October 25, 2012

R-Rated Internet Writing Lesson. Hey, Y R U Not Paying Attention?

Strong language warning, but it's all in a good cause. Besides, you probably need this or know someone who does.


Posted by Vanderleun at October 25, 2012 12:07 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.


That's too damn funny.

And that's one they left out: to, two, and too.

And if we can ever get precious people to quit contracting the vernacular of Damn It! (Dammit!) to damnit, I can die happy.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at January 1, 2011 12:25 PM


Posted by: Jewel at January 1, 2011 12:26 PM

And I thought I was being scathing with:

Have you met Mr. Shift Key, and his punctuation pals? They make writing fun!

I've just been schooled in scathe.


Posted by: jwm at January 1, 2011 12:38 PM

This should be posted in teachers' lounges across America.

Posted by: Harry at January 1, 2011 12:39 PM

Joan, your sew write! It shouldn't be dammit. It should be DAYAMN, like in "HAWT DAYAMN!"

Posted by: Jewel at January 1, 2011 12:41 PM


"One in the same."

"For all intensive purposes."

Et cetera, und so weiter, ad infinitum. It ain't gonna get any better, either.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at January 1, 2011 1:06 PM

Taking "Grammar Rock" to an entirely new plane. Scorching, brilliant, and very much appreciated. (At one time I wanted to start a blog titled, "Spare Me the Apostrophe" but I wasn't sure anyone would get it.)
Happy New Year from Green Lake/ Maple Leaf, Mr. VanderLeun - and your readers!

Posted by: Susan in Seattle at January 1, 2011 1:29 PM

Actually, I dislike the overuse of the f-word almost as much.
I try to warn people, someday you're going to really need that warhead and it's not going to be there.
It's like a thunderclap when my wife uses it. But only on the most special occasions.

Posted by: Rick at January 1, 2011 3:46 PM

Rick, I seldom use it, and once, while working with a woman who inserted it as a frequent demodifier of everything but the indefinite article, I started dropping it into my conversations. Hearing me say it was shocking to her, and she stopped doing it around me. For the day.

Posted by: Jewel at January 1, 2011 4:26 PM

What the fuck about the fucking confusion over fucking "loose" and "lose?" And the fuck let's not fucking forget the fucking "peak" and fucking "peek."

Actually, the above paragraph sounds like a lot of black people on the street in Philadelphia when I was living there. I noticed among the ghetto class "fuck" and its derivations had become the sound that one barked in order to signal where one word ended and a new one was to begin.

Posted by: Funny as Shit at January 1, 2011 4:34 PM

Excellent point about lose/loose - usually encountered among adolescents tagging somebody a "looser" (although in your characterization of Streettalk, I think you left off part of the word.)


Posted by: Rob De Witt at January 1, 2011 5:09 PM

OMG! Can't breath!

Posted by: pdwalker at January 1, 2011 6:21 PM

Since we seem to be on pet peeves of written English, here are a few of mine:
- Discreet -- unobtrusive, low-key; discrete -- separate, distinct. They're different words that mean entirely different things, people.
- Peek and peak have been covered above, but there's also pique, as in to pique one's interest. Why should this one be so f**king hard to figure out?
- Stationary -- unmoving, fixed; stationery -- writing paper.
- Use of I instead of me -- he gave something to you and ME, dammit, not to you and I. You don't sound more erudite putting I where me should go. You just sound like a pompous yet ignorant ass who doesn't know what an indirect object is.

OK, I feel better now.

Posted by: waltj at January 1, 2011 7:24 PM


Posted by: ahem at January 1, 2011 8:03 PM

That begs the question: should journalists who don't know what a fucking circular argument is be using a phrase like "beg the question"?

Posted by: ahem at January 1, 2011 8:06 PM

Don't forget to excoriate abusers of "these" and "those."

Posted by: raincityjazz at January 1, 2011 11:03 PM

Gunny Sergeant Hartman remedial English method. It would work, too.

Posted by: james wilson at January 1, 2011 11:38 PM

What about semi-colons?

Posted by: Brett_McS at January 2, 2011 3:27 AM

I'd like to add "bring" and "take" to the list. Grrrr.

