Thursday, September 13, 2012

Getting it right

sol·e·cism (sŏĺĭ­sĭź-эm, sō'lĭ-) n. 1. A nonstandard usage or grammatical construction. 2. A violation of etiquette. 3. An impropriety, a mistake, or an incongruity. --sol“e·cist n. --sol”e·cis“tic adj

We've all run into them on the net, or are in fact one of them.  They are the "grammar nazis"!  With texting things have got out of hand (says one of the nazis!) where spelling leads the way in mistakes in written English.  But grammar is so bad sometimes that even the most tolerant reader aches to correct what is before him.

Two solecisms that are among the worst "pet peeves" of mine are using "me" in a compound subject and use of the word "irregardless" -- Johnny and me will be there irregardless of who else comes. Of course it should be "Johnny and I" (remove the second party and it is plain).  But there is no word "irregardless," for the word "regardless" is already negative, meaning "without regard."  The "ir-" as used to turn "reverent" negative does not apply here.

I would not go so far as to call an error in syntax a "sin," but it sure brings out a bad attitude in some people.  When a writer uses bad grammar it reflects on his intelligence even if his or her points are well made otherwise.  It is for this reason that I cringe when I see such mistakes in a presentation of the Gospel, for instance.  If syntax is accompanied with ALL CAPS, then I scroll down to the next post hoping no one begins to ridicule the poor soul who has posted.

Spell check works at times, but grammar checks are less reliable.  If you are in doubt as to what to post, speak it out loud before hitting the 'send' button.  Though you may want to reflect your inner self in "dialect," it is more likely to be taken seriously if you stick to standard English.

That being said, my services as an editor are available to anyone out there who wishes them.  Email me for details, or just leave a message in the remarks.  You can also message me at my Facebook address.  My email and my Facebook page are both based on my name:

jhenrymartin at gmail dot com
and slash jhenrymartin

I look forward to working with both established and beginning writers.

No comments: