I posted the above pic on Facebook earlier today because I felt a bit disheartened. I’ve spent a chunk of this week posting, editing and generally primping a three-part series of pieces by Edinburgh’s Makar for the ELISA website. I admit I feel pretty proud of those posts. I contacted the current Makar and asked her to write something for ELISA and she obliged, pics and all! It feels like a bit of a coup.
The first part went live on Wednesday but, so far, the only feedback I’ve received was a notification that there’s a “Wee Typing Error in the Post”. I don’t know what or where. I made a joking response but the nitpicking stung me somewhat. It’s a longish post, full of interesting information, images and poetry – but all someone thought to say was “Typo!”
Incidentally, I joke about this sort of thing but I increasingly experience it as a kind of online bullying. Though my grammar is good, I’ve never been a great speller – thank the gods for spellchecker! Even so, I always feel compelled to check and double-check everything I post because I know the tiniest error will be picked up and pointed out by some ‘helpful’ soul. It’s nerve-wracking.
I honestly don’t understand why they do it. As Angry Puffin up there says, as long as your point gets across, what does it matter? People can be as precise (and anal) with their own writing as they wish – but what makes them think they have the right to correct others?
Angry Puffin says “pretentious and idiotic”. I say “bullying and oppressive”.
It’s different if someone asks to be corrected of course. A learner or someone trying to improve their language skills. I have an Italian friend who sometimes seeks advise on english-grammarly things. Also, I’m learning gaelic so welcome input on word order and suchlike in that language.
As far as english goes though, I’m not asking. While I’m writing I relish the flow and play of words. The odd typo, here and there, won’t cause the sky to fall. I endlessly footle with my posts in any case so I’m likely to pick up errors in time. And if not, so what?
Grammar Nazis and Spelling Fascists – D’you think these terms came about by accident? You may actually think you’re being helpful but folk wouldn’t call you nazis if they enjoyed what you’re doing. A lot of folk probably just find you irritating but I’m sure there are others, like me, who find your criticisms upsetting or oppressive.
Please think before you correct. Thank you.