Monday, December 19, 2016

Unpresidented



I do English. Been doing it for awhile. Readin’ writin’, you know. It’s not simply that I care (and I do), but others do too. If I submit a piece riddled with errors, it gets rejected. If I were a student handing in a paper, I would expect the content as well as the argument of the piece to be subjected to a rated grading system, evaluated on several different levels. This is life, this is language, this is just how it is. And, if you want to change it, then good luck, you’ll have Merriam Webster to answer to.

I also understand with social media we can play fast and loose. I have my own style. Even the best copy editor or proof reader gets that there is room for interpretation. Some writers are prone to inserting or using a style laden with commas, while others choose to loosen up and let the sentence flow. Though I do subscribe to the Oxford comma.

As far as spelling goes, there is also room for ambiguity. Is it cosy or cozy, grey or gray? It’s also easy to get hung up on homonyms. Cash, cache, buoy, boy, carat, carrot. They sound the same, but are not the same thing. If you do not trust yourself, then use spellchecker. Some are a little autocratic, but they can save you embarrassment.

Then we have president-elect Donald Trump. We’ve already seen evidence that he thinks he’s above the law, above what is considered socially acceptable or politically acceptable; he takes calls from Taiwan and he goes against the grain. He was voted in because people wanted real change. I get it. But, folks, he is not above standard spelling.


Mistakes are not exactly blog-worthy (he deleted it like 87 seconds later)—we all make them. In fact I always find typos in the Washington Post. But, not if you’re president, about to be president, or trying to sound tough against China.

Again this isn’t why I’m writing about it—it’s because of the blowback. Constituents, people who support Trump, uneducated white males, whoever: the ones saying WTF does it matter? IT DOES MATTER. You are not an East-Coast, latte sipping, politically correct-bashing liberal just because you call someone out on spelling!!! There are standards, just like in real news vs fake news or a lie vs truth.

Period.

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