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AshlynM's avatar

How much does poor grammar online bother you?

Asked by AshlynM (6157 points ) December 13th, 2013

This has been asked before but it was a long time ago so I’ll start new.

It drives me nuts, especially when people constantly use “your” to indicate “you’re.” It’s ironic because I never did like English in school but now I’m a stickler for these things.

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55 Answers

jerv's avatar

It really depends on how egregious it is, but I am a little more forgiving now that smartphones are the internet gateway of choice for many. Autocorrect has a mind of it’s own.

But while I don’t mind “your” instead of “you’re”, I think we can all agree that “u r” is just plain lazy.

DWW25921's avatar

Wat doz u meen? See what I did there? I’m so clever.

ccrow's avatar

Alot!!!:-P Ok, I really know that ‘alot’ isn’t a word…. Typos, misspelled words, wrong words used, glaring grammatical errors all jump out at me. I hate when I’m reading something really absorbing and come across something like that; it pulls me right out of the narrative, like a bonk on the head.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I’m afraid it is something we will have to get used to. With so many people doing the two-thumb typing on their phones, and all the shortcut words for texting, it is amazing that we can even read it at all. I am appalled that our young adults don’t know how to write, but I guess that is another skill that is going the way of the dodo.

glacial's avatar

Yeah, it really bothers me, especially your/you’re and its/it’s (sorry @jerv). I know we all have autocorrect, and autocorrect sucks, but it takes a second to think about what we mean and write the correct thing. Distinguishing them is not that difficult, one just has to care.

Pachy's avatar

Poor grammar online and on TV and in movies and magazines and newspaper bothers me a lot but it’s here to stay.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It doesn’t bother me so much as causes me to form a certain kind of opinion about people who don’t seem to know the difference. I also find that I rarely agree with their opinions. They often seem explosive and emotional and not well thought out.

“Could of” really trips my trigger tho!

We all received pretty much the same education. Why did it stick with some people and not others?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ccrow When I was a senior in HS our English teacher threw an eraser at a kid who wrote “Alot” as one word. :) It was funny. I never forgot it either! She was my favorite teacher.

ucme's avatar

It doe’snt i, leeve that too uthas.

glacial's avatar

In case you haven’t seen it, @Dutchess_III, here’s what many of us now picture when someone writes alot!

gailcalled's avatar

The conventions of usage, grammar, punctuation, spelling and accuracy of idiom exist in order to make things clear. When I read through badly-written screeds, I have trouble understanding and concentrating even though I might sometimes get the point.

I see “it’s” for “its” here on fluther over and over. It has nothing to do with typing skills. “It’s” means “it is.” I used to keep a list of the amazingly creative misspellings of “definitely” until I became disheartened.

Phonetic jokes have long lost their charm. “A couple recipes” needs “of,” “disappointed” has only one “s,” starting a sentence with “him” or “me and him” makes the reader take note.

If I were writing code, I understand that I could not take creative liberties; punctuation is not there as an artistic or esthetic choice and if I pick up a newspaper, book, or magazine (real or e-), I have expectations.

zenzen's avatar

Its and it’s does.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Some days I just roll my eyes and move on, but when I’m already in a foul mood, poor grammar drives me batshit insane. You’re/your, too/two/to, through/threw, etc…

The ones that are currently driving me really nuts are:


And let’s not forget everyone who keeps saying “could of.” Oh my God, people! Did you ever go to school?

Rarebear's avatar

Bothers me very muchly.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Rarebear I too, an its flustrating!

Him and me our botherd by it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

English 101:

To know whether to use him or he, and I or me, break the sentence down.

Ex: Him and me are going to the store.

Use the “him” and “me” separately.

Would you say, “Him is going to the store?” No, you would use “he.”
Would you say, “Me am going to the store?” No, you would use “I.”

So it should be, “He and I are going to the store.”

ucme's avatar

My grammar was very poor, then along came grandpa, he was very rich & took her away from all that poverty.

glacial's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Even more common is the use of “I” when “me” is correct – because somewhere along the way, people seem to have decided that “I” sounds smarter.

Thus, “That dog belongs to she and I” or “He came to the movies with my Dad and I”.

Drives me nuts. And the rule is so, so simple – just as you gave above. Remove the other person and try it again. Would anyone say, “That dog belongs to I” or “He came to the movies with I”? Never!!

dxs's avatar

I don’t care, as long as it doesn’t create ambiguities, as others have said. Then I get confused. A lack of tone of voice makes it harder to communicate online.

Coloma's avatar

I’m pretty grammar savvy, make a mistake/typo on occasion, have issues with semicolons, haha….however, unless something is really atrocious it doesn’t bother me much. How’s that for a run on sentence? lol

dxs's avatar

@Coloma And those comma uses! How heinous!

