For as long as I can remember, I have loved words. Grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, word meanings and word rhythm – my own form of geekdom. After all how many kids on your block would actually read the dictionary and the phone book? And of course, how many adults will admit that they actually did that? Guess I am finally secured in my grammar geekiness that I can.
And it’s not that I wasn’t a well-rounded tomboy because you would also find me out playing football and baseball with the boys on the block OR immersed in my Barbie dolls but the love of words has always been there.
I have been writing for a long time. Sometimes for pay, sometimes for love, sometimes because the words were screaming out of my head and I needed to put them somewhere so paper (or .doc file) seemed like a good place. And the first time I got PAID for writing, I was bouncing off the walls and I have to admit I still get a thrill every time I see my byline.
My grammar geek also causes problems and clearly irritates some people. For example, the editor in me still gets cranky when I see incorrect spelling, improper use of apostrophes, wrong word choice (to, too, two AND their, they’re, there are prime examples) And after spending years studying grammar, punctuation, the AP Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style, when news or PR organizations can’t get those things right, I get irate.
So it happened again yesterday. I was reading my FB feed and saw a post from a local news organization that I respect and watch regularly. Once again, whomever wrote the piece didn’t proof it, spell check or grammar check it before publishing it on the web. My frustration got the better of me and I commented on the grammar. And then I was attacked because I questioned the sentence structure and grammar.
Perhaps I am now admitting to be a dinosaur but I expect more out of newspapers, magazines and television stations. Is it too much to ask that these professional organizations take the time to check the spelling on their stories, their screen crawls and graphics? Are there no reference materials to verify that things are correct? Why is getting the words right any less important than getting the story out there?
I know (or at least hope) that each and every one of these people loves what they do and cares about how it is done. And I do know that staffs are smaller, they have to do more with less and it can be a demanding job. All I am asking is that you treat the words and sentences as carefully as you do the facts.
Oh, and if I made an error in here, please fire away. I didn’t have an editor today :^)