Saturday, May 2, 2009
I can't help but answer the question with a sheepish "yes". I admit that when I see misspellings on other people's blogs I tend to smirk a little inside. And of course when I discover that I've published something with misspellings, I have to go in and fix them immediately. It really irks me that Blogger's spell check sometimes doesn't work or when it does it thinks things that are spelled correctly are wrong. It's a lousy bit of script and I would complain to the Blogger folks but they don't really care. But that's an entire other topic to post about.
I do believe that improper spelling and grammar says something about you. Maybe it's that you're posting so quickly that you're not taking the time to spell check. That would mean you're impatient. Maybe you simply don't recognize the error. What does that make you? A best a bad typist.
It can be distracting when a post is filled with spelling errors and poor grammar. I admit that I take liberties with grammar. Sentence fragments are your friend sometimes, but I get a bit nuts when I see words like breath and breathe used interchangeably. And there are others. Almost every writer has their own personal pet peeve in that respect. Mostly though, when I see a word spelled incorrectly that isn't an obvious typo (like teh. That's how that started. People continuously mistyping "the" and finally just giving up. But that one works, somehow.) I can't help but think a little less of the writer. Or wonder how it got past the editor.
I do believe that using language well, with your i's dotted and your t's crossed is important. If your message is important enough for you to write about then it's important that you don't distract from that message with misspelled words. And if Blogger doesn't know the word you can always Google it. It's kind of amazing really when you think about it. Blogger is owned by Google but their spell check isn't anywhere near as good as Google's.
So yes, a lack of formality can detract from your message. If you're talking about politics or science or critiquing a film or novel, you need to make spell check your friend. There's nothing quite so lovely to read as a well crafted blog posting. Whether it be filled with snark or exposing a grave injustice, they can be a thing of beauty.