General Question

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Do you correct people's wording, grammar, and/or spelling on the internet?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) May 27th, 2009

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to clear something up if the way they’ve worded it makes it confusing or leaves it open to debate. But people who feel the need to point out every single mistake and/or ambiguity made in writing on internet posts and are not completely satisfied unless the person who made the mistake gets down on their knees and kisses their ass really piss me off.

What more do you want? You pointed out the mistake. It’s done.

Not to mention pointing out spelling or grammar errors and not contributing anything to the discussion or question comes off as really smug and useless to the question.

I suppose I’m just sick of seeing irrelevant comments that do nothing or comments that turn the discussion into one over semantics.

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60 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

Internet should be capitalized..

Dansedescygnes's avatar

So, I didn’t really answer my own question, but my answer is this: If I think something is worded in a way that can result in two interpretations, I will point it out or ask for clarification. I will not point out spelling or grammar errors unless it leads to confusion. Simply doing it just because I want to flaunt my ability to write and proofread is not what I do.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I think it’s got something to do with the fluther motto of everybody’s an expert at something, share what your’e an expert at? I read something like that around here, someplace, sometime. maybe that’s all they’ve got

Myndecho's avatar

Thinks he knows where Dom got this idea from

Just to clear up English isn’t my first language, languages in general is not my best subject far from it.
I want people to correct me so I learn from my mistakes, most people who correct me are normally condescending and as you said smug.

MrGV's avatar

If it’s a typo I won’t correct them, but otherwise yes.

MrItty's avatar

Under three circumstances:
1) The poster comes off as a smug jackass who knows more than the people he/she is speaking to, and I feel like taking them down a notch
2) The poster is obviously a child or teenager, using the forum I frequent for their teen angst melodrama
3) The post is so horribly written as to be incomprehensible.

Dansedescygnes's avatar



And that’s too bad, really. People should be more understanding when it comes to someone who learned English as a second language and I think that any correction in one those departments should not be condescending or smug. It should be to help, not just for fun or to show off.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Absolutely not. Unless they just use the wrong word and it’s confusing.
It’s the internet not high school grammar, and if people want to be lazy typers or just don’t care about spelling and grammar that is their choice. And it’s a-ok by me :)

It kinda bothers me a bit to see all the corrections as well. Particularly the smug ones. But hey people do what they want.

chelseababyy's avatar


I’m sorry if I think that it’s ridiculous that…

PeOpLe tAlK lyKe dYs.

What the hell is ‘lyke’ or ‘dys’? Come on now people.

oratio's avatar

I would appreciate if people corrected me. English is a second language and I find myself making a lot of errors. For some reason I always want to spell “maybe” as “maby”.

ragingloli's avatar

not very often, but sometimes it ticks me off that certain kinds of people always repeat the same mistakes, so often that i am urged to think they do that intentionally.
Like when Christians on Yahoo Answers write “Athiest” or sometimes even “Athist” over and over again, and never with a plural s, no matter how often they are corrected.

MacBean's avatar

As long as I can understand what the person meant, I don’t correct people in casual online conversations.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Also, for the people who do it for themselves, look at this way: by not correcting someone, you’re making what you type look better by comparison. ;)

hearkat's avatar

It depends entirely on the situation. Misspelled words, poor grammar, and lack of punctuation do irk me somewhat. However, I am a poor typist, plus I use the iPhone (which sometimes has a mind of its own for correcting ‘errors’), and I sometimes am too hurried or tired to proofread… so I understand that mistakes can happen.

I can usually tell if the errors are because English is not the user’s native language, and I will correct in that case if it will help clarify their statement.

Myndecho's avatar

I often make the mistake of missing out plurals, that and homophones what I’m getting the hang of.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Dansedescygnes Now that’s a good point! lol

dynamicduo's avatar

English is the common language of the world. The fact that we are on the net means that the odds of meeting someone whose native language is not English are higher than in real life (generally speaking). Most people I encounter are of the opinion that being corrected is better than left to make the same error time and time again.

At the same time, I’ve come to realize that my life is way too short to spend it bitching about someone’s grammar or typing skills, so as time goes on, I care less and less about the style of communication, so long as I can understand what the person attempts to say.

ragingloli's avatar

@Myndecho well you are not a native english speaker, most on YA are, and they apparently have no problems pluralising other words correctly.

DarkScribe's avatar

Only if I want to annoy them. Often I will suggest that they re-write their post if it is incomprehensible, but I don’t correct it for them. I have difficulty understanding the incredibly high number of people who don’t use their spell checkers. Usually you have to turn them off – on is default.

cyn's avatar

i’m a big grammar freak
if it’s a typo
it’s fine
i’ll understand
but if it’s something i don’t understanf for shizz, then i will beat the hell out of the person!

purpose's avatar

Well, it depends. I think correcting people that has english as a second language would be doing them a service. They obviously don’t know how to spell it, or word it correctly. If they wouldn’t appreciate that, they have more than one problem.

Darwin's avatar

If it is a simple typo, then no, unless I know they will take it as meant, a joke or a bit of friendly teasing.

If someone is trying to pick a fight because of a perceived misinterpretation, then yes, they need to be told that they had better take another look or rewrite their statement. Life is too short to pick fights over what you think someone is saying but isn’t.

And if the problem is the result of someone not understanding English fully, then I would think they should be grateful for the clarification.

casheroo's avatar

I’ve never really cared enough to correct people. Plus, I’m not a fan of grammar, so I don’t know all the rules. I type as best as I can, and if it’s not perfect then it’s whatever to me. If I make a spelling error, it’s usually because I honestly don’t know how to spell it, or I was typing too quickly. People can correct me if they want, I think it just causes embarrassment though, and I don’t purposely seek out to embarrass people.