Posted by: Retread at January 2, 2011 6:16 AM

Don't forget the lazy, illiterate bozos who consistently fail to utilize the correct usage of "less than" and "fewer than". That one pops up quite often every single day, especially among "writers" in the oxymoronic category: "sports journalists".

Posted by: TODO at January 2, 2011 7:20 AM

...media is, media are...

Posted by: Ed at January 2, 2011 7:56 AM

Oh my.

Somebody seems upset today. :)

Posted by: cond0010 at January 2, 2011 10:04 AM

Strunk & White, 4e??

Posted by: leelu at January 2, 2011 10:21 AM

This "writing lesson" is hilarious and I think I might print it out to post up in the office, but......

...innocent misspells and word misuse, while distracting, are writing misdemeanors, worthy only of a small fine, a slap on the wrist.

The felony - the Big Crime committed by so many on the net - is overwriting, that insatiable appetite for stringing together rare multi-syllabic adjectives or several verbs where one will do - overwriting dulls the mind and wounds the soul.

Posted by: Patty at January 2, 2011 10:44 AM

Overwritten: see above.

Posted by: Jewel at January 2, 2011 2:23 PM

That should appear above the comments box of every blog on the internet.

Posted by: rickl at January 2, 2011 3:16 PM

You realize, of course, that this is exactly how I imagine those British shites were educated in their Public Schools, along with the cane. The expletives were all oriented towards classlessness and godlessness as well as cluelessness, but it was every bit as aggressive.

Posted by: Cobb at January 2, 2011 4:11 PM

How did it come about that so many dont know the difference between 'woman' and 'women'?

Its common to see 'a women'.

Posted by: bgarrett at January 2, 2011 4:15 PM

Indeed, ahem--99% of the time people mean RAISE the question. Why have we forgotten how to say that?!

And has no one yet mentioned literally? I heard a TV news guy say "Fenway Park literally exploded tonight" when he meant a big crowd got excited. No lie!

Posted by: Sarah Rolph at January 2, 2011 5:03 PM

All decent points, and I love the statement here. Still, I think some of the post-show discussion gets a little on the nit-picky side. Honestly- I would be thrilled just to no longer look at the single-letter typo-bonic drivel and the constant confusion over words folks learned in kindergarten. Baby steps, people. Get them speaking English again, if badly, *then* worry about teaching them articles of speech and sentence structure.

Posted by: Flashwitt at January 2, 2011 9:13 PM

How about "very unique"? "Unique" means one of a kind!

Posted by: Susan at January 2, 2011 9:19 PM

I LOVE YOU, whoever created this. You are amazing.

Posted by: Anissa at January 2, 2011 9:22 PM

My biggest pet peeve is "irregardless." Also writing "the person that," instead of "person who."

Posted by: Sara (Pal2Pal) at January 2, 2011 10:25 PM

Too bad this well intended tirade excluded some required periods.

Posted by: Grammarian at January 3, 2011 3:19 AM

The rant is priceless and so necessary.
I was substitute teaching in a male juvenile offender facility in California and chose to teach basic parts of speech by using that word game where you fill in the blanks with verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. I wrote a couple of sentences on the board and asked the students to call out words to fill in the blanks. "ANY word?" They asked. "As long as it's the correct part of speech," I said. They really got into it. It was hilarious. The resulting sentences were unspeakably nasty but the students walked out of there knowing parts of speech. I would have got fired on the spot if the principal or the creepy lawyers from the DOJ had dropped in.

Posted by: foreman at January 3, 2011 4:37 AM

Of course that should be a small "t" after the question mark and "been" fired. The type font on my Blackberry is too small....

Posted by: foreman at January 3, 2011 4:43 AM

Can we take a moment to appreciate the misuse of the word drug? As in pharmaceuticals and not the past tense of dragging something? There are few things that make one sound more ignorant than saying "I drug it over there." Dragged you pathetic ignorant bastard, dragged! You did not give it medications! You man handled it into place, you dragged it! DRAGGED! You did not give it cocain, or heroine or even an asprine in order to get it from one location to another. You DRAGGED IT! *pant pant pant*
Just a pet peeve of mine. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Posted by: Felicia at January 3, 2011 11:32 AM

I confess!! I do it. All the time!! And it's fucking FUN!! Grammar nazis, y r u so f-ing uptight? LOL!!

