It started with email. Publishing in HTML made it worse. The death of the English language as we know it became official the day Dave Winer gave everyone on the planet a tool for blogging. Think I’m wrong? You must not be reading any of the hundreds of blogs I visit on a daily basis.
Spelling is now a thing of the past. Grammar is laughable at best. Punctuation is a joke. Sure Dave; Evan; Ben and Mena; they gave us the tools to make publishing easy. They successfully made the fundamentals of good writing a convention for dead trees.
I admit my grammar and usage aren’t perfect all the time. Having an editor is a luxury I can’t afford. My word processing software (and my email client) includes spell checking, which prevents most of the common blogging errors. Grammar and punctuation are a little harder to catch at times, but I try.
I once offered to republish a rather compelling commentary written by someone with a broken spellchecker. The author’s response was something along the lines of, “you want to republish that? I’ll have to rewrite it. That was for my blog, not any real publication.” Real publication? You mean the potential for anyone on the planet to Google your post isn’t enough to encourage better than half-assed writing? The commentary was great aside from spell checking and some minor grammatical changes. The guy even has a great voice (a trait of many sloppy-spelling bloggers).
I applaud the effort; I really do. Writing is not easy. But for the sake of whatever language you choose to write in, please keep the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation in mind. Your readers will love you.
It takes seconds to spell check a post in Word (or Star Office) before posting. Grammar is a little more complicated, but certainly doable. After all, most blog posts occur in office cubicles slated for something more productive; what are a few extra minutes of wasted company time?
For punctuation, go to Amazon and purchase Eats, Shoots & Leaves immediately. It’s a top seller for a reason. Lynne Truss makes the commas, semi-colons and other punctuation marks seem like fun. Seriously! This is the first book on English I would classify as a ‘can’t put down’ read.
Your 25 regular readers will thank you. The random Google searcher will find you above Cro-Magnon intelligence. And if your boss finds out you blog on company time, at least she won’t be embarrassed by the ignorant appearance of your posts.