Nit Picking Nonsense

Ever since I joined this site this is one element that I detested,all of those so superior individuals whom criticize others over their spelling mistakes.For goodness sakes grow up will you,not everyone may be as well educated as yourselves however they ARE your equals whether or not they have bad grammar.
Time and time again I see people picked upon because they have made a spelling mistake,totally ludicrous to hound your peers here on EP over such a trivial matter.Please do something useful with your time,stop your criticism,it is not needed or called for.You who look down on those who make mistakes need to look at your own characters for I am sure they are littered with errors,we are all Human and prone to err.
garvan garvan
51-55, M
37 Responses May 18, 2012

If I find someone likable or interesting, I appreciate interacting with them worthwhile, especially if we make a connection. If he or she, may write or say, "This is between you and I" instead of, "This is between you and me" it doesn't seem that important. As the song lyrics say, "Love the one you're with".

Agreed!!!! I get so caught up while I'm writing fast that I end up having lots of typos! :D

There's a difference, in my opinion, between a simple typo or spelling mistake, and constantly misspelling words. If a person is not intelligent enough to know the difference between there, their, and they're, then we are NOT equals. If you use the wrong word, you change the meaning of the statement/question. The English language is complicated enough without us making it harder to understand one another.

True. I don't like bad grammar, but I don't correct other peoples mistakes, I just hate trying to read anything badly written.

Truer words were never spoken!

I agree. At first coming onto this site, some people's stories were quite hard to read so I would just pass them by, though I know I'm not perfect at grammar and punctuation myself. I did start reading all the stories though. I even read one that didn't have a single period. lol. It was because of a message you sent me shortly after I had been on this site. I never did correct anyone, but nonetheless, I was limiting myself and the experience I can have with this site by passing people's stories up. Thankyou.

Thank you my friend. :-)

Is it ok to nit pick when the person you do it to is insulting the intellegence, or lifestyle choices of others? Because I thoroughly enjoy making mean people look stupid. And in most cases they are mean as a result of a lack of intellegence. I live in a rural area where the people calling me a fa*got couldn't spell it to save their own life.

Here's a perspective from the grammar Nazi camp. When I was growing up (I'm 51) proper grammar and spelling were drilled into our heads, year after year. Our teachers taught us that good grammar equaled civility and intelligence, and that poor grammar equaled stupidity. Of course, that isn't always true, but it's the mentality that was ingrained in us as children.

I interact with a lot of people via social media. When people don't punctuate a sentence or if their grammar is poor, I sometimes have to read their comments a couple of times to figure out what they're trying to say. In these cases, their poor grammar has actually become an obstacle in their ability to communicate. That's why it's important.

We're humans. How we present ourselves to the world is how we are initially judged. For example, we judge fat people, beautiful people, slovenly people, women who dress too provocatively, etc. In an Internet world in which we can't see the person with whom we're communicating, we are left to judge by how he or she puts a sentence together.

There is merit in what you have written,thank you for your contribution.
The point of my initial post was to stop people mocking which is all to common on EP. I think it is unwise to judge someone because of a grammar error,not everyone has had the fortune to have a good education,you were one of the lucky ones.

Sometimes people who judge others, and view them not as equals, may be deflecting what they deem as inadequate in themselves. It is so difficult not to judge others because we all do judge. Using the level of financial class, or level of education as a guide to who is important in life, only makes life more difficult and less rewarding. Understanding what is truly important in life is our true lesson. I do understand that proper grammar was deemed important as a child, and it can be irritating. I was taught the same thing, however, I was also taught how important The Golden Rule is, and I use it as a guide to remind me we are all human and worthy to be treated well.

