Responses to Typos and Personality: “Grammar Nazis” Confirmed?

By Neuroskeptic | March 27, 2016 9:24 am

Do you haet typos? If you spot a grammo (a grammatical error), does you’re blood boil?

Some people are more offended by these kinds of linguistic errors than others, but why? Ann Arbor psychologists Julie E. Boland and Robin Queen examine this in a new PLOS ONE paper called If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages

The authors recruited 83 volunteers (on MTurk) and asked them to imagine that they’d placed an online ad looking for a new housemate. The volunteers were then asked to evaluate a set of 12 ‘response e-mails’, as if from people replying to their ad. Some of the responses contained errors. Each participant got shown one version of each email: either well-written, or with typos, or with grammos (not both.)

For instance, here’s one of the ‘e-mails’ with the possible typos and grammos highlighted

Hey! My name is Pat and I’m interested in sharing a house with other students who are serious abuot (about) there (their) schoolwork but who also know how to relax and have fun. I like to play tennis and love old school rap. If your (you’re) someone who likes that kind of thing too, maybe we would mkae (make) good housemates.

The results showed that both typos and grammos had a negative impact on how likely the participants would be to accept the sender of each email as a housemate. Typos had the larger effect.

Yet there were individual differences in the tolerance of errors, and Boland and Queen found that this correlates with personality. They had participants fill out a questionnaire measuring the “Big 5” or OCEAN personality traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Some traits were associated with more negative reactions to the errors. For instance, introverts tended to judge text with typos more harshly than extroverts. Less agreeable people took a harder line on grammos. These personality-error interaction effects were, in some cases, even larger than the overall effects of grammos.


Boland and Queen conclude that

The primary contribution of the current study is the finding that personality traits influence our reactions to written errors… Although personality traits have been linked to variation in production, particularly the use of specific lexical items, this is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the overall assessment of variable language.

These results seem to fit with common sense. We all know the stereotype of the “grammar Nazi” who berates others for the smallest mistakes. This textual totalitarian is, in the popular mind, not a very agreeable person. Likewise, it’s easy to imagine that an introvert would tend to be more ‘anal’ about typos than a happy-go-luck extrovert.

On the other hand, I wonder if MTurk is the ideal population in which to do this task. My understanding is that MTurkers spend lots of time carefully clicking the right buttons and typing the right things into boxes (as part of psychology experiments, and other tasks.) They might be more attuned to typos (and motivated to avoid them) than other people.

ResearchBlogging.orgBoland JE, & Queen R (2016). If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages. PloS ONE, 11 (3) PMID: 26959823

CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, Top Posts, Uncategorized, you
  • lump1

    I tend to be forgiving of typos and other failures of proofreading, as long as I see them as things that can happen to anyone who is in a hurry. The “grammos” in the example are not like that. They’re symptoms not of haste, but of sheer barbarity. I would never suspect the guy who wrote “abuot” doesn’t actually know how to correctly spell the word. But the guy who wrote “they’re” in place of “their” does not prima facie deserve that kind of benefit of the doubt. Now I’m wondering which personality type is most like me and sees the grammos as being much worse than the typos.

    • Neuroskeptic

      Yes, Boland and Queen say that grammos tend to have a higher negative impact when they’re noticed, however typos are easier to spot, which is why, in this study, typos had a bigger effect.

    • Jon Gordon

      This happens a lot, writing with an Android cellphone, if you don’t pay close attention. I’ve learned not to judge anyone too harshly, mainly because I’m either a hypocrite, conceited or both. Everyune’s different.

      • lump1

        Yeah, the weaknesses of autocorrect can really mask the user’s errors, which makes it harder to judge the users. I agree.

        • Jon Gordon

          “Everyune’s” was intentional. I get the sarcasm. You’re very clever or something…

      • John Spanos

        In my experience it’s not just writing with a phone that causes this to happen.