Coloma's avatar

@dxs What can I say? So shoot me? lol

Buttonstc's avatar

Considering that I was an English major in college and spent numerous years teaching grades 3–4, I was already fairly used to finding correctable things on a daily basis. However, that’s par for the course when dealing with things written by 9 yr. olds.

I have higher expectations when dealing with the writings of purported adults.

So, when I first got onto the net, I was appalled and would frequently correct people, but I quickly realized the futility of that since being the Internet Grammar Policeman would be a full time job. And a job without pay and no gratitude in addition. So, I learned to turn a blind eye.

But it doesn’t mean I don’t notice. But, as someone else noted, it does affect my perception of the person. But if they don’t care how they present themselves then I can’t care for them or make them care. It is what it is.

Imagine my relief at finding Fluther (where people actually give a damn about writing standards).


Buttonstc's avatar


Re: a couple (of) recipes…

And for that matter, a couple of…..just about anything…

Believe it or not, I first began noticing the missing of in this familiar phraseology about ten years ago in publications which SHOULD know better but either don’t or don’t care. I’m referring to both Philadelphia Magazine (a glossy monthly with awards garnered by its staff for writing, including a Pulitzer or two) and Phila. City Paper.

So, obviously I see it constantly all over the Internet but, surprisingly, major publications like Time Magazine and major newspapers as well.

The missing of seems to now be accepted as standard. My only question is why (and when this ceased being corrected by editors).

It annoys me on a daily basis.

dxs's avatar

@Coloma The grammar nazis are going to take you away. You have exactly 24 hours.

Coloma's avatar

@dxs Heh…well, you can tell by my lurve score that I have yet to be exiled. ;-p

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

It bothers me a great deal and not just because I’m a teacher. It’s just another example of the “dumbing down” of America. No wonder this country has fallen so far behind other countries in basics such as reading comprehension and mathematical ability, not to mention science and other areas. Americans have gotten so used to “texting” and other garbage that they’ve gotten too lazy to write, spell and know how to construct a sentence.

Here’s an example: at the university where I teach, we’re in the middle of finals for the Fall semester. In most of my classes, just so the students would have some idea where they stood gradewise, I posted their attendance totals since that’s factored into their grading…..the more classes you miss, the lower your grade…..someone missing 18–20 classes doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of passing. One person wrote this gibberish to my e-mail regarding their attendance: “i no i dun ben in claz mor than u sho, no way did i miss 50 clazes.” (Considering we only had 45 class meetings that would have been difficult!) Now really – what kind of communication is that???

People who write crap like that are tomorrow’s leaders. Scary isn’t it?

gailcalled's avatar

@Buttonstc: Having spent years helping high school seniors edit their college essays, my need to correct the repetitve and more egregious errors here takes considerable willpower to overcome. I have to tie myself to the mast most days.

Another lost skill seems to be that of the use of the hyphen in adjectival and noun phrases, leading to long sentences of astonishingly beautiful what-the-hell-is-he-trying-to-say gibberish.

@TheRealOldHippie; A purist might take issue with “gradewise.” Adding “wise” to many nouns has also become a new tic, wordwise, or as I am prone to say, wisewise.

@Coloma; Purists also would say, “graduated from high school.”

I am crazed. Please, someone, stop me, hair-splitting-wise.

Coloma's avatar

@TheRealOldHippie How is it possible this kid even graduated high school? haha

Here’s a great one I came across recently….ready?

Winter is a pond us. haha

Buttonstc's avatar


I laughed out loud at that one.

Please don’t get me started. I assume you’ve heard of the prestigious literary award, the pullet surprise?

Buttonstc's avatar


Good grief ! The fact that that communique was written by a college student really is frightening.

Hopefully, you failed him on the spot.

How on earth did he even get into college?

Buttonstc's avatar

To All:

Here’s a little holiday present for all word lovers everywhere: one of my favorite sites on the Internet.


“Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.”

(He used to have ants crawling all over his home page and a link to a list of Mondegreens.)

Why ants? To remind of one of the classical misheard lyrics of all time (sung to the tune of “Blowin’ in the Wind”)—-the ants are my friends…....

hearkat's avatar

It doesn’t bother me when it happens in casual posts and comments. It drives me bananas when it is a news media outlet post with bad grammar, or when someone makes a graphic or meme with grammatical errors.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@hearkat Right. I have no issue with choppy, grammatically incorrect text messages. I’m actually guilty of banging those out quickly, myself.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@gailcalled My mom said the proper way to say it is “I was graduated from college.” It’s kind of trippy, but it also sounds right.

Coloma's avatar

@Buttonstc Yes, haha.

Here’s a couple more from my personal archives of people I have known over the years.
One told me they had bought a Self Compelling Lawnmower,
another needed to go to the store and buy some Albuquerque Tuna, and the third argued that a pack of cigarettes claimed they were Addictive free, instead of additive free. Too funny!

gailcalled's avatar

@Dutchess_III:Your mom is right historically. Personally, I would stick with “I graduated from…” as part of the common parlance today.

