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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Letting it Go

I'm a bit of a grammar snob.

I know this about myself. I accept it as both a strength and a flaw. This snobbishness has proven very helpful to me in terms of my writing, but it can become a serious detriment, if I allow it to, in terms of getting by in the world without going crazy.

You see, I read a lot of blogs. Many of these blogs are written by writers, agents, and editors. These are the people in the writing and publishing worlds who are supposed to know grammar and be able to properly use grammar to serve their purposes. Most of the blogs written by these publishing-world professionals generally are written well, with minimal grammatical mistakes. Most of those mistakes are minor, and I can look past them as simply what they are--mistakes. We all make them. I am positive that I have had grammatical mistakes in the blog posts I've posted, both here an on my personal blog. I may read this post later and find one or two that I missed before posting. Everyone, after all, is human.

But then there are a few blogs out there, written by professionals in the publishing world, that are consistently riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. I still read these blogs because the actual content is good. I try to ignore the errors laced throughout the content. Sometimes this is an easier undertaking than at other times. One instance in particular came only a week or two ago. This blogger blogged about the importance of a writer using good grammar skills in order to obtain an agent and sell to an editor--yet the post was full of more than the blogger-in-question's normal amount of grammatical mistakes. It took a supreme amount of effort on my part not to comment and point out these errors.

Since then, I've had to come to a conclusion. I will never be able to save the world from poor grammar. It is simply too grand an undertaking for a sole grammar snob like me. I mean, even Grammar Girl has only really made a dent with those of us who actually care about using proper grammar, it seems.

So instead of obsessing over the poor grammar out there in the world, I have decided to let it all go. When I stumble over the poor wording in a blog post, I will simply take a breath and move on.

Obsessing over things I can't control will only hurt me, after all.

Do you tend to obsess over silly things like grammar? Have you ever successfully given up on a similar obsession? (If so, HOW???)


  1. I am exactly the same, as part of my day job I proof read submissions and excessive use of commas is the bain of my life! I try not to obsess over it but find it difficult! :)

    Great post thanks, you have inspired me to endeavour to let it go. :)

  2. LOL. I read a blog last night and it drove me crazy. In EVERY instance where it should have been "you're" it was "your". And every "then" shoud have been "than". My teeth hurt from grinding them. (And I'm not even a grammar snob... Well, not most of the time.)

  3. I get a kick out of poor spelling. I once saw a sign announcing Valentine "bokays" had arrived. Then there was the bakery with "ho made" donuts. And someone was giving away "free durt". I thought that would make a funny t-shirt. Dum as Durt! :)

  4. Grillyfish, thanks for stopping by. Commas can drive me slowly insane, too. I can handle excess commas better than a lack of enough commas though.

    Ava, I'm with you on the your vs. you're and then vs. than stuff. I'd also have to throw in their, they're, and there in the same boat. It is enough to make me have to step away for a walk so I can remember how to breathe sometimes.

    Samantha, I'm glad there are some people in the world like you who can simply laugh it off. I'm trying to get there. Wish me luck. LOL.

  5. This used to bother me too, but the less time I have, the more mistakes I make, and the less I notice other people's mistakes.

    One thing that helped was reading a lot of old historical letters. Even as late as the Civil War, there were no real "rules" of spelling/grammar. So every writer was left to his own imagination as to how things should be written. Instead of seeing their mistakes, I began to appreciate their creativity. Now when I see typos, I sometimes picture the author in medieval clothing writing by candlelight :)

  6. Oh geez, we already know how much you guys hate me and my horrible grammar lol. I get kicked up one side and down another by my crit partners and now this...*grumbles and stomps away.*

    LOL I know you love me anyway but I am getting much better at it, if I do say so myself. I have to admit it takes a lot to get me upset but once I do, I'm pretty mean. So things like this don't really bother me. I'm a gamer girl too and when you game with a bunch of guys who use leet speak, you tend to be more lenient. I mean they use wud = would, 2 = to, two, too. 4 = for. Half the time I have to do a second read through to understand some of them. It's so funny. I have to get Catherine in a game with me - Can you imagine her reaction? She'd probably freak. LOL I'm having a blast just imagining it.

    The funny thing about these guys who game is they're brilliant people, so smart it's scary and yet they have trouble with simple grammar. I guess to each his own, right?

  7. Clarissa, I love reading old letters too, to see how language and usage have evolved over time. Maybe I should keep some on hand, so that when I am close to having a meltdown, I can pick one up and force myself to relax. LOL.

    And Melissa, I have to read things like that all the time. When you're around college kids or high school kids, being able to discern what they mean is a challenge. My brother drives me crazy with text messages. He never uses any punctuation. At all. (But we do NOT hate you or your grammar.)

  8. I wish I knew enough to recognize mistakes. ;)

    Actually, I skim read, and really don't notice grammar or spelling mistakes unless they're truly dreadful.