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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Proper Punctuation Saves Lives. Namely, Yours.



My dear Gentle Readers, I have an itch that needs scratching. An issue that needs to be addressed, a wrong that needs to be righted.
 
Actually, it's more like having a burr stuck to the butt of my pants. And it chafes

Many people say that the hallmark of civilization is the ability to differentiate good from evil, right from wrong, vanilla extract from imitation vanilla additive. I say it's the ability to recognize when you need to use punctuation and capitalization.

If that's true, then we are all going to Hell in a handbasket, and fast.

I cannot tell you how many times I have logged onto Facebook or Twitter and been slapped in the face with this:

"going to the zoo. wanna see the polar bears giraffes and lions but not sure if their out yet whoohoo!!!!!"

Let's just forget about the atrocious spelling for a moment (Use Spellcheck, people. That's what it was invented for.) and focus on what else is wrong with this little blurb. I'm not trying to be snotty and preachy, but for the love of Cheetos, can we please all agree that the above sort of posting makes a person look less than brilliant? I understand that not everyone excels in English class or has a top-notch education, I do. But I see this sort of thing from many, many people- some of who I know know better.

It's just sheer laziness.

I'm going to take a moment to sound like an 80 year old and say that you wouldn't have caught your grandparents writing like this. 

It seems like along with the dwindling trend of hand-written letters, our carelessness in correspondence has grown. I'm not saying we need to return to the days of "thou" "thy" and "You knave!" but it would be lovely to see people take a little pride in their communication with others. 

Let's not forget two things. 
Number One: The first impression is a lasting one. If I see you online forgoing punctuation and capitalization, I will assume either you are a lazy, shiftless sort (Because, really, how hard is it to add a damn period?) or your four year old has hacked your account.

Number Two: The Internet is forever. Forever. Do you really want to have that sort of thing out there, defining you to people who don't know you personally, forever? I'm just saying you should think about it. 

Well, that concludes my rant...er...post for today. 

In summary, you are what you write. If your comments, updates and blogs are filled with grammatical errors, people will draw the conclusion that either you have a moody, unstable smart phone (All is forgiven.) or that you can't be bothered to take the time and put forth the effort to present yourself as an educated person who cares if others think you are a dope. Please at least attempt to use proper spelling and correct grammar. If not for me, then do it for your first grade teacher. 

You have no idea how annoying first-graders can be. It's a miracle that both you and she survived the year, okay?



What's your pet peeve? The thing that gets you going, that puts a bee in your bonnet and the itch in your palm to smack some sense into someone? 

55 comments:

  1. I was (keyword) going to comment without any punctuation marks, and just have each new sentence start with a capitol letter. Then I thought that would drive you nuts, and someone else will do that. After all, you did said it drove you nuts.

    My biggest pet peeve are drivers and how they can't follow the rules. For instance, blocking an intersection. HELLO! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET THERE ANY FASTER! What bugs me the most when people do that and the light changes. So, now you are blocking traffic you rat bastard. Another one is changing lanes in the middle of a cross street or near parking lot exits. I almost got into an accident, because someone was doing that. My inner Californian almost kicked in. I could go on forever on idiot drivers, but I won't. I feel a tad bit better. Thanks Olivia for the rant session.

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    1. Ohhhh, Melody, I HEAR YOU. Bad drivers are right near the top of my list. Not only is it discourteous to other drivers, but it's dangerous, to drive like your pant cuff is on fire. There should be a law... ;D

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  2. Amen, sister Olivia. My biggest grammar pet peeve on the internet? I hate that you can't use punctuation in a hashtag on twitter. I've lost some really funny hashtags that way...because I can't NOT use the punctuation. :-(

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    1. Haha! Deb, I've had that internal war before and occasionally I do it anyway. Everyone has a lapse now and then, but those people who do it ALL THE TIME drive me bonkers. The hair on the back of my neck just lifts right up reading my teen nieces' and nephews' FB updates...

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  3. when someone move stuff into one place and can not be bothered to put it back where it was, and I hated it until I had a fight with a friend because of this issue T_T

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    1. That's so annoying, isn't it? I had a roommate like that in college. I didn't mind her using my stuff, but put it back where it belongs!