DarkScribe's avatar

@cyndihugs Are you into self-flagellation?

aprilsimnel's avatar

It depends. If someone gets a phrase or spelling wrong in a way that could misconstrue the intended sense of it, then I’ll mention the correct spelling or phrase.

Kayak8's avatar

I probably won’t correct it, but I must admit it will leave a certain impression on me. If I pick up on the fact that the individual is a non-native speaker, I can be very patient (having lived abroad and been a non-native speaker myself). For the lazy or poorly educated, I will still look deeper to see if he or she is sharing an articulate thought, even if the words do not indicate it.

If the person doesn’t make any sense (and can’t spell), I just turn on my internal “ignore” button.

cyn's avatar

i have to admit…
i don’t hit myself though

_bob's avatar

The other day I asked 2 people if they’d like me to correct their grammar in a language other than English. They said I was being a jerk. Ah well.

chyna's avatar

@cyndihugs You are into grammer but not punctuation or capitalization?

_bob's avatar

@chyna It’s “g r a m m a r”

cyn's avatar

that’s correct
my punctuation is actually pretty good
i just don’ like typing it
to many shifts to press

bezdomnaya's avatar

I want to know how extra careful people are being with their grammar, punctuation, and spelling in this thread. Ha ha!

chyna's avatar

@bob_ Thank you, typing too fast.

cyn's avatar

too many Shifts to press

chyna's avatar

I agree with @Kayak8 in that if I feel someone is just being lazy or not making sense, I ignore their posts. If it’s one or two errors, I could care less as long as I know what they are trying to get across.

YARNLADY's avatar

I always appreciate it when someone cares enough about my work to help me with my spelling. I try to use my spell checker as much as possible, but it’s not always correct.

My usual way of helping others is not to ‘correct’ them so much as to use their words in my answer with the correct spelling, and they can decide to take advantage of it or not, without being embarrassed by the mistake.

mbubbles's avatar

yes, but not on here.

phoenyx's avatar

I agree with this article and I don’t capitalize “internet” either. It isn’t ignorance; it’s rebellion.

ubersiren's avatar

I usualy onley currect somones speling if their bean anoing to beggin wif.

Darwin's avatar

@bob_ Sometimes it is grammar, but sometimes it’s Grammer (as in Kelsey).

f4a's avatar

i want to be corrected with my grammar and spelling because they care to correct me.
but there are also people who want to correct others, just to show off that they know more than the other person.
what i do is, i take their corrections and learn from it, but i won’t let them affect me, if they keep thinking they’re better because they know enough about grammar and spelling. so be it…

chelseababyy's avatar

i dnot mnid wehn poelpe wtire lkie tihs beasuce I can stlil raed it. Werid dno’t you tihnk?

Likeradar's avatar

@chelseababyy I can still read it, but it makes me think if the person isn’t taking themselves seriously or trying to be understood, why should I bother?

chelseababyy's avatar

@Likeradar That last one was a joke because anyone can read that, as long as the first and last letters are the same, doesn’t matter what order the middle letters are, you can still read it.

ALTHOUGH, I really hate when people legit have bad grammar, it’s not sexy.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ll correct yours if you correct mine. How about that? =)

YARNLADY's avatar

@phoenyx I agree, I always hit “ignore” when my spell checker tells me that.

mattbrowne's avatar

Rarely. One exception: Ghandi versus Gandhi. As a favor. Because couple of years ago someone pointed it out to me.

MrItty's avatar

@phoenyx Wow. What a stupid article. I expect more from people who claim to be technologically adept. Not knowing the difference between the Internet and an internet is really embarassing. They need to go back to college and take a basic Networking course.

oratio's avatar

@MrItty There are several? Then dubya was right all along.

MrItty's avatar

@oratio Yes.

(Note: not capitalised) Any set of networks interconnected with routers. The Internet is the biggest example of an internet.

Internet (Note: capital “I”). The Internet is the largest internet (with a small “i”) in the world. It is a three level hierarchy composed of backbone networks, mid-level networks, and stub networks.

oratio's avatar

@MrItty Maybe the Internet should have a name that is not confused with the internet.

MrItty's avatar

@oratio why? It’s no different than talking about The President, when referring to Barack Obama, vs talking about a president of any organization.

oratio's avatar

@MrItty Doesn’t really matter, but most people don’t know much about networking, including me.

MrItty's avatar

@oratio “Most people”, I agree. This isn’t one of the things I would be pedantic about on a general forum like Fluther. I was registering my surprise that the editors at Wired magazine have decided to get it wrong. Wired is all about technology and such. I would not be registering any surprise if the article appeared in, say, Time or Sports Illustrated

oratio's avatar

@MrItty I hear you. They should know.

morphail's avatar

“I’m sorry if I think that it’s ridiculous that…
PeOpLe tAlK lyKe dYs.
What the hell is ‘lyke’ or ‘dys’? Come on now people.”

I guess you mean “type”, not “talk”. And does anyone really type like that?

oratio's avatar

@morphail I think she was sarcastic, and yes, some do. 7#3y w|2173 1n m4ny 5t00p3d #4xx0r w4y5.

YARNLADY's avatar

@oratio I could actully read part of that.

oratio's avatar

@YARNLADY Ha ha, oh!? Yes, leet-speak can be a bit fun, but sometimes you wish that teenagers wasn’t allowed onto the internet with a keyboard. =)

chelseababyy's avatar

@morphail I was being sarcastic, and typing is a form of talking via internet. So either word could work, and yes. People DO type like that.

@oratio Hahahahha. Exactly.

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