06 September 2014

Grammar Nazi?

There are times I wish I'd never started writing. It has ruined the pleasure of just reading for me. Typos my eyes used to forgive now pop out and bring a story to a screeching halt. I understand, however, how these things are easily overlooked. Even with an editor and independent proofreaders, accidental misspellings slip past all these eyes to make it into a published book. Nowadays, one or two typos are no big deal. More than that, you have a problem.

Which brings me to a question: Do readers really care? I see glowing reviews for books in which, when I finally get to read them, I see numerous mistakes. Big glaring mistakes, in fact. Do readers forgive all when the story is compelling?

I hear people speak badly all the time. Sometimes it's for silly effect, such as mimicking the LOL Catspeak of "I can has cheeseburger." But unfortunately poor grammar is infiltrating the media more and more. Hearing an announcer say "most teachers is" or " the players is" sends pain up my spinal cord like fingernails on a chalkboard. Does no one else notice?

Is this all part of the same problem? Has the "dumbing down" of America and the cessation of teaching proper grammar in school made such errors irrelevant? I'm not saying we all have to sound like we've attended Cambridge or Oxford, but we must make an effort to at least sound competent in our own language. When we hear ourselves speaking better, perhaps we'll catch more errors when we write as well.

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