Thursday, October 08, 2009

An open letter to all spelling Nazis

Dear Internet Grammar and Spelling Nazis,

Thank goodness you came along. If it hadn't been for your observation that the word "report" was supposed to be "rapport" it may have had no effect whatsoever on our lives. But you, ah, you have found meaning in the minutiae. This is the Internet, after all, and someone needs to police it. You, sir or madam, are a hero for your willingness to sacrifice valuable hours of your day to something nobody else cares about just so that we know you can spell better than we can.

You spend countless hours combing posts and responses to posts just so you can point out when the rest of us make mistakes, because of course you never do. You don't have anything more important to do with your life because this is the most important thing in the world. In fact, if someone makes a spelling error online, it's a far more important representation of their ability to perform their duties as a human being than anything they actually say. Because if we don't proofread our 18th post today on an Internet message board about which actress has the best rack, then we probably don't proofread our resumes either. It's the only logical conclusion to make.

So I applaud you today, Guy Who Points Out Typos, for making sure we all know you found our mistake. You're right, it IS unprofessional to make spelling errors on an online forum about homosexual monkey sex photos. Your life is truly validated each time you point that out to the rest of us. So even though the others fail to appreciate your solid work ethic, know that I see your heroic efforts and I am eternally grateful that you made sure I know I accidentally left the "u" out of "restaurant" in my post about where to eat fried crickets in Los Angeles. Had you not pointed that out, nobody would have cared. But now we all know that you do.

Someone Who Occasionally Makes Mistakes


  1. there are Soelling Nazis trolling on forums about homosexual monkey sex photos? How else would you know? ;-)

  2. I can't wait for the "proper use of a semi-colon" and other punctuation nazis jump to the head of perfection line.

    Get a fucking hobby already, will ya trolls? Something maybe that'll take you out of the house and introduces you to real live people--I think you need the exposure.

  3. A while ago on a scriptshadow post, people flipped out because he didn't spell an actor's name right. Which isn't something a spellchecker is going to catch. But many expressed specific outrage that he didn't fact check all his articles!


    I think the appropriate response is to offer these people a full refund when they provide a proof-of-purchase...

  4. You're right, it IS unprofessional to make spelling errors on an online forum about homosexual monkey sex photos.

    "in an online forum" is the preferred usage. Also "homosexual monkey sex" is awkard. Try substituing "primate butt rape" or some other more colorful term.

    Need it on my desk in an hour, mkay? Thanks.

  5. I guess they don't believe that certain typos are understandable if you write and speak a lot.
    Speaking doesn't require thinking about the ubiquitous "your, you're" thing.

  6. Tarrantino misspells constantly. So did F. Scott Fitzgerald, for that matter. Catch where I'm going here, folks?

  7. Anonymous11:07 PM

    Wait. Is this a budweiser radio commercial? haha.

    Yeah those d-bags are lame. I've gotten a lot of flack for typos since my thoughts tend to be too fast for my fingers. Too much aiming over the years.

  8. "online forum about homosexual monkey sex photos....."


    Sharing is caring...

    Seriously, when I type my blog posts, it's for me (obviously) and if I can read it, it's good enough. Yes, I do go back and clean stuff up after a while, but if I don't, ain't nbobody's business. LOL, y'all.

    (I just threw up a little in my mouth, just typing that.)

  9. Have you asked him if you can send him all your scripts? And those of all your readers?

    Imagine what a ball he would have!

    (and us*, too)

    *(or is that "we"?)

  10. On sites where writers gather I think it's okay to be pernickety about the language.

  11. Why? If it's not a professional document, why do you care if somebody misspells one word?

  12. @ martinb: Which language? If you mean American, then why your use of the word, "pernickety" (The original Scottish dialect form was “pernickety,” but Americans changed it to “persnickety” a century ago. “Pernickety” is generally unknown in the US though it’s still in wide use across the Atlantic.) in your comment?

    Why stop at misspellings? What about all language usage? Why not go all the way and be persnickety about grammar and punctuation and whatever else has violated your delicate sensibilities? I mean, if such things are so troubling, then surely every error in writing committed by us mere mortals must drive you up the wall, right? Why be so narrow with your judgments?

    Man, I hope when I get bored with my day that I don't resort to trolling the internet writing sites and criticize language errors made by people who, like me, are just trying to make a point or contribute to the conversation at hand. If I do end up being that person, please kill me because it's obvious I don't have a life.

  13. There's this set of commercials where they salute a particular type of person, like firefighters and such. You should totally rewrite your text and shoot a mock salute to spelling nazis.

  14. Heh. Yeah I love those commercials. My favorite was the one about the inventor of the taco salad.

    You're right, it would make a fun little short.

  15. Hi Em,

    I came across your blog from searching for 'spelling nazis' in google and I love this post. I wrote one this morning myself if you feel like checking it out. I used to be a spelling nazi, but saw the error of my ways.


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