From a linguistic perspective, a native speaker of a language can not have 'bad grammar' because for linguists 'grammar' refers to a person's mental grammar, which basically reflects his/her linguistic competence and this includes the person's knowledge of the rules of the sound patterns of the language, the syntax, the rules for assigning meaning (semantics) as well as our mental dictionaries-the lexicon. Our mental grammar is a representation of the language in our brains, and this inherent language ability or system of language is extremely complex and sophisticated. So, when a linguist asks 'Is this grammatical?', we mean does this exist in your mental grammar and for a linguist all grammars are equally complex, no variety of a language is superior.However, in the traditional sense, grammar refers to 'presc<x>riptive grammar', this is because some language purists believed that some varieties of a language were superior or better.As a result they prescribed the rules of grammar or they tried to change existing rules of the language,such as double negation in English. Finally, a native speaker of English may have a regional dialect or may make spelling/punctuation mistakes but this does not mean he/she has 'bad grammar', unless there are syntactic or semantic errors,which a native speaker is unlikely to make. Of course, writing in English follows certain presc<x>riptive rules of grammar, usage or style but I don't think anyone here on this site is submitting their academic work :) By the way, I wouldn't say I was a native speaker of English.


I totally agree. Good job with the english. I come from an area where we use a lot of slang so my sentences and ways I write words will reflect that. The only error that annoys me is the complete absence of a period within a story, however, I don't correct anyone for it, and I still benefit from what the person shares more often than not.

I'm sorry that people like me make you angry, and I see where you're coming from, but I would just like to explain myself.<br />
I was recently diagnosed with OCD. One of the things that this does to me is that I feel like I literally need to correct bad grammar. I am obsessed... (hence obsessive compulsive disorder). If I ever correct your grammar, it's not because I don't like you or anything, it just aggravates the hell out of me.

In your case I can understand where you are coming from,you can't help it,thank you for showing us another perspective to this debate :-)

Thank you for understanding :)

Spiked, I am sorry about your obsession. It must be difficult keeping friends; how do you deal with that? May I suggest to you that you might let others you're speaking with, know about your OCD. I have never heard of correcting grammar as being an OCD issue. I have met many with OCD and my son shows symptoms such as; straightening crooked area rugs, making sure his eating utensils are spotless and washing them even if they are clean, checking again and again to make sure a door is locked. Do you have other symptoms?

No need to apologize for something out of your control. It must be difficult to deal with in social situations, especially if people don't understand.

I actually recently read an article about people who obsessively correct grammar, and it was even given its own name. I believe it is called Grammatical Pedantry Syndrome.

I've been away from EP for a long time, so I realize this is really late, sorry about that. I've heard of a lot of people checking doors, I've never had to do that. I do find myself straightening things a lot, most of the time without thinking about it. Sometimes it gets annoying to the people around me but I can't help it. I start to shake and sometimes it turns into a full panic attack. If I write something that's spelled wrong or my handwriting looks bad, I'll panic. Most of the time I can just fix it, but if I don't have an eraser it'll be a problem. My therapist things it's more of a control problem, which is common in people who have been sexually abused.

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I think people should worry about thier own mistakes (not necessarily the grammatical ones) who knows mybee the person you are criticizing already speaks two or three languages

Very good point,thank you.

Everyone speaks with what they have. Even if he or she is not as grammatically correct, doesn't pointing it out mean that one understands what is meant and therefore there is no need to be grammatically correct to communicate? However there are times when being grammatically correct is a necessity.

My point is to those who constantly pull up people even if they make the slightest error,that is totally out of order and unnecessary.Some take delight in trying to humiliate others,bang out of order !

Nitpicking is annoying, however some people are blatantly butchering the English language to the point where I want to bang my head on a wall.

It appears from this post you are in the minority on this issue.It is not your place to correct others on how they write.I see constantly correcting others about errors in spelling or grammar as bullying.
If I observe any bullying on EP I will bring it to the attention of the EP staff.Chill,cool off,we all err in our lives,would you like being corrected every time you make a mistake?

Some people should also stop and think about who might be making that "grammatical" error. I, for instance, have multiple sclerosis. So even though I majored in journalism in college, was a reporter for my college newspaper and had aspirations of becoming a photo journalist....well, let's just say life can turn around on you in the bl<x>ink of an eye. I have double vision, numbness and cramping in both hands, memory lapses, although if you use it right that particular handicap can, well, come in handy. <br />
So. My grammar bites the dust a lot. My spelling can be horrid because sometimes I can't see what I typed. But everyone needs to remember they could be bashing a quadriplegic, a disabled war veteran, or just an average person who is just on here to talk and be listened to. Not criticized.

