Long ago, I emailed the founder of this blog and commended him on how far he had taken his site (from just being popular among my friends to being featured nightly on regional sports telecasts). I was spurred to write to him, though, because I kept noticing typographical and grammatical errors in most of his posts. My point was that, since the site was becoming more popular, he should make an effort to be crisper in his writing, or else readers would think less of him and his site. (Can you tell I’m a bit of a grammar snob?)
He wrote back to say that the nature of his blog, which is often breaking news and quick posting, leaves him prone to errors. I wanted to write back and say he could always edit after publishing and then update, but the tenor of his response led me to think that if I said that, the lines of communication would be closed.
Now that I’ve become a blogger, or at least someone who blogs on a regular basis, I am revisiting these concerns and thinking about fellow bloggers who put their words out there with mistakes. Some of my favorite blogs consistently challenge my thinking, inspire me, and simultaneously, leave me scratching my head wondering, “How can s/he publish this with THAT mistake?”
Again, I am a bit of a grammar snob.
This is not to say that I don’t make mistakes when I publish. Usually, I try to clean them up, but there is no doubt that many people would be able to go through my posts and find a bevy of mistakes. (Someone even corrected me when they reposted. See the paragraph after the quote.) True, I don’t know every intricacy of written grammar rules, but I try to make sure I follow every one I do know.
I know I often start sentences with “but” or “and” and don’t always use a conjunction when making a list, but those are liberties I take with style. Failing to show proper subject-verb agreement is not about style.
Yes, I know, I’m a total grammar snob.
This is my point, though: if our online selves are a reflection of us (and I’ve really started to understand what it means to present yourself as an online brand) then isn’t it imperative that we use proper grammar in our blogs? I have written nearly 225 posts. That means there are 225 opportunities for someone to read my writing and say one of two things: 1) Wow, I love the message and he is a good writer, or 2) Wow, I love the message but he is a lousy writer.
Blogging is a public display. I think we need to treat our blogs as we treat our cover letters, letters of recommendation, and anything else that requires top writing performances. With so many eyes on what we write, doesn’t it behoove us to project our best image of ourselves?