Be Gentle with Grammar
Today’s word advice: Don’t be a grammar Nazi.
It’s so much more important to preserve relationships, to receive the intended communication rather than to enforce proper usage in texting, Facebook, freewrites, message boards, or any quick writing that does not rise to the level of some kind of permanence.
Yes, every day people write “your” and mean “you’re” or they write “here” when they meant “hear” or “loose” when they meant “lose.” I “would of come” is hard to read. I admit. But if I say it out loud, I know what it means.
The purpose of all writing and speaking is to convey
When someone risks self-expression and fails to get the grammar right, you can be the one who focuses on the content rather than the grammar conventions. If the issue recurs and it’s someone you love, you can point it out in a gentle way days later:
“By the way, did you know that it’s ‘would have’ not ‘would of’? Funny how the way we speak has made it hard to hear the original grammatical structure.”
There’s nothing inherently superior about being “right” about grammar. It just means you have that area of information mastered and someone else doesn’t. So be kind. Please. No one likes to be corrected for the errant apostrophe in “it’s” or the mistaken “there.”
But all of us like to be heard.