I totally agree with you,well said,people should pause before being so rude to point out spelling and grammar errors.Thank you.

Some people, it seems, were not raised with any manners nor with respect for others.<br />
To look down on anyone else for any reason just shows that the person who belittles another for such a trivial matter is just uncouth and lacking in any social graces or an understanding of proper protocol. My adviice to them would be........... "Grow up........ even you are not perfect."

Agreed my friend,thank you.


yes,i agree.some times i hit wrong button and don't look at screen.maybe those belong on face book where every one is better than thou.and some can't spell well but i have smarts and i know what they are saying .we have entered a very rude time globally.

Too true,there is little respect in the world now days.

To The Carer,ha ha ha ha agreed.

Petti minds think petti crimes so those who comment on petti things,well they are just PETTI!

KindaSweet,thank you for reading this post and leaving a reply,much appreciated. :-)

Hi Garvin, I posted a story about Grammar Nazi's and how they lack common courtesy. I feel the same as you. Don't expect to change any of the Nazi's point of view. They are a controlling group of rudeness and disrespect in relation to others feelings. They need to read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goreman and perhaps a small number will benefit and learn some people skills they so obviously lack. Sigh...

Agreed,thank you :-)

Hi Garvan, when I posted about the rudeness of the Grammar Nazi's in my post. I received mostly negative comments and people who wanted to argue. You have mostly kind people who agree with your comment. I almost wanted to leave E.P. because of it, then I realized I have good cause to post when people are being unkind and thoughtless to others. I am happy I found your post. I feel welcome here. :)

As EP is an excellent resource for people from all walks of life to share their life experiences of every and all variety; EP is also a forum and online community, must I stress the fact that by online I am referring to belonging to one of many websites on the Internet where you should expect to find more grammatical "mistakes" than collegiate essays. This is the Internet, if poor grammar offends you so terribly, than I shudder to think of the level of devastation you endure given to truly offensive content which is also plentiful online. As has already been stated, I personally see this as yet another form of bullying and certainly a sad fact that all too many trolls will "get off" if you will, on demeaning others in a--simply put--sad attempt to make themselves feel better or more intelligent. If you have the need to seek out opportunities to belittle others in order to boost your self-esteem, perhaps you should evaluate why it is you truly feel so little to begin with. I appreciate well thought out posts, I am not looking to be sure that one has crossed their T's nor dotted their I's; I've read essays (and written) which pale in comparison to other concise and often times "improper" posts. What gives the response it's value, in my opinion, is whether or not they are being considerate of others and have put their heart and mind into the response or story. Hell, this response should have been split into several paragraphs, but I did not bother to do so. There are websites and outlets available for this purpose should someone be looking for assistance with their writing; EP is not designed for this purpose, but by all means if you care to have a group and gripe amongst each other I see no harm done; it's when you tear someone else apart who's already going through a difficult time (or at all, period), that's just downright rude and disrespectful. Again, as has already been said, we are all equal, like it or not! There are too many facets of a person to pass judgement over something so petty as poor grammar, for all you know they could quite well be capable of feats you'd only wish you could achieve and not even realize that ability as being skilled. We are all better at some things and worse at others, part of what makes us all unique and individual. Overall, I'm quite turned off by the judgmental type whom constantly feel the need to correct others. As a collective, I'd hoped we would have surpassed this long ago, maybe someday we finally will. By no means am I claiming to be totally innocent either, as I too am human, and I too have passed judgement at times when I should have known better. I too could hide behind the excuse of having been raised with these beliefs, but would rather strive to break free of them and remain an open minded and accepting individual. If you find yourself picking apart the mistakes of others, I challenge you to break the cycle! You'd be surprised how much happier you can be, and how much more others will enjoy your company, if you simply accept others instead of correct them. If you're lucky, you may even find many great qualities and make new friends! If you cut out all people who make typos - you are severely limiting your circle of friends ;)

eMonkey,thank you for your contribution to what has turned out to be a debate on this hot potato issue.
It appears that this topic is split right down the middle,I had no idea when first writing in this experience group so many would reply.It has become evident that it appears a black or white issue with no grey area.All contributors are divided into two groups,those who are tolerant and those who will always remain nit pickers. :-)

YAAAAH!!! eMonkey!