        These tiny little Disqus comment boxes offer such a crabbed interface within which to type, proofread, and edit comments, that generating grammos and typos at far greater-than-normal levels is common.

        It’s easy to create grammos when I attempt to edit a longish sentence within the comment box, especially when I can’t see the beginning or end of the sentence.

        Much of the web’s commenting software (Disqus, Livefyre, Blogger, and their assorted ilk) presents this problem.

  • Uncle Al

    Exact language exists because where there is no enforcement there is no law. If you do not know what you are writing then you do not know what you are saying. “Best efforts will not substitute for knowledge,” W. Edwards Deming.

    “I leave my $3 million estate in equal portions to Abel, Baker, and Charlie.” Each receives $1 million.
    “I leave my $3 million estate in equal portions to Abel, Baker and Charlie.” Able gets $1.5 million; Baker and Charlie get $750K each. The Oxford comma matters.

    • Andrzej Jennings

      There are few things in the world that bother me more than when someone omits the OC. But in this case, if we were to follow grammar rules, Baker and Charlie would have to get $1M apiece. “Baker and Charlie.” is not a proper sentence, and the inference would have to be that someone omitted the comma.

      • daqu

        What in the world does whether “Baker and Charlie.” is a proper sentence have to do with anything?

        • Andrew Jennings

          Because the inference made that the two sentences are so different in that the first sentence (with the Oxford comma) each gets $1M, and that in the second sentence without the OC, Able gets $1.5M, while Baker and Charlie split the remaining $1.5M, and get $750K apiece.

          My argument is that while the OC is important, in this puzzle, it does not mean Baker and Charlie split the remainder and get $750K apiece.

          The sentence structure presumes the omitted OC means the lone comma is a clause separator, not a list separator. But this is wrong on two counts:

          First, because the first sentence makes little sense by itself “I leave my $3 million estate in equal portions to Abel”.

          And second, because the second clause “Baker and Charlie.” is not a complete sentence.

          Because of other customs which allow for omitting the OC (however much it annoys those of us who insist upon its use), both sentences can rightly be interpreted that each should get an equal share of $1M apiece – with or without the Oxford comma.

          • shintakezou

            I hope so. Otherwise, there’s a strong argument against taking into account this Oxford comma altogether. The whole meaning of this example can’t rely really on it, and I bet that most readers gets the first meaning, even not noticing if the comma exists or not. I suspect/hope this is not a good example of the actual “Oxford comma” at all. (Btw in Italian, according to strict rules —nowadays more relaxed— it would have been considered a mistake to put that final comma before the end-of-the-list “and”; mistake or not, there would be only one meaning, the first. I doubt in English and other european language it would be any different. I suppose somebody could cite some chomskyian strong argument against the second meaning, partly as you did)

          • Andrew Jennings

            I agree, this is not a good example at all. However, I do a lot of verbal recitation from written materials (which is to say, I read aloud what others write). The problem is that writers assume I know what they’re conveying, and the subtle pauses and cadence created by use or non-use of a comma is jarring. Consider my recitation sounds like this:

            “I leave my $3 million estate in equal portions to Abel, BakerAndCharlie.”

            The names “Abel”, “Baker”, and “Charlie” should be read aloud (or silently!) at the same speed. Consider this alternative: “I like cereal, oatmeal, bacon and eggs” and “I like cereal, oatmeal, bacon, and eggs”. In the first, we tend to refer to the breakfast “BaconAndEggs” as a single unit and thus, is read much faster than “…bacon, and eggs”, which are read uniformly in speed with the others in the serial list. The comma, therefore, causes us to not run quickly into the next word – a minute pause which affects cadence and rhythm.

        • dittoheadadt

          “I’m going to the movies with Abel, Baker and Charlie.” ~ with whom am I going to the movies? There are two possible answers, either all three of them OR I’m telling Baker and Charlie that I’m going to the movies with Abel.

          “I’m going to the movies with Abel, Baker, and Charlie.” ~ with whom am I going to the movies? There’s only one answer – all three of them.

