I want to live in a world where the content of written communication is more important than spelling and punctuation.
I want to live in a world where people are generous about typos and the accidental homonym-switcheroo.
I want to write in a world where readers value the risk of self-disclosure that goes into all writing, even blog comments, even Facebook status updates, more than grammatical accuracy.
I want to read in a world where voices very different from mine have access to being published, in their natural writing voices—whether or not they use “prestige English.”
I wish for a world where communication of all forms is regarded as self-expression, and the vibrant ever-changing shape of language is appreciated, not judged as good or bad or in need of protection or preservation.
I like language and people and varieties of spellings and deliberate and accidental misuses of grammar and creative punctuation.
I love seeing the explosion of self-expression that is the Internet—the spontaneous need to share and express and be heard. I love that that hunger overcomes the endless drum beat for perfectly edited copy.
I am less fond of the pride that stems from “being a grammar snob.” But I’m trying to love and understand that impulse, too. After all, I know it takes quite a bit of work to master the prestige form of English, and most people who do so are passionate about language, and have been rewarded for that effort.
If there is one soapbox that I still mount occasionally, it is the one that says, “There’s no officially right way to say or write anything. There is only custom and convention—and these evolve all the time. In the meantime, please—hear the content before you eviscerate the copy.”