Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Maybe You Didn't Know: Proofreading the Internet

You all know me. You know I try to be patient when you totally ignore every rule that your poor English teacher tried so hard to teach you while you were fixing your makeup, flirting with the boy in the next row, and passing notes to your bestie across the room.

Really I try. 


But I can only take so much, and then it just all comes bubbling out in a Wicked English Teacher rant. We have reached that point. It is time.

Teacher caricature
Get ready to pay attention!

Now I'm going to try to take it easy on you. Maybe you just didn't know there were rules to spelling and punctuation and so on. How could you have  known? I mean, that homecoming float wasn't going to build itself now, was it? You can't have been expected to listen to everything your English teacher said. It was just all "nouns" this and "semi-colon" that. Who  knows what hideous prom dress you would have ended up with if you hadn't hidden that Seventeen Magazine inside your grammar book!

Seventeen Cover 1989
March 1989

So let me share some things with you that you might not know because you were too dimwitted, er, busy, to pay attention in class. All of these examples come from various websites I have visited in the last month or so.

Maybe you didn't know: "Besides the point" is incorrect. The correct phrase is "beside the point."  As in, "I thought your prom gown looked pretty tacky anyway, but that's beside the point." 

Speaking of "tacky," maybe you didn't know: Manufacturers pretty much always put the correct spelling of their product right on the label. This is directed at the hot cocoa addict who wrote "I pop cocoa like Tick-Taks people."

No. No, you don't.

In addition to misspelling the product name, this writer left out the comma before the word "people." I'm sure the rest of you were paying attention when your teachers, (All of them! Starting in about the third grade until you graduated, assuming you graduated.) told you to use a comma before and after a noun of direct address. In other words, when you're talking to someone, separate their  name (people) from the rest of the sentence by using commas.

Another writer mentioned the "high lite of my day." Don't even get me started. Spell the words, people! There will be no "slang" spelling on my Internet! Thank you. And by the way, "highlight" is one word. You're welcome.

Someone, I believe it was on a cooking blog, said that "A purest probably would not approve..." I'm confused. The word "purest" is a superlative adjective. It means "most pure" and comes after "pure, purer..." Someone who insists things be done correctly is a "purist." Maybe you didn't know. Now you do.

"...keep the ribbon taught." Hee hee hee. Maybe you didn't know that you can't teach ribbons. You can barely teach people. Trust me! You can however keep a ribbon taut, meaning "stretched tight."

Someone was concerned whether a Flexi clip will work in "course hair" Well, of course they work in coarse hair! Not so much in "course" hair. Sorry.

Finally, maybe you didn't know that you can't take advise. Really, you can't! I advise you to take as much good advice as you can get, but don't take it from the person who wrote, "This is good advise!"
There! I feel better now. Did you learn anything you didn't already know? What errors have you run across lately that bring out The Wicked English Teacher in you? Leave me a comment! Thanks.