When to correct someone’s spelling or grammar


Using correct spelling and grammar is not something that comes easily to everyone. Most people fully admit to their shortcomings in regards to word usage. We all have our talents.

With the advent of Social Media, incorrect spelling and grammar have become somewhat acceptable. Saying ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ is sometimes required, when available characters are limited (thank you, Twitter). Some believe it’s simple laziness – people can’t be bothered to take the time and proofread what they’ve written before pressing ‘send’. Others think that learning disabilities come into play, making it difficult for some to know the difference between “they’re”, “there” and “their”.

Whatever the reason, when you notice that someone has spelled a word incorrectly, you can choose to ignore it or you can correct them. I used to believe that if I didn’t educate others by correcting their spelling and grammar, I wasn’t doing my duty. I now believe there are just two times when you should correct someone’s spelling or grammar:

  1. You’ve been ASKED by a friend to proofread a document. If proofreading and/or editing is something you do professionally, helping a friend for free is a decision you need to make.
  2. You’ve been PAID to proofread or edit a document. For “spelling and grammar Nazis” (not a term I am terribly fond of but one that is commonly understood), editing is one of the best jobs in the world.

As much as it may be tempting to grab the metaphorical red pen and start slashing away at someone’s post, take a breath. They haven’t asked for your help. The only one affected by their errors is them. Shake your head and keep scrolling down…




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