Posted by: RedCarolina at January 4, 2011 7:41 AM


Now could we please have a sequel addressed to the morons who use quotation marks where they should have underlined or USED CAPS?

Posted by: mb at January 4, 2011 5:47 PM

One more - "lightening" and "lightning"

Posted by: Bloodguard at January 5, 2011 5:22 AM

You can add to this list the substitution of the word "loose" for "lose" - as in when someone ignorantly writes online a comment such as, "You are such a looser"; when in fact, they should be writing, "You are such a loser". It makes the one writing the comment coming off as the "loser" for being so ignorant as substituting "looser" for "loser". My pet peeve - and I see it all the time, everywhere, "loose" used for "lose". Is this some kind of new slang from a new generation, for which I have not been properly indoctrinated yet as to use "loose" for "lose"? Gawd that makes me flinch, everytime I see it - and it's used abundantly these days for some reason.

Posted by: Chelsea at January 5, 2011 10:22 AM

You might want to add some more information relating to the correct use of an apostrophe. It is not only used to denote that there are some letters missing. You can use an apostrophe to denote ownership. Unless you don't actually bother with that in the USA? This has been Ulfilas' post...

Posted by: ulfilas at January 5, 2011 1:07 PM

I'm jealous that I didn't create that rant.

Posted by: physics geek at January 5, 2011 7:27 PM


Posted by: RedCarolina at January 6, 2011 5:30 AM

"... here come's an s"? You don't need an apostrophe there, dumbshit.

Posted by: inchworm at January 6, 2011 7:13 AM

You could have it worse. There's a guy who leaves "for sale" ads on our town's bulletin board who not only wants to put apostrophes in every wrong spot, but invariably uses the comma key instead of the apostrophe key.

Posted by: Henry at January 7, 2011 8:18 PM

"Should of" instead of "should have" gets my goat.

Posted by: me at January 8, 2011 11:52 AM



Ha! After that nucular bomb, where could the obscenity limits possibly be at?

/i keed!

Posted by: Hoser at January 10, 2011 11:25 AM

To hell with the faculty lounge, the author should take the basic rant, expand it with the suggestions and then publish it as a grammer text. The idiots might pay attention to it.

Posted by: R Ramirez at January 10, 2011 2:46 PM

Don't forget about affect and effect.
And did they change the spelling of definitely to definately, cause if they did, I didn't get the memo.

Posted by: Dan at January 10, 2011 7:06 PM

Completely agree on "loose" vs "lose". It is amazing how often I see those used incorrectly.

Another one to add to the frequently misused list is "insure" vs "ensure". Not difficult but often wrong.

Posted by: Mike at January 11, 2011 8:02 AM

As they say on late night TV, "But wait, there's MORE!"

-- No one mentioned "alot" instead of "a lot." What ever happened to "several" or "many"?

-- Persons???? What happened to "people"??????

-- And how did the abuse of "anniversary" get started? It's TENTH anniversary, not TEN YEAR anniversary! You say it's your 40th birthday, NOT your 40-year birthday, so why would anniversary be different?

-- Along the same line, it's CENTENNIAL, not 100-year celebration.

Posted by: JCR at January 11, 2011 5:00 PM

And I thought I was the only grammar nazi (deliberately lower-cased) left on the planet. It would be sad to think that all the intelligent people have already replied to this blog... And it's FEWER calories, not LESS, god dammit. FEWER

Posted by: RaeStar at January 11, 2011 5:23 PM

He uses the '(apostophe 4 u dumfux)when he says "I'm only going to ......ect,ect.. wtf?(Thats Wot the fuk 4 u I d 10 t's)

Posted by: Bri at January 23, 2011 10:52 PM

Ya know ... whoever wrote this needs to take a chill pill ... most of us who make grammatical errors and spelling mistakes just have to much on their mind to worry about how things are supposed to be spelled or set up in a sentence ... grammar really isn't this important and a rant like that just means whoever did this has absolutely no intelligence for anything aside from proper spelling and grammar

Posted by: Wulfman at April 8, 2011 10:57 PM

"most of us who make grammatical errors and spelling mistakes just have to much on their mind to worry about how things are supposed to be spelled or set up in a sentence ... grammar really isn't this important and a rant like that just means whoever did this has absolutely no intelligence for anything aside from proper spelling and grammar"

Proper grammar and spelling is a sure sign of intelligence. Lack of the same is an indicator of an intelligence deficit. If you can't spell or use proper punctuation and grammar, you come off looking like a dumbass.

