Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year's Gift...

...courtesy of an Oakland fan at Sunday's Broncos-Raiders game.

May your 2014 be filled with peace, prosperity, and correct punctuation/spelling/grammar.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trends (Part II)

One thing that some Internet users love to do is loudly proclaim their superiority over others, particularly in comments sections of online news stories. Unfortunately, this trend has taken hypocrisy to new heights. I call it the:

“I’m Better at Grammar Than You Are” (But Not Really) Trend

This first example comes verbatim from the comments for a story on a major news website:

“I've seen so many grammar mistakes in online news lately. I, maybe foolishly,expect more from some of these big orgs”

Perhaps those big orgs foolishly expect more from their readers.

But to add insult to insult, here’s a response to that comment:

“I too have seen many ‘grammatical’ mistakes in comments”

Maybe he/she should be paying more attention to using commas and periods...

Then there’s this one, from a different story on the same website, in which the commenter is responding to another’s misuse of “who” and “whom.”

“ ’who had never flown’. whom is the objective not the subjective”

You know that adage about people who live in glass houses? Yeah. That guy.

And now, the final gem in our examination of hypocrites who think their writing doesn’t stink. From the comments section of an online article about People magazine naming Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine as the “sexiest man alive”:

“I this is the sexiest man alive, I'm submitting my photo next year! He's a girl in a males body!”

The response, again verbatim:

“First take a gramamr class. It's male's not males”

I suppose we should all be grateful that at least some people are trying to make the written world a better place. With writing like this, however, I’m not quite ready to jump on that bandwagon.

Click here to see Trends (Part I)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Do the Math

Colorado’s recent disasters will continue to have ripple effects for years to come. That’s no laughing matter, and yet some reporters insist on going for the comedic approach.

Story headline:

Almost half of Royal Gorge workers let go”

First sentence of story:

“…The Royal Gorge Company of Colorado laid off 24 of its 41 employees…”

Here’s some breaking news: “Almost half” is not a synonym for “nearly half.” More than a week later, the error remained as written.

Writers may not like working with numbers, but this is just ridiculous.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trends (Part I)

A few weeks ago, I posted about my waning motivation for keeping this blog going in the face of a daily inundation of typographical crap. However, I’ve decided that huge volumes of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors can provide insight into current writing (and typo) trends.

The “Writer Does No Research and Has No Life Experience to Rely On” Trend

I realize that not everyone has as many years on the planet as I do, nor does everyone have the wide variety of life experiences I’ve had.

I’m also painfully aware that reporters and writers in this market, which has suffered its share of downsizing, apparently don’t have time to look up terms with which they are unfamiliar.

Case in point:

“…police found a pocket knife, a leather man tool,…”

Now, did that reporter mean a man's tool made of leather (my, that sounds indecent), a tool belonging to a man who is made of leather, or was it a tool trademarked and made by the Leatherman company?

Okay, I admit that’s pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things. But here’s one that had to be written by someone who has never set foot in a rural area:

“’Our cows have a loaf and shed they can go in and sleep,’ said (the) owner…”

A loaf of what? The correct term is loafing shed, as in a shed built for livestock to get out of the wind and, well, loaf. What else is a cow supposed to do on a blustery day?

Stay tuned for more trends in bad writing…

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bad Spellers Beware

I recently ran across this one in the online version of our local newspaper:

Maybe it's because we fear bad spelling...