          That’s an example of why the Oxford comma matters.

          • shintakezou

            Do you english guys really write such a direct speech sentence as the first when you talk to Baker and Charlie?! Wouldn’t you say something like: “Hey guys, I’m gonna to the movies with Abel” ?!

          • dittoheadadt

            It’s more an issue written, not spoken, because when I speak, no one can see my commas.

            The classic example is in Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” In it he writes, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.”

            Without a proper understanding of the Oxford comma, one might think that Frost’s is utterly banal to think “lovely” is a standalone adjective, no different from “dark” or “deep.” As if he’s just listing three equal adjectives, one of which is the utterly meaningless “lovely.”

            With a proper understanding of the importance of the Oxford comma, one realizes immediately that Frost is saying that “dark and deep” is precisely what MAKES the woods “lovely.” If you don’t remain faithful to the Oxford comma, there’s no way to know what Frost meant when he wrote that line.

            But we know Frost is a brilliant poet. And so we KNOW what he meant – that the woods are lovely because they’re dark and deep.

            That’s why faithful, proper use of the Oxford comma is important.

          • shintakezou

            As said in another comment, in Italian it would have been considered an error to write “I boschi sono piacevoli, scuri, e cupi” — now it’s accepted easily, but the meaning would be pretty the same. A comma is such a small graphical evidence! Let’s change the kind of punctuation altogether instead, e.g. “The woods are lovely —dark and deep— …” or something like that 😀

            Anyway, the problem is not only the writer, but the reader. If I know about the Oxford comma, I can assume Frost, who’s not a casual writer, knows it too. Hence I’ll interpret his writings taking it into account. But if I don’t know about it, I can’t assume anything, and so I’ll pull the meaning from the sentence as it comes to me. And here it comes the ambiguity. Maybe I don’t find strange that Frost uses such a “utterly meaningless” adjective. Maybe I don’t think that adjective is “utterly meaningless” at all. I get a slightly different meaning, and I believe it is nice anyway. Or maybe I get the right meaning, because I read it aloud and pause after the comma then I read correctly “altogether” “dark and deep”, with the right “rythm”. I am supposing an advanced poetry reader…
            So… Problem not solved! The Oxford comma does not work to convey meaning across (if I can say so) people.
            Poetry, likely, isn’t a good starting point to make examples about it. Also because poetry doesn’t need to be worried of the practical meaning.

    • Erik Bosma

      Sorry, but that comma became optional years ago.

      • Neuroskeptic

        As “Vampire Weekend” sang in 2008

        Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?
        I’ve seen those English dramas too
        They’re cruel
        So if there’s any other way
        To spell the word
        It’s fine with me, with me

      • G Virkler

        Consider the two following sentences:
        1 “I leave my $3 million estate in equal portions to be divided among Abel, Baker and Charlie.”
        2 “I leave my $3 million estate in equal portions to be divided between Abel, Baker and Charlie.”

        Now the lack of the comma in the second sentence becomes vitally important since between, refers to two parties and the single comma creates two parties. When two commas are used there are no longer two obvious parties, but three.

        • Andrew Jennings

          If you want to go down that road, then, I posit that there are two parties. One’s name is “Charlie”, the other’s is “Baker Abel” (referred to as “Abel, Baker” in the sentence).

          If you say that the single comma makes two parties, then, you imply that party #1 is Abel and party #2 comprises Baker and Charlie. If this were true, then it would also be true if party #2 were comprised of only one person, and would be written like this: “I leave my $3 million estate in equal portions to be divided between Abel, Baker”, and that makes no sense, either, since the comma must be changed to the word “and”.

          While I insist upon the OC, in this case, there cannot be a second clause, because “Baker and Charlie.” not only do not make up a complete sentence, but such is a clause that can only be explain by commonly accepted use of the OC being omitted.

    • andrewwiggin

      This is not universal law. Many sources (including the AP stylebook favored by U.S. journalists) consider the ‘Oxford comma’ excessive..