I do not, in any way, want to even remotely sound like one of "them", but it was a Pleasure to read your comment. It's just nicer to read writing that's correct. I would, personally, never criticize someone based on their ability to spell or use punctuation. Just my two cents, carry on, lol.

Though there is always room for improvement, some mistakes can't be helped and some just happens without being noticed after even long periods of time. Thank you for your post.

Agreed and thank you for your feedback,very much appreciated :-)

I think that if it is not intentionally no one should make a fuss over it. Because when you are typing,especially quickly, sometimes your fingers slips and also you think you type a certain letter and it´s another. But, I donot agree on people who do this intentionally, because you will get accustom to it and you will have spelling problems in your life and that is not good.

Yes I can see your well reasoned point.Thank you.

I agree. And there are those, like me, who don't speak english as first language so sometimes I make a lot of spelling mistakes or can't recall the correct word for something and just end up using a simpler word. Who's to say I don't have a pretty good vocabulary if the can't hear me speak (which in english I do a lot better than typing). Also, who's to say I don't speak my language very well with a vast vocabulary?<br />'re correct. Maybe people should consider what they're doing before making fun of someone who came here for help, someone who's most likely feeling down and unapreciatted.

Well said,I totally agree with you,thank you for your input.

Garvan you know by now that I can be blunt and to the point so ba<x>sed upon obeservations over the years " It's the so called perfect people " Or those who think that they are perfect " Compleatly fail to read a user page prior to posting a comment about grammer , Many users here at EP Either have had a poor education or have LD of one kind or another And then there are those who are still in school with teachers who just don't care how or what they teach their students any longer , Now a warning for those who would polk fun at any of these types of users for their spelling or grammer " I will always envoke Article 1 and have fun at flaging any Demeaning comments .

Well said Paschar :-)

Thank you My Friend , One would think instead of putting them down that those with an education might try to help them in as polite a manner as possible ( A private message is the best option ) .

I agree with your story. Some people have nothing better to do. Then make other people feel bad. I honestly was a horrible student. I have learning problems. So knocking me down for bad spelling not cool. Peace to you friend

Thank you,I appreciate that,I have been amazed at the amount of people who have been so negative about it.I see no reason at all to pick out individuals simply because their spelling or grammar is incorrect.It is a cruel form of bullying however as can be seen by some of the comments made here,some revel in it and see it as their mission,their divine duty to mock and put others down.

My contribution to this thread is as follows:<br />
I'm not nearly as concerned with an occasional error, as I am with the effort. Spelling mistakes are nearly unforgivable, as you have an automated spell check built into your comment window. When I read stories or comments that are absolutely littered with errors, it makes me sad that people really don't care about the impression they're making.<br />
<br />
As an aside, go read if you'd like a few pointers presented in an absolutely hysterically funny manner. Matt Inman is a grammar Nazi, but then again, he writes and draws comics for a living. It's his business to write well, and he takes it quite seriously. But he's very funny, which is plenty of sugar for the spoonful of medicine.

Thank you for your thoughts.I will have a look at the site you have suggested,sounds interesting to say the least. :-)

I often wonder why people get onto a specific site and then complain that they hate it. Some even subscribe to a facebook site and then get on and bag it! Don't waste your time, or that of people who end up reading it. Life is too short!

So what is your point? I have NEVER indicated that I dislike this site,I am both a volunteer and sponsor and my story does not put down EP in any way.

Do not worry unduly about it my friend,as you can see from some especially petty comments there really are a lot of people here on EP who just love to try to humiliate others whenever an opportunity arises.They are nit picking fools with nothing better to do with their time.<br />
Personally I do not mind how you spell,this is not an exam at school however you would have thought so by some of the replies :-)

Thank you, I haven't received any criticism here, but I have a learning disability, so I have a hard time with grammar and typos.