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  4. Text speak in emails and other inappropriate places drives me berserk. I rarely even use it with Twitter, where we're limited to only 140 pithy characters at a time. But I try (really hard) not to let it get to me too bad. I even blogged a while back about letting it all go. LOL. Not sure how well I've succeeded on that part, but I don't think my blood pressure is as high as it used to be so maybe it is working.

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    1. Lol! Yes, I understand that too. There's a time and place for everything.

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  5. Misspellings and punctuation mistakes mostly make me laugh. I get a kick out of one of the office people misspelling the word incompetent. (That's one of the questions when we get a referral to determine if the person has been deemed unable to make their own decisions.) She always spells it "incompetant". There's a certain irony that she would misspell that word. :)

    One of my biggest pet peeves is how most people don't know the rules at a 4-way stop. Number 1 - STOP! Yes, that means you too, you egotistical jerk. Number 2 - It's a first come, first serve system. If you arrive second, wait your turn. If you arrive first, stop being so wishy washy and just go!!! Your indecision/kindness is costing us both time. Number 3 - If you arrive at the same time, the person on the right has the right of way. It's easy to remember. Here's a clue: RIGHT has the RIGHT of way.

    Ugh!!! I just felt my blood pressure rise thinking about it. LOL

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    1. The 4-way stop thing is pretty ridiculous. There are a few of them in the town where my family lives that are especially bad. I wish they'd put in a light, but that decision is only made after a certain number of wrecks have taken place at the intersection.

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    2. I do some car-shouting at 4 way stops, I freely admit. I fully expect to get sideswiped one of these days.

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  6. Mouth breathers. Hate them all. Unless you have a GINORMOUS sinus infection--like to the point the top of your head could explode into orbit--do NOT breathe on me. We have a nose for a reason, and I don't want to see (or SMELL) your adenoids. Close that crap. Nothing screams ignorant jackarse better than a mouth hanging agape. Lawd, I'm getting all snarked up just thinking about it!
    As to grammar fails, I get going too fast sometimes to worry about clubbing baby seals or eating grandma (and really, don't some grandmas deserve to be eaten?). I know I've let you down, Olivia, and I apologize. ;}

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    1. HAHA! Actually some of your tweets are unintentionally amusing, so I let it go. ;D
      I'll add Open-Mouth-Chewers to that list. Just...don't.

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    2. Whoa, nelly! Hold up there. Are you saying I make mistakes?! ;}

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    3. I can't believe she would EVEN suggest such a thing, Andris!!

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    4. Me either! Let's get her! Uh, you do have my back on this, right?

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    5. I *always* have your back. And if we get arrested, you'll make sure we get bailed out, right?

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    6. Absolutely. I've stashed the keys to the cuffs and am ready to rumble. ;}

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  7. Oh, mine is definitely the complete lack of all punctuation. Myself, I'm pretty lackadaisical with the commas. And I've been known to type there when I meant they're, one or too times. <---joke, people

    but whn people rite like this and espectme to find da time to tran slate

    I want to stab a pencil into my computer screen. At least attempt to sound like a grown-up. And if you mess up, no problem. But at least attempt to make your thoughts intelligible.

    I suck at Sudoku. So don't force me to play it with letters.

    I will now slink away to calm myself. Thanks, Olivia. :)

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    1. Lorenda,

      "but whn people rite like this and espectme to find da time to tran slate" <--CRACKED ME UP!!!!

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    2. Ooo. I HATE when grown-ups use "da" instead of "the". "Going to da beach!" No. No, you aren't. You are going to THE beach. Arrgh!

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  8. I don't really have punctuation/writing pet peeves because I am fairly certain my drafts drive others nuts. My sister recently proofed a manuscript for me. Her one comment at the end was, “Learn to embrace the comma". LOL. And, when I am answering e-mails from my phone, feel lucky if anything gets capitalized ;). As far as pet peeves, mine would also be driving related. When merging onto the interstate - MERGE! Don't keep slowing down and checking, making me slow further because I don't have time to get ahead you, nor can I move to another lane because someone is already there and the person behind me is so close I can tell what color their eyes are from one glance in the rear view mirror. But, don't fly off the ramp without looking either, especially when you are already going over the speed limit, forcing others to hit their brakes because you didn’t bother to look to see if anyone was there. Yep, that sums up my trip in to work today.

