Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just because I have a math degree doesn't mean I can't correct your grammar.

So, as Hurricane Sandy drama subsides I spent the livelong day on social media trying to figure out when the heck my kid can go Trick-or-Treating.  While scrolling down my news feed I found a local newspaper that made these two statements in its updates:

"Now that people are coming into town we've noticed alot of you are reporting on how much/little damage you've discovered at your place."

"We know we have alot of work ahead of us..." 

Once again, I acted before I really thought about it.  All the comments were mentions of staying safe and cleaning up from the hurricane.  Except mine.

"Alot is not a word."  Shame on me, right?  I just couldn't take it.  This "newspaper" makes this mistake on its social media page ALL the time and this was twice in the SAME DAY. 

I immediately felt bad for my comment and probably would have deleted it had I not received this immediate response: "I believe there is a dictionary that needs reading." Uh-oh! Did you just tell me I need to read a dictionary?  

Naturally, my immaturity immediately took over. My first impulse was to type: "I don't f**king think so! I HAVE A G-DAMN MASTERS DEGREE YOU SMALL-TOWN UNEDUCATED NEARLY ILLITERATE EDITOR OF A FREE NEWSPAPER!" Surprisingly, amazingly, inexplicably, I did not go with my first impulse. Instead, I posted this pic on the paper's page with the caption: "Here's where it would be in the dictionary if it were a word."

Then I started typing. Dangerous. I even got my sister involved. More dangerous. (But I love her!)

ME: By you. It's two words: a lot. You make the mistake all the time on your page. You'd think a newspaper would know this.

SISTER: [Excellent read, by the way!]

PAGE: Oh shame on us Christy I mean Chrissy. Two s's aren't you fancy! We let our copy editor go for the day. I also meant just go read the dictionary and stop spending your night spell checking Facebook pages.

ME:Wow. What a great way to make sure I never patronize any of your advertisers.

SISTER: It's called spell check. DUH.

ME: I had trouble typing the original comment because "alot" kept getting auto-corrected to "a lot." And that mistake is ALL OVER your posts (you made it twice TODAY) so I'd had enough. I no longer "like" your page -- so I don't have to see your typos again. Judging by the copy on the site, I think this newspaper is run by a 12-year-old. Or maybe that's insulting to 12-year-olds. 

Then other people got in on it.  Only one on my side: "also, there's an unnecessary placement of the word 'in' above." THANK YOU, stranger!

Here's the end of it from the page:
"Thanks the girls deleted their comments after they reported the responses they got. We appreciate the support!" [Have you also noticed the lack of commas? Gaaaah!]

Hmmmmm, first of all, I'm 33 years old and NOT a "girl!"  Second of all, I didn't delete ANY of my comments.  That would be essentially acknowledging I said something wrong.  I definitely did not.

And it turns out I've now been blocked by the page.  Phew! Thank goodness I will no longer have to see its endless spelling and grammar mistakes. 

Once again, I'm admitting that I should have muzzled myself.  It's very easy within the anonymity of social media to correct someones grammar when I would never do it in person.  However, this is the page of a supposedly respectable publication in a ritzy resort town.  I do realize people are going through A LOT (two words) in the aftermath of the hurricane.  My husband spent the last two days cleaning up the town where this paper is published. I'm not downplaying or discounting the tragedy.  If this is such a respectable publication, though, why didn't the page administrator just ignore my comment?  I immediately felt bad and would have deleted it if I had not received such a rude response.  The page administrator should have taken the high road before this turned into the war of comments that ensued and ended in people being reported for bullying.  That would have been the respectable and professional thing to do.  And most people wouldn't have even noticed my comment.

This whole incident should teach a few lessons to my readers (but probably just me)
1. "Alot" is not a word.
2.  You can really ruin some little newspaper's pretty sunset picture by trying to correct their grammar. 
3. Grammar is the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed.  Grammer is the guy from Cheers and Frasier.