Currently, both forms may be used, and it probably won’t be too long before the passive form is considered obsolete since its frequency of use is dropping.

Another oddity I see here a lot is the use of the apostrophe in what should be simple plurals.

Table’s, record’s, gift’s, house’s. The need for thi’s really does escape me.

And deciding that anything can be a verb if I decide it is.

To suicide, to roommate (my latest favorite)

@Buttonstc: I have just bookmarked That’s a keeper.

glacial's avatar

@gailcalled Just as long as you don’t go cottaging.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Not even sure I can guess the meaning.

glacial's avatar

@gailcalled Probably for the best. ;)

hug_of_war's avatar

It doesn’t bother me at all. Not everyone has had the same access to education and resources. Not everyone was raised to have strong literacy and writing skills. Compassion is always a good choice.

Kardamom's avatar

I have a cousin who uses two specific examples that drive me crazy:

“I seen it on Fox news.”

“I can’t wait tell tomorrow.”

glacial's avatar

@Kardamom I find it so strange that these kinds of errors persist… and then/than – how can people not tell these apart?

Dutchess_III's avatar

“We had went….”

@glacial Because it’s how their parents said it. They were raised speaking this way. I think their parents correcting them, or not correcting them, is more crucial than their formal education.

gailcalled's avatar

Bizarre/bazaar (really odd)
Holy, holey
Phase, faze

glacial's avatar

@Dutchess_III Sure, but then they go to school… surely, on finding out that they’ve been writing or saying it wrong, the reaction would be “How interesting, I will now write/say it properly.” And yet, it persists.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s why I said that family and social norms have much more influence over the individuals than education. Who knows. Maybe they get grief for being ‘uppity’ when they use proper grammar where improper grammar is the norm.

My husband slips in his grammar some. Not as much as he used to, but he still does. A life long habit. The really interesting thing is that he can hear it when other people make the same errors, but doesn’t seem to hear it in himself. Except once in a while he’ll bring himself up short and repeat it correctly.

DaphneT's avatar

I don’t care for poor grammar. Sadly, the majority wins most grammar arguments. Even here on Fluther the majority’s version of grammar and punctuation is allowed, even when the majority is wrong. I’ve observed a slippage of standards with the latest influx. So I slip by most of the questions, I just don’t have time to invest in clarifying what the OP meant.

Buttonstc's avatar


If you’ve bookmarked verbiform (rather than you’ll be having a rather frustrating time trying to figure out exactly why its in your bookmarks :)

gailcalled's avatar

@Buttonstc: I did have it bookmarked correctly; just sloppy typing on my part here. (At least I didn’t call it

Valerie111's avatar

It doesn’t bother me that much, as long as I can understand what is written.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

@Buttonstc – You should have read the paper this character turned in. He failed himself – a 4-page paper dissecting and analyzing a TV newscast – simple assignment. I got a one page, one paragraph paper in which he “analyzed” a sports story off of ESPN. I’ve done this assignment for a number of years – this was the first 0 I’ve ever given. I can usually find something to give someone a few points for no matter how bad, but his pathetic piece of crap didn’t even rate a 1. I’m sure when I get the final grades posted, he’ll protest his “F” (which would be an F- but F is as low as we can go!).

Buttonstc's avatar

Wow. That takes lazy to new heights, or depths, if you will.

And I agree that a simple F (without the minus) is far more than he deserves :D

Paradox25's avatar

It depends. Writing skills, unlike math and social studies, has never been my best subject, nor one that interests me a great deal. I can see making really consistent mistakes, text speak and extremely obvious errors. You’re/your, their/there/they’re, it’s/its and the like are easy to determine when to use in my opinion. There’s also the made up word phenomena such as alright and alot, though I sometimes use these just out of habit and shorthand scribble.

However, even some college educated professional bloggers make many basic mistakes with words such as who/whom, whoever/whomever, that/which, lay/lie, may/might, farther/further, etc. Sometimes I mess up with these. I’m a much better speaker and reader than writer though for some reason.

What is really meant by poor grammer many times though? I was taught to use an apostrophe differently from others it appears too. Singular possessive (Jason’s shirt) always had the apostrophe before the ‘s’. Plural possessive ( The Smiths’ shirt) has the apostrophe after the ‘s’. To me it should not be ‘the men’s bathroom’, but instead ‘the mens’ bathroom’. I make no exceptions with names ending in ‘s’ either. The Jones’ house for plural possessive and Tom Jones’s house for singular possessive. Plural without referring to possession should not have any apostrophes at all (There are so many Smiths in this town). Right?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If I can figure out what they are saying if it is not grammatically correct, I am not going to get my boxers in a bunch.

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