Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wicked English Teacher Wednesday-- March

 Hello, friends! It's the first Wednesday of the month, so that means it's time for another
WICKED ENGLISH TEACHER WEDNESDAY
OR
WHY TEACHERS GET HEADACHES!
the segment of the blog where we proofread the interwebs to find the most egregious errors out there and carry out our civic duty to correct them.

Grammar Repair Done Cheap

All across the world wide web people are writing blogs and ads and offering helpful information. At times, it's appropriate to overlook a typo in favor of grasping the wisdom and information that is being offered. At other times... well most of the time...it is better to go ahead and take the good stuff and then scream about the horrific grammar, spelling, and punctuation. If we can all get a good laugh out of it, so much the better.


As I said, lots of people are writing blogs. Apparently some of these bloggers are...not so well-educated. (Disclaimer: The previous statement in no way applies to any blogger who may be related to me such as nearnormalcy or MrCarlosBC.) So I understand that because of the diversity of educational levels in the blogosphere, it's only reasonable to expect a variety of levels of grammatical correctness.

I just don't care.

If you're going to write in public, do it right. Proofread. I do 99% of the time, and the other 1% I always regret.

Proofread!

Still even in this diverse web, there are some places where we expect it to be done right. At a very popular and well-known network for women bloggers for example. Today, I found these errors on that respected web site:

  1.  Let’s here from [name deleted] on why you should join in on the fun.
  2. You only have a few seconds to grab your readers attention.
 Of course you see them, right?

In sentence one, the homophones here and hear are confused. The writer used here when the verb hear should have been used. I have no doubt that the writer knows this difference. See what happens when you don't proofread? Some pompous English teacher uses you as a bad example. You'll be more careful from now on, won't you?

Sentence two is crying out for an apostrophe! But where, oh where, to put it? Well, clearly since we want to grab the attention belonging to our readers, the apostrophe to show possession belongs in that word. Since we all hope that we have more than one reader, we need to place the apostrophe in a way that indicates a plural. So....we put the apostrophe after the S. This shows that we seek the attention belonging to our multiple readers.  You only have a few seconds to grab your readers' attention.
Try not to let them use those few seconds correcting your punctuation.

Let's see. What else can we find lying around, carelessly strewn across the web? Ah! Here's one.

On two different sites recently, I noticed this: "Low and behold!" See, parents. THIS is why you have to encourage your kids to read! If they never read, they hear all these words and expressions and picture them incorrectly in their minds, and before you know it, lo and behold, they're writing nonsense on the Internet!



 And that's the morale of the story. Oops. There's another one. There's no E at the end of moral. And very little morale among public school teachers these days, but that's another story. If you're still confused, please notice the link in the upper right hand corner of the page where you can connect to my very favorite dictionary. They don't even pay me to say that. It's the only dictionary that doesn't require you to look up the words used in the definition of the word you looked up. Try it; it's free! I use it all the time and recommend it to my students.

Well, you deserve a break from all this repair work we've been doing. I've got plenty more examples, and new ones are showing up every day. Be sure and watch for next month's Wicked English Teacher Wednesday.

What have you seen lately that has sent you screaming for a red pen? What did you not know that I helped you with today? I'm thinking about doing a whole lesson on apostrophes next week. Anyone interested? Let me know what you think.