      • Van Snyder

        It’s required by ISO in international standards.

    • shintakezou

      Exact language does not exist at all (except invented, formal languages).

      Human natural languages are ambiguous by nature, that’s why there’s redundancy and we use hints by the context and other non-spoken clue.

      When the language must be written down we need to compensate for the missing details of a vis-a-vis communication.

      But how (i.e. which are the chosen ways to make the communication better), should not rely on tiny details as a comma, which even schooled but distracted readers/writers could miss.

      I mean, your example-sentence is poorly written if the writer really relies on the comma to convey the intended meaning. It’s an argument *against* this Oxford comma.

      Bet it, that sentence is most likely to be interpreted as $1 million per person, with or without the comma. A schooled reader (one who knows The Rule) should ask himself if the writer knew it, too. Is it missing by mistake? Or, is the comma there by mistake? …

      I would say that the following rule is more interesting: the more you have to change a written sentence (keeping all the keywords with semantic “values”) to subvert its meaning, the less ambiguous the communication is, i.e. the better the commucation is.

      Here, a simple comma changes the meaning (according to you).

      If *really* the writer trusts his/her commas, it’s his/her fault (and shame) if anyone picks the “wrong” meaning (wrong according to the intention of such a smart writer).

      Lawyers and law-makers (or alike) writes that kind of sentence, scattering quibbles to keep their work worth and hooks for future clients.

      Your example of this “Oxford comma” proves that “The Rule” is a mistake; a problem, not a solution towards better communication.

      The comma *does not* solve the ambiguity of the sentence which, indeed, very likely won’t be perceived as ambiguous at all, because the first meaning holds more naturally. And if you want the second meaning but people get it wrong, it is not because people are stupid and unable to use/understand The Oxford Comma, but because you wrote a sentence which must be used as an example of what you should NOT do if you want to avoid ambiguity and communicate better an information/idea/concept/whatever.

    • Van Snyder

      Let’s eat (,) grandma.

  • Денис Бурчаков

    Exact language is a surrogate marker for education. Much like cholesterol for heart disease. But cholesterol does not tell the full story. And probably grammar nazis tend to overgeneralize and overreact. This overreaction suggest increased sensitivity to the meaning, which is typical for introverts. But to learn, whether I/E axis is associated with grammar nazism, we should compare reactions to typos in virtual and real settings. Will introverts defame mistakes in spoken speech? How extraverts will react? Or grammar nazi are purely WWW thing? I am not sure, whether this kind of experiment conceivable, but I am not convinced by the current data.

  • Boris Ogon

    I’ll say one thing for certain: the barbarous neologism “grammos” actually made me queasy.

  • Angus Gordon-Farleigh

    Don’t know about my fellow Grammar Nazis, but I am so simply because I find the presence of text errors in a passage deeply, glaringly disruptive to my reading experience.
    To my poor oversensitive brain, misspellings, etc. appear to convert the words/sentences within which they’re stumbled upon into large, bizarre fonts, completely derail one’s natural absorption thought processes and create the necessity to begin afresh. So frustrating!
    When I was a child in the ’70s such errors in printed works, even in the ephemeral press were like hens’ teeth, exceedingly rare.
    Nowadays, newspapers may be expected to carry several mistakes per page and a good 800 page novel a dozen or two.
    I love reading and the constant staccato machine-gun fire of ever increasing numbers of undisciplined typos is slowly turning me insane… drip by drip by drip.
    It is a personalised torture developed in hell’s most horrible demesnes.

    Please understand when you’ve been miffed by a correction that I’ve politely suggested, that my natural primary inclination over the trifling matter of your written grotesquerie was to have ripped off one of your legs and mashed your head into pulp with its bloody stump.

    You’re welcome.

    • Andrzej Jennings

      Do you realize how many grammar mistakes you’ve made?

      • Angus Gordon-Farleigh

        Ah. That’d be “how many grammar mistakes Grammarly has made”!

