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What are your pet peeves when it comes to grammar and spelling?
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In answering this question, I remain uncertain that I would call any of what bothers me a pet peeve. Perhaps, though, that is the best definition of the sentiment I feel when running into grammar and spelling mishaps. Truth be told, I am guilty of screwing up things, as well. Thus, I always try to come to any interaction with the written word without judgment. That said, there are specific things that trigger a judgment. And, please, everyone judges others. There’s no getting away from the assessment of another when you interact with them. However, there is tempering negativity.
Grammar and spelling are important. How important they are depends on the forum. If you want to harangue someone on social media for poor spelling and grammar, then I say go […..] yourself. There are more important pastimes.
When someone is a monster online, and by monster I mean a someone who propagates abuse, such as racism, sexism, ableism, and all of those things, I am less forgiving. Yes, that includes the average person spouting bigotry they think is sane thought. (Maybe they were taught to hate their entire life.) Believe it or not, that has an impact on society. One person speaking like that will bolster these sentiments in others; they could teach impressionable individuals, and so on.
Being less forgiving doesn’t mean that I point out all their grammar and spelling errors. Why would I waste my time on that? Then the firestorm of trolling they’re on becomes all about how you suck as a writer–which, in many cases, it inevitably does with someone you come into an disagreement with online (and it doesn’t matter that they have only just met you).
Why do they believe this matters to you? Because calling out their fragile bubble of a belief system will require their retaliation, and they are of the mind that the opinion of someone who has never read your work will shut you down in abject fear of hearing the words: your writing sucks. In reality, all they have done is indicate their hurt and inability to defend their opinions with facts or cogent arguments. Which is exactly how I view commenting back to anyone about their misspelling, grammar error, etc. Is it necessary? Does it provide any gain to the universe?
No. It doesn’t. Keep scrolling.
Does it bother me to see someone misspelling something or using poor grammar? Only if I see it in a book published by a major house and, yes, I have seen it. It boils my oil. When you work hard to make a book pristine at the advice of agents and editors, the gatekeepers of a writer’s professional dreams–seeing them slack on the packaged release of their latest tome–that’s inexcusable. I say this because of the harsh attitudes they exhibit toward writers. You know, the people they rely on to make their salaries. Rejection is harsh enough without the tinge of annoyance from the publisher.
The kicker is… When it is expected that your work present free of typos or errors prior to submission to an agent, I’d like to know how any typos or errors still end up in the final release? Their existence begs the question: what did you do to earn your salary other than be indifferent to the reason you make that salary at all (writers)? How many copy editors, line editors, proofreaders does a book see before a big publisher puts their copy to print? I have to wonder if any at all. The editing is largely done prior to a proposal being made, so all the typos should be gone by the time it goes to print. Yet, they are not.
How then do they use errors as a basis for rejection of one writer’s work and ignore it in the work of another to the point they’re willing to put it in print and show their hypocrisy? They also do not write any letters that give valid or useful information as part of the rejection. Canned letters come back saying thanks, but no thanks. If you’re not editing or proofing what you are publishing, how do you not have the time to make those letters a more personal? Why don’t you have several versions of the letter to fit usual issues you see? Isn’t a publisher in the business of making money? You’d think they’d want more writers to publish so they can.
Even more annoying is finding typos in a book that has been published for decades, sometimes centuries. Doesn’t anyone look it over? When they repackage a work they have the rights to publish, shouldn’t a proofreader at least have a look? I’ve had several different pieces of literature pass before my eyes with errors, including alignment issues. It’s maddening, because those publishers pretend they’re the best of the best in literary terms. They’re supposedly the nobility, the ones we want to hire us, the vetted and pristine product. Not only do they need better outreach and communication skills with potential artists, they need better skills to claim the paychecks they collect under their various titles.
When a reader can go through your publication highlighting large swaths of text as grammar nightmares, it’s time to hang it up. I know independent editors with more integrity, who are paid much less in comparison for being amazing at what they do. It’s as if big publishing houses are more about legacy hiring than hiring qualified personnel.
We all know they care more about profit, so I won’t comment on the formulaic aspect of those books. It’s a tragedy, because the public still believes that the big houses vet and provide quality content, when that is not at all the case. You’re no more guaranteed a good read.
So, I guess my pet peeve is when a product professed as the pinnacle of literary skill contains more issues than a struggling independent writer publishes on a tiny fraction of the big house budget. That’s why I don’t waste time judging social media posts and comments (unless it’s from a bigot). I also don’t believe that independent authors work less hard than big house authors, because the proof is in the products and the dedication of the independent network.
Let’s see what bothers the authors. Be sure to click their links below…