Every day I am irked by the endless slew of careless grammatical and spelling errors that splatter the pages I look at and the texts I read. I will complain about ‘believe,’ ‘conscience’ and every other word in which you forget ‘i before e’ and pointless abbreviations and most of all how it is not at all difficult to just get it right. When it’s not that hard to spell it right or use the right homophone, why do we so often let them slip?
I work at McDonald’s and the crew room contains a corkboard. That corkboard exists so managers can post notices about situations the crew needs to be aware of. I have trouble taking these notices seriously because each notice ends up riddled with elementary errors. I am that person who spends a minute of each break combing the notices for errors and then taking a red pen to them.
Lack of education can’t be the reason. Every English class I’ve been in has reviewed the correct spellings and examined the grammatical shortcomings. As my peers, I know you’ve spent time in some of the same English classes that I have. I know you’ve heard the same lectures I have. It doesn’t take any longer to type ‘their’ than ‘there’ and only a second to consider which to use.
Correct spelling and grammar is what makes or breaks a resume. When you put together a resume your goal is to make yourself look the best you can so that an employer can see value in hiring you. Why would you not project your intelligence, in such a simple way, in everything you do?
I can imagine a lot of this started a few years with the breakout of social media and texting as a common form of communication. Either it started then or that was when I started noticing. Texting and media open all kinds of opportunities to abbreviate. When flips phones were ‘the thing’ abbreviations and misspellings were commonly accepted as the texting lingo. ‘Ur’ instead of ‘your’ and a lack of punctuation (because who wanted to go through three menus to find a question mark when it was implied?). And with sites like Twitter, the goal is to fit as much information into 140 characters as possible.
I understand that.
I see why that makes sense.
I just don’t see how that can carry over through all of our communication.
I’m not sure what bothers me more– the mistakes themselves or the fact that the person making them doesn’t care enough to take the time to do it right or to pay enough attention in class to nail these basics.
Somewhere in all this rambling there’s a point. It’s so easy to make yourself appear uneducated. Using correct spelling and grammar doesn’t change or define your intelligence. You don’t increase your intelligence by breaking up run-on sentences and your IQ doesn’t drop when you don’t use the correct ‘your.’
The difference it does make is the impression people pick up of your intelligence. And that’s why poor spelling and grammar bothers me so much. Project your best self in everything you do.