  • Dan Alvírez

    I have read very few articles, or books for that matter, that don’t have typographical errors. They happen and I can forgive them, because everyone gets digital dyslexia every once in a while. Grammar errors irk me, and if there are too many of them in an article, blog, letter, or whatever else, it becomes impossible for me to take whatever is being said seriously. Honestly, if you don’t know the difference between ‘There, Their, and They’re’ and ‘Your and You’re,’ then I really have no use for you.

  • OWilson

    I was educated by “grammar nazis”, and it served me well through my life. Being able to communicate well in business proved a valuable asset.

    In those days, a newspaper or magazine was considered to be the veritable paragon of proper grammar. A typo would bring down the wrath of the readers, all vying to be the first to point out the outrage in the Letters to the Editor :)

    Today, the whole language is being redefined (degraded ?), along with many other former cultural standards, and the question often is, “What difference does it really make?”

    Today, business correspondence, and apparently government communication, is conducted by email and text, with little thought to the legalities, and if those texts and emails are not preserved it can be a costly business trying to instigate or defend a legal claim. In the insurance business a simple inappropriate text can negate all the fine print in a multi page Policy.

    Keeps the lawyers busy, anyway.

    On the other hand, the insistence on perfect grammar can have its drawbacks.

    I’m reminded of an employee, a bookkeeper who was a stickler for such things and was proud of it. He once gave me a cheque to sign backed up with an invoice from some company. On the invoice he had gone to great lengths to red line at least a half dozen errors and typos on the page, which he proudly pointed out to me.

    I tore up the cheque. The problem was the invoice was a scam, because we never dealt with that company. In his misplaced zealousness, he had missed the subtle difference between The Yellow Directory, and The Yellow Pages. :)

    (But he WAS right about the grammar :)

  • polistra24

    Looking at the original stimuli, many of their typos are unlikely. Mkae and runnign are very hard to do by accident. Amke and runngin are easier. (Real typos tend to be closer to real language.)

    I guess this makes me a metanazi, a studies-about-grammar-nazis nazi.

    • LynnM

      I frequently transpose the “g” and “n” in an “ing” suffix when typing and have to correct it. Possibly the typos you make are different than the typos others make. It isn’t difficult to transpose letters when typing… Another thought… I am left handed – possibly handedness influences the typos one makes…

    • daqu

      polistra24, you are just plain wrong. The transposition of adjacent letters is *very* easy to do by accident – I do it all the time, and so do many others I know. (Fortunately, I check what I type so almost always fix such errors.)

  • Erik Bosma

    Hell for all grammabozos. Bad spellers should spend a few centuries in Limbo or whatever that place is called.

  • Phil Levin

    As a senior technical writer of more than 20 years, I’ve worked with people of every nationality and aptitude. Those whose ideas are of the most critical value to any enterprise may or may not have the English language or writing skills required to convey them effectively. Even the most brilliant native English-speaking scientists and engineers typically rely on skilled editors (or technical writers) to make their thoughts understood. Moreover, writing in fluent colloquial English is a skill rarely possessed by foreign nationals. A familiar simile from the music world is Mussorgsky’s ever popular “Pictures at an Exhibition”. Composed for piano, it likely would have remained in relative obscurity but for Ravel’s brilliant orchestration.

    • OWilson

      An astute observation.

      I’m an old stickler for the use of proper grammar, but “appropriateness” trumps conformity. Texting is very useful.

      We are indeed in a global market, and the most important thing is to understand and be understood.

      • shintakezou

        It was the same also before the “global market”. I mean, human languages exist to communicate. They are ambiguous; when you speak, you use several “tricks” to be sure to be understood (and then there’s always the immediate feedback you can’t count on when you write e.g. a blog entry). When you write… you should avoid carefully to write anything that could be misunderstood by any kind of readers. You can’t rely on complex or obscure or tricky rules to cancel ambiguities. You can’t even ignore the fact that those rules are not universal nor everlasting: they follow the evolution of the language, hence they change. This means that what’s wrong/ok nowadays, could be ok/wrong in the future. Grammar books are not current, up-to-date “snapshots” of the actual rules speakers/writers use. They can’t be, since languages’ evolution is a continue process.

