December 5, 2011

A Writer's Life - Corect righting

Maybe I'm overcritical, but some things really strike the wrong chord with me. I'm talking about bad grammar. And it is all over the blogosphere. Or, to be more specific, book blogs, and this makes matters even worse.

No one is immune to the odd typo or mistake when writing. This is really not what I'm talking about today. I'm referring to horrible grammar that is almost painful to look at. Now you might argue that my own blog isn't exactly a stronghold in orthography. In my defense, English isn't my mother language. While I consider myself to be (almost) fluent and quite eloquent (on good days, anyway) I know that I make plenty of mistakes. Maybe none that would make the grammar police come knocking on my door on a daily basis, but they might stop by every now and then for a nice cup of tea nonetheless.

Copyright by Amazon Japan

Then there are bloggers (which shall remain unmentioned) who are from the US or the UK, so they should have a better sense for their native tongue (one should think). I've read blog posts that were littered with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes that would make their former English teacher drop dead (not sure whether the teacher would die out of shame or shock, probably both). Maybe I'm the only one who cares, because hundreds of followers on those blogs can't be wrong, but to me this is just horrible especially because these bloggers obviously love to read and ... well, maybe I simply shouldn't assume that readers make writers.

One fine day a certain blogger announced she's thinking about writing a book. She also admitted to having terrible grammar. Needless to say there was a big fat mistake in her short statement. Here's a thought: if you know you're not close friends with orthography why not try to snuggle up to it and get to know it a wee bit better? Either that or start looking for a good editor, 'cause otherwise ... yikes!

Then there is another blogger who always gets one particular word wrong and I have no idea whether no one dares to tell her this or maybe I'm just oblivious to a hidden meaning of the word she uses. Of course I could ask (in a private message, not in a comment, mind you). Maybe I should. Stuff like that won't make me fall asleep at night, ha.

Bottom line is that I wouldn't keep on following certain blogs if the overall content wasn't good. Still I wish that some bloggers would take more care when writing their blog posts. I mean, come on! We are book bloggers! We should know the written word better than most!

Today I'm extra curious about your opinions, so comment away! And in case you find any mistakes in this post, I'll bye you a beer!

Didn't find a mistake? *ahem*
Then you should read the previous sentence again, because I put one their.
You might want to read the last sentence again as well.
No one said I couldn't have fun playing the grammar-game!


  1. Great post, Birgit! Now I'm dying of curiosity trying to guess that particular UK blogger! :) I don't like beer can we settle for you bye-ing me a glass of vine? *grinning* Their, their, girl *patting myself on the shoulder*
    My biggest problem is punctuation. The rules of Russian and English punctuation are so different most of the time I automatically follow my native language rules, and cosequences be damned.

  2. Their you are, girl! *handing over a well deserved virtual glass of Austrian wine*

    Ha, punctuation. Tell me about it. Rules in German and English differ as well, but with any luck I get it wright ;-) most of the time. Often it seems to me that in the English language authors just take a hand full of commas and scatter them across a text like confetti. Maybe I should make an effort to actually look at punctuation rules in English, because so far I go by what feels right, hahaha!

    P.S.: Hmmm ... should I be worried that you already know it's a blogger from the UK and not the US?

  3. I can't stand making mistakes, well, maybe that's because I am a teacher, after all :) I am always a little ashamed when I write in a hurry and make a spelling mistake, so the moment I realize that I delete the comment or the post and write another, more carefully. The moment we completely forget about grammar, we night consider ourselves savages :))

  4. Don't get me started. I am a total stickler for orthography, and grammar comes right next. That being said, I must point out that grammar mistakes that make us cringe might be a local peculiarity. My husband - and he is not the only English person I know who does that - always says "I have ate" which makes me go ouch!
    One of my bug bears is "per se" spelled "per say". I see red when I see that. If you don't know Latin, then don't use it!

  5. Ahaha, Birgit! I seem to recall that there is a UK blogger whose grammar is suffering, but I really don't remember who it is. I think the reason people do not comment on spelling mistakes is politeness. What if that person is dyslexic? Then they wouldn't see what's wrong in their post, dyslexics can't spot their mistakes. So the rest of us just try not to pay attention to these mistakes. Of course, blogging is one thing and writing a book is another...

  6. I dare say that not just that blogger's grammar is suffering ... the readers of the blog are suffering too :-D !

    Being dyslexic, of course, is another thing entirely. With the "examples" I mentioned I'm fairly certain that "Case 1" simply needs to work on her grammar, and "Case 2" has trouble with one particular word only, and that might be her very own trademarked word creation, who knows? ;-)

  7. Oh dear... gulp! <<< a UK blogger.

    Well, I know I have looked back through my blog and seen many a typo and a grammo. I have to hurriedly go patch it up and hope no one noticed. It's always after I publish the thing - I never notice them when I read over what I've written beforehand.

    I'm not going to profess to being that good with grammar. I don't know the ins and outs of it and go mainly by experience.

    I think the British are lazy with their language, perhaps because learning foreign languages is not something we do best. (Maybe I'm talking for myself here!)

    I tried to learn German in university but the whole class was pretty much made up of people whose first language wasn't even English. I can't even fathom trying to learn a language through another language that isn't you own.

    Whilst everyone else started picking things up at a much faster pace, me and one other English student were pretty much left in the dust because a lot of the grammatical terminology went straight over our heads.

    Needless to say, I still can't speak German. How is anyone supposed to remember whether a table or a chair is male or female?

    I think my speaking accent has an affect on my writing - especially on message boards, Facebook or Goodreads where writing is naturally more relaxed. I hope it doesn't pop up too much in my blog.

    I'm from 'ampshire where we don't pronounce our t's or our h's. I caught my mum saying "we do things different 'ere" and I don't know where she picked that up from but surely it couldn't have been me? Obviously I'm a bad influence.

    I do agree however that it is irritating when you see the very basics being ignored such as their/there or its/it's. Saying that, I still get a little confused between effect (noun) and affect (verb). Most of the time I think I get it right (crossing fingers) but it's always something I end up doubting!

    Of course now I'm paranoid that I have made a number of heinous mistakes throughout this reply so I'm going to go away now and hope very much you're not talking about me...