Not a problem with me at all. :-)


Up to a point Garvan, only up to a point. For language and reason are intimately related, and I'm afraid that if i must pick one side in a polemic like yours, it will be the other one.<br />
<br />
I do appreciate your point. I know there certainly are bullies, snobs and lazy arguers who nitpick when they perfectly well understand what the other person means. However by posting your story in this particular group you are basically declaring that anyone who cares about grammar is in this class of people, and this is a false argument.<br />
<br />
I don't usually pull someone up on grammar unless it is confusing meaning [and bad grammar often betrays unconscious meanings], but in the end I will stand up for good grammar because without it philosophy would be impossible. When it comes to communication, grammar is to ideas what pipes are to the water-supply, fundamental and essential.<br />
<br />
And sometimes, when people make a refrain out of, "you know what i mean", it simply means they are intellectually lazy.

Picking on people,which I see all too often on this site simply because they have made a spelling error or any other grammar error is bullying.
I always try to write to the best of my ability,this brings me to a comment another member posted on one of my stories "you must be speaking English as a second language" I found that farcical and rude.
To those who continue to pen comments defending their bullying tactics I say you obviously look upon yourselves as superior to those who err.

Garvan, your story here is trolling the group/claim, 'I hate bad grammar'. If you were responding to a specific attack or context, sure, i might not have taken your bait, because every situation is different and must be judged according to its merits. But when you just attack people who hate bad grammar and call them all bullies, it's a pretty ridiculous generalization and a claim no less ideological than the one you decry. Indeed, you seem to completely miss the irony of your own original post here, as well as the substance of my responding argument. --- There's nothing wrong with polemic, it's a wonderful way to make a point, but if you can't descend from it to deal with the details of your own claim, well you're just like a schoolkid who blocks his ears and shouts, no, no, no! --- some grammarians are ******, plain and simple, but others simply sigh to themselves inwardly when they hear someone mangling language and do their best to interpret the speakers intended meanings - there are no simple goodies and baddies in this world

We all judge others, we just judge them by different standards - i would probably agree that most people who regularly correct grammar online are not doing anything noble or trying to help the other person - it's important though not to throw the baby out with the bathwater - for in my experience it is equally true that most people who refuse to use grammar correctly simply don't like thinking very much - but how hard it is to walk the middle path between these two excesses when discussing the subject

Oh how petty you are,you are the epitome of nit picking.Making long replies attempting to justify your opinion.Big deal,the story may not be in the correct group however all who have read it will understand what I am putting across.You have set out gloat,there is no need for this on EP.From your comments you are exactly the kind of person I am speaking about.Please cease your mission in trying to rubbish my experience post,I am sure you MUST have something better to do !

well, i understand why you say this, and i wouldn't say your judgements about me are completely off-base - certainly i was rising to your bait in a manner i suspected would irritate you - but i am being precise as much as i am nit-picking, and i was making a critical point about the problem you raise - if i laboured this point it is as much because you wouldn't acknowledge it as anything else ------- what is most antisocial about turtlesplash is that i forget that not everyone loves to learn through conflict in the manner that i do - most of the time i'm using other people's posts as foils, often virtually talking to myself, and always reflecting on the way we project, displace and transfer our own feelings back and forth upon one another ------- i really only genuinely take account of a given individual when their ideas strike me with reasonable force - i'm not trying to make friends here so much as i am seeking a new window through which to view my own impulses - honestly, i expect to be misunderstood - probably i even court misunderstanding

...and we're not picking on anyone PERSONALLY - no direct references. We're entitled to have our own things we don't like, much as others hate littering, smoking or bad manners. YEESH!

Indeed,you are right,I did not imagine this topic would receive so much attention.I am amazed at the personal attacks upon me for defending those who make grammar errors.To those who have personally thrown abuse at me I say "get a life".

stimo8,I have grown tired of your childish behaviour,please refrain from contacting me and posting your tripe on this experience.

Indeed you appear to do so.

perhaps you weren't talking to me just now Garvan, but i would like to note that i haven't made a single personal attack upon you

turtlesplash,you have made your point albeit in a long winded manner however I agree,you have not made a personal attack on me.You are entitled to your opinions,you are a gifted writer.I will explore your profile,not to seek out errors,out of curiosity,who is the person behind these eloquent words. :-)

if only i could take my own advice, i'd be frickin unstoppable

garvan, these insensitive comments you are receiving are inevitable. Read my story, "Grammar Nazis are Rude" and you'll see what I mean. You are correct in describing 'Grammar Nazis' as bullies.

