Friday, July 17, 2009

Online spelling and grammar

Yo, Illiterate! Yes, I mean you. I suppose you figure that you don’t need to proofread your writing before you post it online. You think I won’t notice. Well I do. In fact, I notice it everywhere—on blogs, newsgroups, why hell, even on television station websites.

If you’re not using grammar and spell checkers, you should be. And, if you are, then you need to acknowledge their limitations. Proofread, damn it.

English is a language full of quirky rules and still quirkier exceptions to those rules. This queer old aunt of a language must be preserved in all her peculiar glory. Your wholesale online abuse of English must stop at once. If you don’t mend your ways, then no one will respect the rules of English and God help us, writing will look like this:

“Then saw I all the half y-grave with famous folke's names fele, that hadde been in muche weal, and their fames wide y-blow. But well unnethes might I know any letters for to read their names by; for out of dread they were almost off thawed so, that of the letters one or two were molt away of ev'ry name, so unfamous was wox their fame.”

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Dave Loeff ( is an author and graphic designer. In addition to fiction, Dave writes about graphics, travel, and other topics. Find him at

Dave worked domestically in the sewn goods industry, before he became a buyer in Taiwan. He subsequently worked as a mental health clinician, technical writer, computer technician, and graphic designer.

His freelance services include conversion of manuscripts into eBooks, photo retouching, book design and illustration,