I’ll be the first to admit I have an issue with dodgy spelling and incorrect grammar.
If I’m in a restaurant and there’s an item on the menu that is spelt incorrectly, then I can’t allow myself to order it.
Which is really annoying when it’s “cream brulee” – because that stuff is delicious.
When I send an SMS I make sure all the words are right; a tricky feat when typing on a small keypad with big fingers.
I cringe inside if I hear someone say “all goes well” instead of “augurs well”, “dribble” when they mean “drivel” or “all intensive purposes” instead of "all intents and purposes”.
Each Anzac Day I mentally prepare for the social media onslaught of people typing “Less we forget”, rather than “Lest we forget”
All that said, I’m not the insufferable type of language pedant.
I don’t tweet back “*you’re” when someone incorrectly types “your”.
Nor do I do the same thing with a smiley face emoji, to show it’s friendly advice. If someone is correcting your spelling, it’s never “friendly advice”, they’re doing it because it really annoys the hell out of them.
I won’t even correct you if you spell my first name with two Ns or my surname with “reys” instead of “-ries” at the end.
As an aside, yes, I’m keenly aware of the irony of being a spelling pedant and having a first and last name so prone to misspelling.
But, in the interests of full disclosure, I am the type who will likely think less of you if you do something like this.
But it’s not because I’m an obnoxious snob who wants to show off their “mad grammar skillz”, as the kids say.
It’s because I respect words and grammar – as a journalist and a writer, they actually mean something to me.
It’s the way we communicate with each other, and that will become harder and harder as we continue to mangle the language.
The story UNBEARABLE: It’s time for dubious grammar to take a spell first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.