Is it hopeless?

imagesI have a reputation as a “grammar/spelling Nazi” and I guess I have to cop to that. It’s not that I never make a mistake, but I find myself reacting—I admit sometimes even emotionally—when I see “it’s” when it should be “its,” “your” when it should be “you’re,” “there” when it should be “their,” and so on.

I’ve posted quite a bit about this on Facebook, and that’s how I got my rep. But lately I’ve been posting less and less about these egregious infractions. Why? Because I’m convinced that it’s hopeless.

Yes, hopeless.


Because it’s contagious. That’s right. Contagious.

You literally “catch” the wrong way of writing something, simply because it’s floating around in the general mental atmosphere. I know this is true, because I’ve found myself writing “it’s” when it should be “its,” etc. more than a few times, to my horror. When this first started happening, I asked myself: Why would I do this, when I know it’s wrong, and I’m totally opposed to anyone doing it, much less myself?

The only answer I could come up with is that I “caught” it—it was simply floating in the air.

Have you had this experience? I bet at least some of you have. This is how language changes, how things that used to be considered errors are now correct and you can even find them in the dictionary!

So this is why I say it’s hopeless. Would you agree? Or do you think it’s worth trying to fight it?

Of course this doesn’t mean I’m going to start writing “it’s” when it should be “its” on purpose—God forbid!


Filed under burning question, grammar

4 responses to “Is it hopeless?

  1. pclampson

    No, no say it’s not so! Seriously, no, it’s not hopeless because there are plenty of us out there/here who feel as you do. We are the ones who correct those around us when not on FB and brought up our children to use grammar correctly. Bill Cosby rails against improper English and the use of sub-standard English. I used to not always correct an abuser on FB because I wasn’t sure if it would offend. Then I decided it was worth the risk. And then there is the possibility someone has seen our correction, taken it to heart and “reformed.” We may never know how many we have touched. And Amy, it doesn’t have to be a fight. Just go on about correcting…without dismay if people don’t meet your expectations…and with joy if they do. Make yourself the only one you have to catch.

  2. Pam, I think those of us who care are a tiny minority.

  3. Russ Guibord

    Correct grammer is a thing of the past(as in our generation). The smart phone(or is it smartphone ?) has totaly destroyed grammer as we know(or is it knew ?) it. Texting has, or will take over as the teenagers of today will not know how to correspond using the handwritten word. It is only a matter of time. Let us hope that we are gone by then. L.O.L.

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