Typos & Twitter

February 7, 2012 by edotgdot

Has Social Media induced carelessness when it comes to spelling and grammar?


How many times do you see something like this plastered on Facebook?


“Your coming to Chicago this weekend?” as opposed to  “You’re coming to Chicago this weekend?”


With the ability to post in a matter of seconds on Facebook and Twitter, we are inundated with typos. Does the web reveal that most people are not aware of some of the fundamental rules of English? We are not all professional editors and writers, but putting forth the best effort when making any statement should be paramount. As a stickler, I find it difficult to not ask others to correct some of the errors. (I don’t do it because I suspect it will not go over well). And when I see a mistake of my own (yes, it happens), I am no less than horrified and do my best to redeem myself.


In their new book, The Great Typo Hunt, writer and editor Jeff Deck and his friend Benjamin Herson trekked across the United States in an effort to correct as many typos as possible. An admirable feat and an interesting concept, however, if readers understand the message do typos really matter? Typos matter: what you write is a reflection of yourself and to an extent, your intelligence and ability.


In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle famously flubbed the spelling of “potato” by adding an “e” on the end. The media sensationalized this seemingly innocuous event because it may have verified the opposition’s criticism and prompted others to question whether or not a man who could not spell “potato” was capable of leading the country. In his subsequent memoir, Quayle said: “It was a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable. Politicians live and die by the symbolic sound bite.’’


The hard rules may not apply in the case of Social Media, yet you are still posting, broadcasting, or publishing your thoughts for the world to see. Typos happen and mistakes are not the end of the world. But being continually lax about grammar could lead to a blunder that could cost you the next job interview or even public scrutiny. The next time you are posting then, will you give it a second glance?


Sources: cbcnews Canada


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