In private or casual conversation this isn't truly important (after all, those who know you well already know you are a dumbass) but in professional conversation, both written and spoken, it is critical.

Which was rather the purpose of this whole rant, wasn't it? Thank you for proving it.

Posted by: Larry at August 17, 2011 4:48 PM

This post, by itself, could be a separate blog. It's that good.

Posted by: Lorne at October 25, 2012 8:23 PM

One of my tooth-grinding pet peeves, often committed by people such as news presenters who ought to know better, is the use of "if" where "whether" would be correct. As in "I don't know if this is a legitimate case of linguistic drift."

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at October 25, 2012 10:48 PM

Luckily I've been working in the blue-collar sector for the last 20 years, so I'm used to this kind of language, or I might be really offended right now. All of these get on my nerves. I'd also like to add that I don't know anyone who can spell definitely. It's always "definately". Man does that get under my skin. Also "should of", like, I should of paid more attention in school. NO, you should HAVE paid more attention in school, dumbass!

Posted by: Dan at October 26, 2012 5:33 AM

I get it.

Posted by: Estoy Listo at October 26, 2012 6:26 AM

OTHER: "I've seen that play numerous times."

ME: "Do you mean 'many' times?"

OTHER: "Many, numerous, whatever."

[SFX: Shotgun going off in my mouth]

Moral: L'enfer, c'est les autres.

Posted by: B Lewis at October 26, 2012 7:39 AM

I have been reading your posts for 6 or 7 months. I find it most enjoyable.This....just floored me, This is just too funny.What is really funny is in the comment post where it says that obscenity or stupidity would be editied or expunged.You aew the best.Thank you.

Posted by: Frank P at October 26, 2012 2:23 PM

That Boy Needs Therapy

Posted by: sTevo at October 27, 2012 5:24 AM

On the educational standards issue, I would like to offer a partial explanation for the poor standards of grammatical knowledge and numeracy in British schools; I imagine something like it may be in force in the USA as well.

The biggest UK teachers' union is considering legal action, or possibly some form of industrial action, because applicants for teacher training will (from next year) only be allowed two resits for the tests of the applicants' literacy and numeracy. Up to now, one has been allowed to take these tests as many times as one required to pass them.

It's not really the students' fault; at least not wholly theirs. After all, if your teacher can't properly read, write and add up what chance have you of learning?

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at October 27, 2012 7:14 AM

Oftentimes I see quotation marks where they are not needed- usually at work.
For example: when you are using this machine you need to "wand" in..."

Posted by: mjazz at October 27, 2012 12:19 PM

In all honor to the Progressive public education foisted upon the mushwits during the maturation process. Rots of ruck, Chalie.

Posted by: Peccable at October 28, 2012 5:58 AM

Grammar nazis are out of touch. Just try teaching math or science to public school kids. Oy. Vey.

Posted by: RedCarolina at October 28, 2012 9:59 AM

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Posted by: Sarah Rolph at October 28, 2012 10:51 PM

I've given a similar but gentler lecture to my dear daughter way back & it seems to have made a difference. Tough love! But...
We have a Prime Minister down here in Oz who pronounces hyperbole, "hyperbowl"; acidification, "ASSification"; negotiate, "negociate"; Taliban, "Taliband"; want to, "wanna". She drops her Ts & inserts a D instead! Like "abilidy" instead of ability. Completely retarded.
Pretty sure I've heard the fool, along with countless others, say "in one fowl/foul swoop". Not sure which they mean but hell! I really hate that one.

Posted by: Shagger at November 6, 2012 1:50 AM

I LOVE YOU, whoever created this. You are amazing.

Posted by: Josephodz at November 12, 2012 2:48 PM

Good post! We will be linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

Posted by: λΌλ‹ˆμ•„ at May 17, 2013 2:00 AM

I'd rather have Lin Dans WC-final T-shirt!!!

Posted by: Melina Tullio at October 5, 2013 11:30 AM