos which forget the second 'o' in too, were so egregious. Frankly, this all makes me a bit paranoid. What will happen if I miss something in my double-checking and editing prior to posting? I feel quite badly for those who are learning English as a second language or who may struggle with a learning disability. I suppose they should be required to mention that at the beginning of every post?

Melissa - posted on 06/02/2012

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It absolutely matters.It is very irritating to me to find so many errors everywhere!

Valerie - posted on 06/02/2012

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my disclaimer in addendum to my post - I am human, and I do err. My issue is not with a typo caused by typing too fast where the letters are transposed, but rather blatant mistakes, such as "I like too go there to" or "I like that to". My biggest pet peeves are "grammer" instead of "grammar", the mixing up of your and you're, too, to, and two, and there, their, and they're. I'm sure there are others, but those are my biggest :) My grammar isn't perfect, but I do attempt to write sentences that make sense. I guess when you go to a parochial school all of your life and the importance of spelling is ingrained in everything you do, you take stuff like that seriously. (and by "you" I mean "I", lol).

Aurelia - posted on 06/02/2012

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Yes, it drives me nuts!

The majority of people here probably had access to 12 or 13 years of education, right? I can certainly excuse the ones who don't speak English as a first language. But the rest of them should've had ample opportunity to learn at least ONE language correctly. It's not about being a straight-A student, it's about having a basic foundation for communication.

(Is it really THAT hard to learn the difference between there, their and they're?)

Jeannie - posted on 06/02/2012

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Yes, I spelled it thru. Sorry if that offends anyone - that's been my personal choice for many years.

Jeannie - posted on 06/02/2012

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It DOES bother me, to a point, but I also realize not everyone went thru school with A's in anything to do with words as I did, and forgive. What DOES really bother me is the "texting abbreviations" used in a forum like this one - there's a place for everything and this isn't it. I HATE having to do all those shortenings in text, but am restricted to 160 characters, therefore......
No, I do NOT have a problem understanding what is said, (usually)-- and I ALWAYS take posts seriously. Why would I not? Just because someone doesn't know, or use, proper spelling or grammar, does NOT make them a lesser PERSON, just lesser educated. I will NOT slight someone because of that.

Ann - posted on 06/02/2012

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Grammatical and spelling errors tend to lift off of the page before I even being to read something. I am not perfect and don't expect anyone else to be, but yes, these errors really do bother me. Before I post anything or send e-mails, I will read them several times to check for errors.

[deleted account]

Typos don't bother me, ex. teh instead of the. We all do that. However when absolutely no punctuation is used and all I see is slang in all caps, I have no interest in reading the post. I will absolutely think that a someone with the IQ of a dead box turtle wrote it.

Alexandra - posted on 06/02/2012

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Yes, it bothers me dearly. There is no excuse for grammatical errors.

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