A few months ago, I wrote an article about how correcting others’ grammar online is classist. On the opposite end of the argument is the idea that we shouldn’t worry about how we write at all.
I engage with a lot of people online: Facebook, Twitter, comment sections, and more. Seriously. A lot. Something I see time and time again are people who repeatedly publish something riddled with errors. I’m not even talking about obscure grammar rules. I’m talking about very obvious errors.
And while certainly poor education may be to blame, I’ve come to wonder whether the pressure for immediate response is partly at fault. Admittedly anecdotal, I find that when people are responding quickly and are passionate on their position that they tend to type quickly and are even quicker to press “Send”.
As a result, I believe, we are skipping proofreading entirely.
Technology makes it easy to quickly check for errors today. Not just autocorrect either. Check out these two screenshots:
The first screenshot is from my iPhone and the second is from the desktop version of Chrome. In both cases, the app highlights a spelling mistake for me (this feature is virtually ubiquitous now). If I take a moment or two before pressing “Send”, I’d notice the spelling mistake, and I can easily fix it.
So, while I still maintain that we have a responsibility to not shame people for their writing as a way to dismiss their points, we also have a responsibility to proofread our own writing. It will help us better get out point across and give us a moment or two to pause before pressing “Send”.
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