        I “fight” against all the (italian) “grammar nazis” who do not understand this and another important fact: context determines how much strict you *should* be. I laugh to those “grammar nazis” on Twitter or similar places. To be honest, outside literature (scientific one included) I doubt there’s any value in complying strictly to “The Rules” (I suppose it’s what you mean with appropirateness trumps conformity).

        I love to remember them that we do not speak Latin anymore, and I invite them to think about what solemn-latin speakers would say about the modern Italian, which is a sort of an outspring of ignorance about Latin.

        { Of course English isn’t my mother tongue, so if you spot errors of any kind, don’t use them as an argument for, or against, anything 😀 }

        • OWilson

          Could have fooled me me with your ESL :) It’s really good. (I did mark English Lit papers on contract during a few summers).

          I even like your word “context”, better than my “appropriateness”, much more succinct, compact and was probably the word I was mentally searching for!

    • Van Snyder

      When I was the chair of a curriculum committee at a small private university, the most common complaint of the engineering faculty was not that their students were spending too much time on general studies and not on engineering. It was “My students can’t write!”

  • Captain Slog

    I can’t sand Typo’s, even wen I do the myself. The very worst thing of all is when you get e-Mails from people who use this so-called “Txting.” Most of the time, I haven’t a bloody clue what they’re trying to tell me.
    When someone writes to you, such as ME to YOU here, you expect to be able to understand what they’re saying, not shudder every time you see a word that is incorrectly spelled or used in “txt” form.
    Words we use every day are spelled a certain way so that we UNDERSTAND what they are and what they men. If they’re spelled wrong, they chuck a spanner in the works and the sentence you’re [ NOT “YOUR”! It doesn’t belong to you!] reading doesn’t make sense. Some Words are not even Typos, but words used incorrectly such as the example above. This is either done through Ignorance, or, like “txting,” a kind of “fashion” or “craze” used by the trend setters of today.
    There is nothing “fashionable” about Writing, unless you’re using Fancy FONTS. That’s understandable. But to deliberately use typos as a form of “fashion” is very wrong. and its very LAZY!!
    Even when I’m Handwriting something, if I write a certain LETTER of the Alphabet [to clarify, A, B, C, etc. as opposed to “Dear Sir / Ma’am, Your Spelling is CRAP and. . . “] a certain way and its shape is wrong, it not only LOOKS wrong, it FEELS Wrong! Has anyone ever noticed that?
    Spelling and using the Correct Words is VERY Important. Americans only Spell words the way they do because they HATE the British [Ironically, you are mostly descended from British Stock, and other countries too], and they are REBELLING against the British way of Spelling to turn it into “a Merkin” ENGLISH. IF you REALLY Hate the English or British, why not keep the Language as its MEANT to be and call it Universal Standard? I do. I’ve got nothing against the English [Poms], or Britain, but the English Language IS becoming UNIVERSAL.
    The USE of words is easy when you know how. e.g. BROUGHT and BOUGHT. We were taught a very simple way to remember the difference between the two words. You may have been taught it, too. “I went to the shop and BOUGHT a Pint of milk and I BROUGHT it home quickly, because Mum needed it for her Baking”. Others? “I bought a RED Book to READ and I found out I already READ it.” There are LOTS of other examples. Its Fun, but I don’t want to spend all day here. I’ll let someone else have some fun now.
    A final bit of fun thanks to George W. Bush. “I’m A MERKIN and proud of it!”