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    1. Merging is really not that hard. The ones that drive me bonkers are the ones who come to a stop--yes, a STOP--on the acceleration lane. That is not only stupid, but it is begging for an accident. Idiots.

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    2. As someone who has read my work, Jane, you know that not only have I embraced the comma, I have loved it and hugged it and squeezed it and made it mine. We are engaged and having a baby. I LOVE COMMAS. ;D
      And merging seems to be as big an issue for people as 4 way stops. Why is that, do you think?

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  9. You know, as a dyslexic, social media is a freaking nightmare I can't wake up from. I can't ignore it. And I don't really want to. I had to make the decision to put myself out there no matter what people think.

    Heck. I can can reread a post five times. It looks perfect. Ready to go. And then I hit that send button. And WHAMMO. It's right there. Plain as day. I've misspelled shirt... and I don't mean I typed dirt. I even once misspelled my own book title in a post. Sheeze.

    But what can I do? Not participating is not an option these days. Am I hurt by the mistakes? probably. Does it lose me potential readers.. maybe.

    Maybe I could hire an editor to hang out with me to check all my posts. All day. All night. When I'm in the john posting from my phone. Yeah. Anyone want that job!?! lol

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    1. Mari,
      I'm with you! (I mean I agree, not that I'm in the john with you. LOL) I can't believe how often I misspell something or have a word missing, but the brain is an amazing thing. It can read and know the meaning perfectly well even when we aren't perfect. One of my funniest mistakes was saying my hero had a tick in his jaw instead of a tic. EWW!!!! Thank goodness my editor found it. :)

      I think the majority of readers care more about the story and overlook small mistakes. I doubt a misspelled word here and there in social media will make any difference. I applaud you for tackling social media. It's daunting under any circumstances. I'm just glad I don't have to do math on social media.

      I just want to add that I'm completely in awe of people who post in English when it isn't their native language. I can't speak any other language, so they are leaps and bounds ahead of me.

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    2. Mari, posts with a few typos or misspellings aren't that bad. I mean, when it is clear that the person is making an effort, we can all learn to ignore those mistakes. None of us (I hope) are doing a grammar check to be sure that every single social media post we make are perfectly correct in every way.

      The ones that drive me crazy are those that put: wut r u doing 2nite grl cum over 2 c me

      You don't do that. You're fine. :)

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    3. I agree with Catherine. I don't mind mistakes - half the time I never see them. It's the ones that don't even try to look like English.

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    4. I also agree with Catherine. It's just lazy! And, Mari, I totally do not mean people with an issue like dyslexia. THAT is something that is not fully in the person's control. A mistake here and there is to be expected- I do it all the time. It's the lack of giving a care about how a person presents themselves to the world that bunches my panties! ;D

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  10. So this is the history minor in me coming out, but I HATE it when people say we live in a Democracy. Especially when those people are in office or running for office.

    Our flipping *Constitution* states our form of government is a REPUBLIC, in plain English. We even pledge to it, but no... Democracy, Democracy. *eye roll*

    Also, I hate it when people don't flush in public restroom. This does nothing but contribute to my phobia of them.

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    1. I have a similar thing here in India. People ask me "where are you from?" and I respond "the U.S." Every single time, they smile, nod, and say "oh, you're from America".

      Well, er, no. "America" encompasses two continents. There's North, South, Central, Latin, etc.

      And then my husband gently reminds me that there are other "united states" as well.

      I'm a geographical hypocrite.

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    2. Haha! You both are funny. Everyone has their "thing", don't they? as a graduate of culinary school, nothing gets me more riled than bad food or service in a restaurant. I will get mortally, LOUDLY offended if you serve me half a heart of romaine lettuce on a plate, drizzle it with bottled Caesar dressing, throw a few croutons on it and call it a salad...and charge me $7.50 for it.

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    3. Ooo. See? I just made a mistake in the above post. No one's perfect. Not even me! ;D Hahaha....

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    4. Oh, and I mean, LITERALLY, half a heart of Romaine. I've had it sliced in half and plopped on a plate. What. The. HELL?

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    5. I totally agree. Some places serve a 1/4 sized wedge of lettuce with blue cheese dressing and some tomatoes tossed on the plate. Um, no thanks!

