Grammar Cops

By: JD Author, Reporter-Journalist

The way you just corrected my grammar has changed

My life forever.

 Said No One Ever!.

Today I was quite tickled when I received an email from one of my blog followers and I felt like sharing it with you.  I also hope it will  enlighten people on etiquette when it comes to correcting someone on their grammar, punctuation or use of sentence structure.  I for one know I am not perfect when it comes to writing.  I will be the first to admit that I have gone back several times and re-read articles that I had written years before and scratched my head, wondering Did I ever proof read that?? Punctuation and I have a love-hate relationship often. The reason it was amusing you ask… Because in their email, they had 4 spelling errors, multiple inappropriate uses of pronouns and terrible punctuation. Pot meet Kettle!

I try to make it a habit not to throw the same grammar Nazi stones at fellow bloggers, because I know how irritating it is when other people (especially the narcissist who thinks they are smarter than everyone else) corrects mine every chance they get.  Sure I appreciate when a close friend suggests I proof-read something, but sheesh (yes, not a real word according to spell check), must you call attention to it EVERY TIME??


Yes, it is true (don’t faint despite your shock).  When you tend to correct someone often, you think you are being helpful, when in all reality you’re (I was so tempted to put your here) being annoying. It may be true that you want to show off your skills and intellect, but you’re really showing me how much a smug party-pooper you are.  So to keep from making other bloggers or social media guru’s feel belittled, just celebrate their creativity and expression.  They are after all, bold enough to embrace the writing creativity they have, on a global platform.  Some of us put ourselves out there for the world to see because it is healing, relaxing, or just a medium for coping with life’s everyday happenings.

So the next time you surf the internet, troll social media or read someone’s adorable but misspelled meme, try to remember a few simple alternatives;

Embrace the persons creativity. We live in the real world, so be real. Even with the crap spelling and grammatical errors, you must not be so naive as to not grasp what the post was TRYING to say or represent, correct?  Embrace the meaning or the spirit and intent behind the post instead of the errors.

Choose to ignore it.  Ignore the post and say nothing.  You can always take Thumper’s advice. If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything.  Hide it.  The joy of social media is the ability to un-follow or hide posts we do not care to see without using the remove friend option. someone. This choice works well when you sit on such a high pedestal that you just can’t seem to function unless you chastise someone you know who is of a lesser ability than you (please be careful not to fall off your throne as literary scholars are not obituary column writers).

If you feel like you can’t let it go, and you just do not want to always have  to hide certain posts, you may just have to not engage in reading anything certain people write, blog, or meme others with.  I have had to do this myself, but not for grammar.  I tend to only hide rude hate speech or narrow minded racists.  I even block or try to un-see emails, posts and blogs that bash overweight people calling other people fat, because obviously those groups of people have never taken a good look in a mirror in a while.  I despise racist rants as well.  Nothing like a Caucasian thinking a black person is a welfare leech or a black person thinking all Caucasians are racist, or beggars are all alcoholics that choose to be homeless.

You need to assess the value of your friendship or acquaintance to this individual or individuals. This is especially true if you know that the person posting believes strongly in what they have shared.  A good scenario would be perhaps an individual feels that cola is better than coffee.  That person feels that cola is the ONLY alternative to water, and that is some twisted way has magical powers that can make them feel and look younger (don’t we wish). Maybe they even believe that you will age way faster drinking coffee and that soda is the only fountain of youth and that if you drink a bunch you might even have magical powers and be able to fly? After you re-read, scratch your head in disbelief, and before you respond; think to yourself, are you going to convert this person?  Are they really going to listen to the voice of YOUR reasoning?  Although we sure hope no one is nuts enough to believe that cola would do this, the point is, everyone has an opinion or idea, and it is NOT our place to judge the validity in a condescending manner.

Obviously, you can see the delusion in their belief.  There are more than enough facts out there to tell you it is Pixie Dust, that can make you fly; but only after drinking RedBull that gives you wings!  You could show them countless children’s books and movies to help them see the error of their ways.  They are wrong. SO WRONG.   BUT….If you know they feel strongly, and you aren’t likely to sway their opinion – then ask yourself which is more important:  being right or your friendship.  If your friendship is more valuable, ignore it and embrace their quirkiness.  People are very sensitive about the things they believe strongly in. No one wants to have something they believe so strongly in disproved publicly on social media.  A debate simply between cola and coffee could end up costing your friendship.

I have actually experienced someone emailing me a meme they saw on one of their friends social media along with a rude comment about how stupid the individual was.  Seriously?  I wanted to send a message back to them asking them if it made them feel better to belittle someone they had on their “friends” list like that.  Or better yet, how about I tell them my opinion of one of their posts recently that was? How shall I put this? In all their intelligence, they post some really stupid stuff themselves.  Yet I am respectful and do not comment or reply.  I electively ignore it, or when it is an email just delete it.  Here is how I would deal with social media things I don’t agree with or memes that are utterly stupid (my opinion).

I would never try to be passive, aggressive.  I would make it a point to never write a post or share a meme on my own wall about misspelled memes or comments. My acquaintance or friend would know it was about him/her and it would hurt their feelings.  We need to always try and remember that some people take their beliefs seriously and it could be seen as an attack. Remember how strongly you felt about their meme? They will feel the same about yours.

I would NEVER take the original meme, alter or correct it and submit it as a comment. This usually hurts their feelings and they might perceive it as me being an ass or a show-off know-it-all.

If you disagree with the message, don’t write several posts in a row linking web pages and urls to prove the original poster wrong. That’s just plain insensitive and you’re being an ass!  It could be viewed as an aggressive attack or assault on their character and your lack of.  There are times when you can politely disagree on social media. Maybe it isn’t an issue your friend is passionate about, and it is just info she/he shared.  Even I am known to post things I may disagree with just to ask people for their opinions or to hear other peoples interpretations and open up a discussion on different points of view.


If you are dead set on pointing out someone’s misguidance’s or flaws, because you’re just the type of person who cannot seem to survive without finding the negative in everything, be careful how you do it.  Yes, even I have one or two of those type of friends.  They must ALWAYS find a negative in near every circumstance.  But I have learned to brush it off and accept them for who they are, and respect their opinion (I just eye roll).


The best approach is to ask questions.  You could ask if it is an open topic and would they mind if you shared what you have read or know. You could start by saying; “I’ve seen this meme shared before, but I feel it is misleading. Would you like me to share an article about it?”  If you’re friend says “No” then ignore or hide the post.  If its an email or instant message just move along to another topic or hit delete button on the email.  If they are open to discussion and say  “yes”, then politely share the article.  Share one article/post at a time and give your friend a chance to reply before posting more information.

LAST, but certainly NOT least consider this; What if YOU are the one who is always having your posts, comments, emails, or instant messages corrected?Most  people I know love to be right.  Just remember, sometimes – always being right can sometimes be socially wrong.





©Copyright protected 2017: NWU Local 1981

©IAPP Author/Journalist Press ID # 1007490467


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