    • van win

      “If they’re spelled wrong”; “wrong”, you put an adjective after a verb. “Wrong” as an adjective should follow a noun.
      To follow a verb we need the adverb “wrongly”.
      Bad spelling is laziness and lack of care. Bad grammar shows a lack of education and care.
      You can always write a draft in “Word” or similar application and let it check for you, though it is often in error itself.
      Having added to this exhausting argument I can easily admit to making mistakes myself often enough. When in a hurry or tired it is easily done. Not many of us are perfect, nobody is.

  • Silence Is Golden

    I find it fascinating that the researchers picked an email with a clearly important topic and then seemed to have ignored the context. As several others here stated, the use of grammar, spelling and sentence structure is (still) a sign of the writer’s level of education. But it is also a sign of how much care, attention and time somebody puts to a task. Of course, everybody can make typos or even write “their” instead of “there” or (“me” instead of “I” – which to my non-native-English ears sounds horrific!) — in a first draft.

    My point: if I get an email full of careless typos showing alleged interest in buying my house, I don’t have much confidence in that person actually having the seriousness of mind required for this complex process; they come off flippant. If I get a similarly worded email as a response to, say, a bicycle I offered on Craig’s List, then I likely wouldn’t care. Context ALWAYS matters.

    • Van Snyder

      My son couldn’t understand how English declines pronouns. “Me and Jimmy want to go to the movies.” After studying Russian for a year, he came to me and said “I finally understand English pronouns.”

  • queenidog1 .

    I have no patience (almost wrote patients…) with those who cannot spell or use bad grammar. It speaks to their incompetence or poor education. Typos I can understand, it’s the flagrant misspelling that irks me, especially in this day and age of spell check, computers, blah blah blah.

    • Captain Slog

      Thank You, “Queendog” for pointing this out! I used PATIENTS instead of PATIENCE recently. Not thinking, I guess. Something else to be aware of.
      I agree with you about how lazy people are today with their “fragrant” misspelling of everything they write. It really. . . STINKS! Ha! I just HAD to do that. But, its just so true! People are just so very lazy, and maybe they like to TXT” each other in that rather rude and ignorant form of hard to understand “shorthand.”
      Spell Check is a bloody laugh! Most of the time I have to Check Spell Check. Some of the suggestions it offers is just a joke. Especially GOOGLE’s. I never use it, but we hear enough about if on the ELLEN Show, and the examples she shows. No wonder I call it “GIGGLE.” I NEVER use “GIGGLE” Search at all! That IS a joke! How to get from New York to Paris via GOOGLE. They suggest. . . SWIM. Dick’eads!!

  • OWilson

    Since written communication is only an extension of speech, how one communicates in writing, can give the same clues to the person’s character and education, as does his speech.

    If how one speaks is important to you, then it makes sense to watch how you write.

    bt u cn shw int even w/text :)

    • =Tamar

      When you typed “int”, did you mean “interest” or “intent”?

      • OWilson

        Sorry, I forgot :)

  • Shalryn

    Typos happen. Grammos make me crazy.

  • dittoheadadt

    Depends where the mistakes happen. If in an article, I’m less forgiving than if in the comments. More professionalism and attention to detail are expected from the former than from the latter.

    This is my “signature” when I reply to an email from a portable device, because it’s so much easier to make an inadvertent mistake when typing with one’s thumbs than when typing on a keyboard:

    “Sent from my wireless device in order to provide a prompt reply. Please forgive any typografical or. puncTuation errors. Thank you.” ~ I trust my clients to “get” the point.

  • MOnodb Bart

    In my case, I think, I am reacting to someone else’s “getting by” with something that Mrs. Richards’ slapped my hands for committing. As the language drifts, I am offended more and more, of course.

  • Van Snyder

    Capitalization is important too. When I was a kid, we went to a farm where I helped my uncle Jack off a horse.

  • Tracy Barrett

    Are the typo (“happy-go-luck” for “happy-go-lucky”) and grammo or misspelling (“extrovert” for the more accepted “extravert”) included just to drive some of us crazy?



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Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond. His blog offers a look at the latest developments in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology through a critical lens.


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