Tiresoup4: insensitive isn't strictly the right word - critical certainly, ponderous perhaps, but insensitive? hardly - Garvan is actually the one trolling here, just in case you didn't notice - he's the one who posted a story in a group he doesn't care for or belong to, and a story that vilifies all grammarian members of this group as detestable superior nazis - and for the record, let me repeat one more time, that not everyone who hates bad grammar is a grammar Nazi

the funny thing is that i'm not even a member of this group - i don't believe anything is worth hating [if you look carefully you'll see Garvan has used more personal and emotive language than i have] - i just love hunting out inconsistent philosophy, and as i said in my first post, if Garvan wants to dramatically provoke opinion in this trollish fashion then he's quite entitled to do so [i myself am sometimes fond of the same tactic], but he would do well to acknowledge the irony of making an argument for humility and patience in this aggressive and over-generalizing fashion

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stlmo8.......I see you are a nit picker,however before you pick holes in my story please address your own errors.You should know that sentences NEVER begin with the word but.<br />
Also and I quote you"we're equally entitled to write about it and discuss it amongst ourselves with our anyone's parental knuckle-rapping"...this sentence does not make sense.<br />
I would suggest that you practice what you preach,if you are going to pick holes in my story then please respond in a manner that written with no grammar errors !

I didn't begin the sentence with "but." It began with "..." which is an acceptable, narrative continuation of thought. I am not writing an essay or research paper.

BTW, "individuals whom criticize others" - you used "whom" incorrectly; that should've been a "who."

As for my sentence about "knuckle-rapping," apparently you're not very well read and perhaps from the generation of younger folks who never got any corporal punishment. Plenty of other people know exactly to what I referred.

Now then, if you don't like this group, go take your ball and play a different game. Quit whining. It's the equivalent of going to a group about dogs and complaining about dogs.

stlmo8,look at your comment below,indeed you did begin your sentence with "but".
Good grief,I really can not understand people like you,looking for confrontation at every turn.

...but we're all here to be who we truly are, and if licking another person's toes gets one person off, and spelling and grammar is a bugaboo for others, we're equally entitled to write about it and discuss it amongst ourselves with our anyone's parental knuckle-rapping.<br />
<br />
BTW... "nitpicking" is one word as a verb, and hyphenated as a noun. Some of us were taught at a very young age that good spelling and grammar are not optional - hence, our mindset.

Wow stlmos8! It appears that "grammar nazi's" like to argue and pick fights. Isn't it important to you that another human being you are speaking to is taking the time to make a connection with you. Who made you the one to belittle others. What if a "fashion nazi" told you during a conversation, that your hairstyle was so dated it made you look old. Or perhaps, your shoes are so dated, you must be an idiot? Do you see what I'm trying to point out....Being right does not help you, "Make friends and influence people." When you point out that someone is wrong it makes that person FEEL bad. What people remember about another is how they felt while with them, not that you taught them they incorrectly used 'between you and I instead of between you and me.' Be grateful another person is taking the time to get to know you. Good luck with your need to be right; you're running in place and getting nowhere. People do not appreciate being embarrassed or humiliated.

For all those who nit pick and critique the spelling and grammar of others, you should not humiliate them or make make them feel bad. If anything, it should prompt you to become more involved with our education system (or lack there of). It's obvious that standardized testing is a joke and maybe we need to go back to actually educating our society. Instead of criticizing, volunteer your time tutoring students and helping them learn proper grammar and spelling. Just saying....

Indeed,yes I fully concur with the points that you have made,I thank you for your input :-)

ijustneedtotalk,thank you for your comments,we can all be prone to making spelling and grammar mistakes,to err is human,to forgive is divine. :-)

Spelling mistakes can be really funny sometimes, but no need to be mean. Maybe it just didn't come out right and they typed too fast. I'm suddenly very aware and self conscious of my grammar and spelling in this comment!