Sunday, October 22, 2006


--On MTV: "This is so stressful I feel like I'm going to go into cardiac duress!"

--On an email forward: "This is to cute not to send!"

--On a sign: "No refunds on seasonal merchandize"

--On another email forward: "39 Things I've Learnt So Far in Life" You know one of the things I've learned so far? How to spell LEARNED.

WHY are people so stupid?! These are adults! Know how to speak and how to spell, people; otherwise people will think you somewhat inferior.

EDIT: The email mistakes are within the body of the email, written or copied by somebody way back. I am NOT judging the person who sent it on to me, rather I am judging the person who first wrote it, back who knows when. And they are both FORWARDS, not personal emails. Jeez.

I judge people on things like intelligence (as well as compassion and openmindedness and drive, etc). Frankly, I feel better about that than say, judging people on what brand of clothing they wear or what kind of shoes, or what hairstyle they have (well, except mullets; I think we all judge those). I'm sure we all agree that insides are more important than outsides. I've been judged often based on appearance or clothing, and I would much rather have someone critique something I said, wrote, or learned than how I looked. And I make sure that I try to prevent any of those former critiques by coming across as intelligent and put-together as possible. Maybe it's wrong, but I want others to do the same. I'd rather focus on the content instead of appearance of the message, but if there are errors, I'm one of those who does get distracted from the content.

I have updated my profile at right to include the self-descriptive phrase "Spelling Stickler," so everyone is now fairly warned about my evil self.


jonathan said...

I received an e-mail last week requesting my "Assistants." Great, not only do I not have the servants the writer thought I did, but if in fact I did have them, I could pass them around to friends and other people who work for DoE!

Oh, yeah, just so I could feel special, the author dropped that minor error into the first clause of a massive run-on sentence. And in a follow-up e-mail addressed me as Ms. 2718.

Anonymous said...

That is just plain RUDE of you, in my opinion. Someone thinks enough of you to share something with you and all you can do is check for SPELLING AND GRAMMAR?

How incredibly petty. Shame on you!

NYC Educator said...

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. English spelling is not logical at all. I'm a stickler for good spelling, especially among my students. Coming from other countries and languages, they have a pretty good excuse for messing up, though.

I've known some otherwise very competent Americans who've never mastered spelling. For my students, I'll sometimes write the word "ghoti" on the board.

I ask what that spells and then draw a fish.

It's gh from "enough," o from "women" and ti from "nation."

And even generally good spellers make awful typing errors when they're working with hinky laptops (like the one I'm using right now).

Anonymous said...

"Grading" private emails in a public forum, eh? Classy.

Anonymous said...

To judge one's intelligence simply on the basis of spelling and grammar is, in my opinion, a disply of ignorance in the true sense of the term.

There are those who struggle all of their lives with severe dyslexia and have difficulty with spelling. Are they stupid? Absolutely not! To judge them so is abhorant to me.

A woman read your post today and was devastated at being referred to as "stupid" because she can't spell properly at all times. This woman has achieved more in her lifetime than you or I will put together. She grew up with undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD and managed to succeed in spite of her limitations. I am extremely proud of her accomplishments, as I believe we all should be, for she sets an example the rest of us could follow.

She is now reluctant, as a result of your post, to correspond with you for fear of being judged "stupid."

Words are powerful things and the sting of judgement of one's words can last a lifetime.

Something to think about.

Lady S said...

I am not a great speller, but I know enough to go back and check when I send something (like a request for Assistants).

I am more a stickler for grammar (I even had to go back and check that word).

Sign at my mall:

This Weeks Special's

Jules the Crazy said...

k--you are correct: A)I would NEVER judge anyone solely on those things, because intelligence is made up of many components, and writing is one of them. I tried to make that clear, when I mentioned compassion, attitude, and drive. Clearly "the woman" has more than enough of that, because she has succeeded.

B)If someone has a reason for that struggle, then obviously it's a completely different story. My problem is that this phenomenon is widespread, among so many people that it can't be only those who struggle with dyslexia and the like.

Since you DO actually know me, I am disappointed to see that you judged me so harshly and quickly, not taking into account many things like my own compassion and interactions.

Ax said...

Hey Anon #1 and #2 - those are pretty harsh comments.

Anon#1: I'm sure you get a boatload of crap forwarded to you too. Do you think that most people actually think before forwarding such spam? I doubt it, as it is unlikely most would verbally repeat such tripe. The "I am forwarding this because I'm thinking of you" is (a) something spam mailers write to get their chain mails propagated, and (b) a poor excuse and no replacement for an actual personal email.

Anon#2: since when are chain letters private emails?? By definition, they are not. And I don't think you could describe anything on MTV or store signage as a private communication.

In defense of emails with poor grammar or spelling - emails are an immediate communications medium. It is very easy to dash off an email and not notice these types of errors, simply because of the immediacy of the medium.

Having made that comment, none of the examples our aggrieved heroine cited are in that category.

Anon#3, (aka "k"): you raise a valid point which I doubt very many people have thought about - that situation certainly had never crossed my mind. I have no doubt that Jules really isn't so black and white as you interpreted this blog entry. I suggest your anonymous woman friend's life could be easier if she learns how to effectively use her computer's spell checker, if it bothers her.

I think some business spam emails have deliberate misspellings to suggest urgency. But if you have something important to say, you need to make sure you say it properly, otherwise Jules is right - you will either look like an idiot or message will not be interpreted properly. If you can't do this (too busy or some other reason), get someone who can do it for you.

PS: As NYC Educator pointed out, the problem is sometimes technical in origin. I once had a Dell laptop where the letters i, o, l, and the comma would stop working when it got too hot. Very very frustrating! Also, some users may not know how to turn on the automatic spell checker - however that will never catch the unfortunate use of homonyms.

Anonymous said...

I was of the opinion that "learnt" was an acceptable spelling (maybe a bit British but still) for the past tense of learn.

Perhaps I'm wrong. But I kind of don't think so.

As for me, I just ignore the forwarded email stuff.