When message trumps spelling and grammar

Much human written communication is more clear if the spelling, grammar and punctuation are good.

Having said that, I will be embarrassed if you find a typo or other mistake in this post. If you do, feel free to mock me. I write and edit for a living, after all, so you should expect a certain level of quality in this space.

However, please think before you belittle anyone else over such details.

Sometimes spelling and grammar are simply not important.

Twitter users like to pick on poor spellers. Those pickers annoy me to no end, regardless of the pickee*. Their reactions to a Trump tweet a few weeks ago were typical.

Here’s one example.

Brian Klaas is a journalist, by the way. You can find my response here if you’re interested, but here’s a summary:

I don’t care that Trump can’t spell or punch letters on his phone without making a mistake. Millions of people are poor spellers. It doesn’t matter. The message matters.

Mocking a person over spelling in social media marks you as a snob.

For another example of what matters, take a look at Inmate Blogger, which I came across just the other day. Read a few of the posts by incarcerated men and women.

Some are polished and punctuated to near perfection.

Some are profoundly eloquent in their rawness.


 

* pickee: One who is picked upon. If it is not in your dictionary, it should be.

No tears here for bigots

Denver Post, I just gotta say it: You’ve disappointed me.

We share a love of the 1st Amendment, you and I. Sometimes it seems free speech and free press are all that stand between us and the wolves that howl outside.

One thing that we don’t seem to share is your concern about speaking out strongly against abhorrent speech, which you expressed in this morning’s editorial:

A Denver doctor’s racist comments shouldn’t have led to her firing

You make some important points about differences in how public and private employers can approach such situations. Important for people to understand. Good.

Two things, though:

One, just as people are free to write and say bigoted, disgusting things in public forums, others are free to call them out in what you call “public shaming.” Show me some evidence that calling out bigots chills protected free speech or has the same effect as libel and defamation suits.

Second, you contend that “nothing Herren said about the first lady suggests she would exercise poor judgment in her role as an anesthesiologist.” She already did exercise poor judgment. I would not entrust the life of a loved one to a doctor who shows such disrespect and apparent loathing for a woman of color, or for anyone else.

OK, a third thing: Is your parenthetical phrase here revealing or just thoughtless?

One can see how the doctor’s disgusting and ridiculous remarks (after all, the first lady is obviously beautiful and eloquent) could translate into an untenable position for the medical school.

Let us suppose that Michelle Obama somehow did not meet your standards for beauty and eloquence. Would Dr. Herren’s vicious, racist remarks be any less disgusting or ridiculous? Would the medical school’s position be different?

If you would have us remain silent in our “moments of disgust and anger,” you are already well down the slippery slope of accepting bigoted speech as just OK. We are obliged to call it out as wrong.

Shaming you, in public no less.

We’re doomed: Clickbait Robot liked my tweet!

I hope I’m not the only one who thinks this is rather funny.

clickbait_robot

While trying to wake up this morning to write some real stuff, I let myself get distracted and felt I had to comment on this thing on Medium.

Enough of that for today, and tomorrow …

View at Medium.com

Into the madding cloud: Reveling in literary obscurity

Use a hashtag and you’re bound to have a tweet turn up at some point in an unexpected place.

What a surprise, though, when my tweet was harvested for the #amwriting page of a Paper.li site called Literary Obscurity.

Just where a writer wants to be, right?

Literary Obscurity

No real complaint from me, though. I had a good laugh.

Better yet, it gave me something more to pitch back out to the madding cloud to be RT’d several times and counting.

If Literary Obscurity brings me another reader or two with a few bucks to spare on a good book, so be it.

Here’s what the item looked like on the page, from which it may already have been refreshed into oblivion. (Click the image, though, and it will take you to the Barnes&Noble site.)

literaryobscurity2