If you live your life in a box, it really doesn’t matter how pretty it is on the outside.
I just came to the following conclusion. We will all make mistakes, with regard to our grammar, punctuation, misspellings or typographical errors, sentence structure, proper capitalization and word usage (context).
This is, of course, speaking to those of us who are diligent with regard to such things. How can we who are well educated, and take precautions in such matters, look down upon or reprimand those to whom a lesser quality of education has been afforded, if we ourselves are prone to making such mistakes?
It is time for heavy-handed insults regarding writing skills, as pertaining to conversational internet use, to come to an end. Not everyone has been given a chance at a quality education, either through the failings of their school district, a home life that was not conducive to learning, or issues and situations which might be seen to have created a learning disability in one way or another.
It is time we stop creating and forwarding messages which call to attention people’s grammatical and spelling mistakes in public. Not everyone knows the differences between; “their”, “there” and “they’re” or “your” and “you’re”. Quite honestly, not everyone is able to grasp all the complexities of written language, including me.
It is not our job to police the internet for improper word use. We have the ability to educate those who struggle, but not the right to insult them. It is akin to telling someone that they are ugly, when we know that their worth does not come from how they look. One’s worth does not come from their financial wealth or lack thereof. Neither does it come from lineage, race, abilities, intellect or educational background.
With these truths in mind, I have come to the conclusion that, in the end, an insult is the result of pride. In the case of the grammar police it is simply the pride that says, “You should know better. I know better than you, see?”
It is acceptable to take steps toward your own betterment, to strive to become a better communicator via the written word. What is not acceptable is belittling another based on the quality of their writing skills. If we wish to help, we need nothing more than to be honest. Sharing the tools and lessons learned while writing will allow others to make use of those same resources and learn through our experiences.
For example: While composing this post, I used Google or spell-check to look up the spelling or correct usage of the following words in order to be sure that I was correct; heavy-handed, conducive, grammatical, betterment and nor (which I did not end up using).
In the process I stumbled upon a great resource. I have been reading The Grammar Devotional by Mignon Fogarty (a.k.a. Grammar Girl) and yet was blindly unaware of her website, which is listed on the back of the book (Duh!), until I searched to find the correct usage of the words: neither and nor.
Here is a link to the site, for reference:
When to Use “Nor”: