Friday, May 13, 2011
I can haz spelling?
I especially cringe when I'm reading somebody's professional website, MySpace, Facebook, or other example that is posted for public consumption and I'm seeing the English language garbled in the following ways:
"Johnny didn't waist any time learning to play his guitar." "Jane went threw a lot to get were she is." "Your the best thing that ever happened to me." "He said, pick up you're guitar and play!" "I said that I play drums, to." "Suzie asked her parents if she could go too the concert two." "I would hate to loose my guitar." "Do you no weather we go on at six or seven?"
People, words that sound the same (homonyms) are NOT interchangeable (synonyms); they all have different meanings:
to, two, too
there, their, they're
your, you're, yore
Furthermore, it is important to understand that words that look similar but have slightly different spellings also have different meanings:
Improper spelling radically changes the meaning of what you are attempting to say, and sometimes in ways that (trust me!) you would rather avoid. I believe that Taylor Mali says it best, in his spoken word performance regarding the importance of proofreading:
As you can see, carelessness can lead to embarrassing situations. Furthermore, it presents an impression of unprofessionalism that is easily avoided. "Easy," you say? "I've always been a bad speller! I can't help it!" I've heard this excuse from so many people, and let me assure you: the rules are not that hard to learn.
Allow me to introduce you to some fun and helpful resources provided by one of my favorite websites, The Oatmeal:
10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling
How to Use a Semicolon
How to Use an Apostrophe
What it Means When You Say "Literally"
When to Use i.e. in a Sentence
The 3 Most Common Uses of Irony
These links will provide you with fun, illustrated, easy to remember rules about spelling and punctuation. Another great resource is Daily Writing Tips, which a blog that provides information and answers to just about any writing-related question that you might have. You can learn about the correct application of punctuation, grammar, spelling, and misused words. I highly recommend them!
If you still feel unsure about the accuracy of your spelling, grammar, or punctuation, it is wise to enlist the help of someone who does, in order to proofread your text before you take it "live." This is important if you're a musician; if you're a writer and you have these issues, it is professional suicide not to have a good editor. Incidentally, this is a service that I happily provide.
Awesome LOLcat photo retrieved from http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/tempestw/Cat%20Macros/GrammarCat.jpg.