Forums, Comments, and Other Places Poor Writing Skills Are Accepted

Welcome to the Web: a place where people of any age and ability can write whatever they want. If you’ve read anything online lately — specifically short things like that which you’d find in a comment section — you’ll understand where this rant is stemming from…

Everyone is illiterate and if you correct them, they will attack you.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been reading the comments under a YouTube video and started shaking my head because of how little anyone tries anymore when it comes to grammar and spelling. I won’t even mention civility because we all know that’s not allowed on the Web. And what of constructive criticism and improving ourselves?

I welcome a correction, when it’s made in an honest, helping tone, but I dare not try to help anyone else. If I did, a flame war would be directed at me, so hot that I would need to shut down my computer before it melted. Surely you know what I’m talking about. It is quite possible that half of all comments posted online are part of an attack on someone who wanted the original poster to know that they’re and there have different meanings. If that happens to be true, then I suppose “first” accounts for a tenth of all comments.

Now before you start giving me a hard time because I should have expected such content in the comments, I have to ask you a question.


Yes, I have come to expect comment sections to be filled primarily with hate and a demonstration of what a 2nd grade education can do. But does that make it right? Why should we just ignore it? It’s not just in the comment sections either. Forums accept the same fate as YouTube comments. Sometimes you find a well written forum post and it’s very refreshing. But don’t you dare scroll down to any further responses, if you value your sanity. Even the “news” is getting less and less proofreading these days.

Go to Google News. Read the title of every article on the front page and report back to me. How many typos or questionable grammar issues did you find? If you read the descriptions of those articles, your results will be even worse. It’s sad, really sad. Don’t they have editors? Aren’t they getting paid to write things for a large audience? Does nothing embarrass them?

Now I’m not perfect and I make my fair share of mistakes, but I proofread my writing. That’s the beauty of writing and texting — you have time to fix your mistakes before you send them out. Why aren’t more people doing this? And more importantly, why do so many people think it’s a waste of time to be clear and professional?

</rant> and it’s time to relax

Anyway, I found the following sarcastically helpful list in a forum for Mazda 6 enthusiasts and it made me happy. Finally, someone else gets it! It’s pretty much spot-on. Here’s the original post. Enjoy…

  • Sentences always start with a capital letter.
  • A period at the end of a sentence indicates that the sentence is over.
  • If you’re really excited about what you’re saying, you can use an exclamation mark instead of a period!
  • If the sentence is a question, it should end with a question mark. Does that make sense?
  • If you have two clauses that need to be joined, consider using a comma.
  • Also, “They’re” means “They are,” “There” means a specific location, and “Their” is a possessive meaning belonging to someone/something. “Break” means the same thing as broken except you are in the process of breaking it; “brake” is what is on the car.
  • If all of this is too much for you, just try inserting periods followed by 2 spaces every 15 words or so. Once in a while, a complete sentence might be formed.
  • “No” is a negative, “know” is to be used when you have or want knowledge.
  • Loose is what the bolts on my rear diff mount most likely are, lose is what you did with your dignity when you started typing.