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  11. My biggest pet peeve (currently) is carpool line. I wait, like everyone else, patiently for thirty minutes and then someone comes along and cuts in front of me. It really irks me that some people never learned to wait their turn.

    As for grammar, though I minored in English, I'm fairly certain I mess up all the time. This is why I always have someone editing the important stuff behind me. I know my strenghs, and catching all my gramma errors it NOT one of them!

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    1. How the heck do they manage to cut in line?! At my guy's school, there's only enough room for a single file line of cars, winding along a very long driveway. I would be more than irked if someone did that to me!

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    2. I want to know when the car pool lanes came about? We never had those when I was in school. The only time parents picked kids up was if they needed out early. Everyone rode the bus.

      Especially in upper grades. Now there are huge lines even at high schools.

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    3. We have monitors at the school to direct traffic, but sometimes the power goes to their heads. One summer I had a lady tell me I couldn't go unless she gave me permission. Gave me permission? Are you kidding? The other cars were moving out of the way. It's not rocket science, lady. I don't need directions on what to do. I almost told her to feel free to throw her body in front of my car to stop me. LOL. I sound horrible today, but I swear, I'm a really nice person. :)

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    4. OMG! That is hilarious, Sam! As you - truly - are one of the nicest people I know, I would pay serious money to see you actually say that to someone.

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    5. I've been a little more sassy lately. I might just say it now. Some new chick in pilates announced "You're late" last week when I walked in. I said, "Are you going to be a regular in this class?" "Yes." "Then get used to it." My instructor burst out laughing. Seriously, it's my money and time. Mind your own business, lady. :D

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  12. Olivia ~ If I had to start listing all of my pet peeves... we'd still be here when you posted your next blog in two weeks. I think you all know, I have A LOT of pet peeves. So I'll save you all my special brand of rant.

    BUT I was sooo happy to read every one else's pet peeves! It makes me feel so much better about all of mine, plus it's making me laugh like a hyena at work. So rant away, people! You're all making me feel right at home.

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    1. I don't think I recognize you right now. Are you feeling all right? You're being given free rein to rant, and you're demurring?

      Someone get Ava to the doctor.

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    2. Hey! I can be demure. Just 'cause you've never seen it before doesn't mean it isn't possible. :) LOL!

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    3. LOL, being demure and demurring are not quite the same. :)

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    4. I am now officially sticking my tongue out at you, Catherine Gayle. :-P

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    5. HArd to rant when you feel so good, right, Ava? And I love that you are so happy. <3
      Also, it's a good thing you aren't sharing- we probably WOULD be here for a week! Haha!

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    6. Catherine,
      The clue is in your comment. She's been given free rein. No one tells Ava to do anything! LOL

      I agree that it's great to see Ava happy. She has deserved it for a long, long time. I'm glad to see she has it. :)

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    7. Samantha ~ You're actually onto something there. If I have free rein, it's just not the same. :)

      It is very sweet of both you and Olivia to be glad for my happiness. I really am as happy as I've ever been.

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  13. Well, it's the you, you're your, there, their, etc. crap that makes me cringe. I had this English grammar teacher who pounded this stuff into our heads. I don't know why it's so predominantly misused these days. I also worked for the government for years and we had a standard way of punctuation that we had to go by. It did not always agree with how my old English teacher taught me, but I had to abide by the government rules because they were paying with me MONEY to do so and not GRADES! :-)

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    1. Connie,
      The government has it's on set of rules, and the number one rule is nothing should make any sense. :)

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    2. Haha! I agree with Sam. Oh my gosh, that would be so hard, to unlearn what you have learned! Yikes...

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  14. You always make me laugh, Olivia. "For the love of Cheetos"... HA!

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  15. I was going to say that "For the love of Cheetos" doesn't offend anyone, but I'm sure SOMEONE SOMEWHERE is offended by it. ;D

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  16. Even though I am a male I hope you won’t mind if I add my pet peeve to this discussion, and that would be the use of extremely long run on sentences that still make sense, sort of, but are a real chore to follow much less understand because they just go on and on and never reach a conclusion, or if they do, you have forgotten or never really understood the point but of course every sentence does eventually reach the end, logically or not, so keep reading and you will find that long sought period.

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