Grammar is hot. During a recent presentation on social media, I learned that the Grammar Girl site has one of the most popular podcasts in the U.S. and each weekly episode is downloaded more than 150,000 times. Then there’s the Facebook group “I judge you when you use poor grammar” (a fan site for the book of the same name, to be released Sept. 2009). This group has more than 380,000 members.
Now I’m preoccupied with grammar.
Many years ago, a family member mentioned that my profession (writing and editing) sometimes made her nervous when it came to sending me written communication. She didn’t want me to judge any spelling or grammar mistakes she made. I don’t. I love hearing from her and the rest of my family. I’m interested in my family’s news – not our overall spelling and grammar skills.
However, I realized today that I do judge my fellow writers and editors. Like many who wield a sharp red pencil, I can’t stand to find errors in the print and online books, magazines and newspapers I read. That goes for professional blogs, too – especially professional blogs about writing.
We all make mistakes. I’ve cringed upon finding a typo in a blog and fixed it immediately. Whenever possible, I get someone to proofread my posts for me, although I realize not everyone has that luxury. So the first time I caught the typo in a professional writing blog (which will rename nameless here), I excused it. The second time, I thought, hmm… this person is paid to blog? And the third time, when there were multiple typos and grammar mistakes in the first paragraph, I decided to cancel my FeedBurner subscription to the blog.
Is that too harsh? If I’m reading advice on writing and freelancing, especially from someone paid to share his or her expertise, I expect it to be clean and well edited.
What do you think? Would you quit reading a blog because of typos and grammar glitches?