French Country Whimsy and Grammar

I just put whipped cream on my pickle for the first time and here I think I can talk to you about anything French. Well, judging by the fact that my solution to craving salty and sweet resulted in a frosted pickle, I may seem a bit of a Country Bumpkin (no offense to country bumpkins) ... or pregnant. I'm neither.

I'm well versed and well educated but when I blog I neither sound educated, or capable of eloquent grammar. My husband, the grammar czar, only reads my blog when I'm so full of myself that I drag him over to show what a blogging babe I am. Even then, he's more impressed that I fixed html coding by myself. He chooses to see my strengths. Good man.

I wish I could find a place to say words like ergo or serendipitous but truthfully, I'm too caught up in wondering, "When IS the right time to use those three dots (ellipse's)...? And why can't I start a sentence with and?" Still, with all of my country bumpkin grammar errors I do enjoy a good chuckle out of blogging typo's and the laid back way we womenfolk write like we talk... as we talk... how we talk... Ahhh... I need a walk!

So, a little fun here... What blogging English Grammar faux pas (umm.. that sounds French) make you laugh... or cringe when you blog hop? What makes educated Grammarians roll their eyes and hold their head when they read our blogs?

AND if you're a Grammarian, can you clarify some of these mysteries to the well educated but slightly rusty women of blogland? I'm looking for a grammar guest post. Country bumpkins are welcome to weigh in here as well... even if you live in NYC.

This has been a Continuing Education post at the Pretty Organized Palace.


Nicole @ BugaBoos said...

Honestly grammar errors don't bother me when I am blog hoppin, though I am sure many cringe at my horrible grammar on my blog. But that's me, I was never good at it. I will say though others grammar errors don't bother me at all, my own do, I wish I was that person who could write perfectly. But I ain't, hehe.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That is pretty funny. Normally when I see an error in grammar I just shake my head, but not when I'm reading blogs. I write my blog how I speak, and I may start a sentence with "And", therefore, that's how I type it.

It drives me buggy in books - misspellings more than anything, because they are proofread and yet missed.

Kathleen Grace said...

You are right about bloggers writing the same way they talk. I think it is one of the things that makes blog reading fun. You can almost hear the person and you really get a feel for the way they speak. On the other hand, it makes me cringe when someone puts down the wrong form of a word. Like giving someone a peak (a mountain peak?) instead of a peek. Or using here instead of hear.


I am retired from teaching as well as being the Communication Arts Curriculum Coordinator for K-5 for a large school district outside of St. Louis. Therefore, grammar errors drive me CRAZY! I wish that I could read blogs without shuddering but when they just pop up, I cannot help myself. The use of "I and me" is one error I see most often in writing.

You also mentioned about not starting a sentence with and. My students used to ask me why they could not use it because they noticed it in books. I explained that when they became "published authors", they could break the rules. In our classroom we wrote, illustrated, and published books. Some of those bright little ones then informed me that they WERE PUBLISHED! I do miss teaching.

Thank you for sharing.


Astrid said...

I also cringe at grammar errors but not as much as my in-laws do. They seem to be the queens and kings of Grammar Land. It's actually kind of irritating. I do admit that I don't worry about grammar when I'm reading blogs or writing a post on my own blog as I think of blogging of a way of writing as we speak. I make lots of mistakes- especially when it comes to writing comments (can you go back and correct a comment once it's been posted?).

HeathahLee said...

I wouldn't call myself a Grammarian, but I do cringe when bad grammar is used too much on a blog. The one that drives me up the wall the most is using "there" for "they're" or "their". AUGH! I read one post that had that mistake all throughout the post, and it was all I could do not to email her and straighten her out. I refrained. : )

The thing is, the more I get to know the ones behind the blogs, I'm less inclined to notice the mistakes. If I do notice, I love the person too much to care! : )

I'm sure there are tons of things I do on my blog that drive other people crazy. Like put too many smileys in my comments. : )

southerninspiration said...

I agree with HeathahLee! I don't like to see wrong forms of words used, but I often overlook it because I've gotten to know the person and love reading their blogs anyway. It does reflect the person writing, when they sound like they are talking. Now punctuation....I am sure I use the dot, dot, dot, WAY too often, but I think it is reflective of the way I talk...sort of moving from thought to thought. Know what I mean? AND I often overlook starting a sentence with and....I do it, see??? Thanks for the funny today.


Misti of Studio M Designs said...

Okay-going out on a limb here...(there's your three dots-LOL) I do write how I speak, on my blog anyway, but there is only one word, that really should be two, that I see A LOT. There you go. Did you see it? "A lot" is really two words. For some reason, nothing bothers me exept that. My little red pen in my head starts circling like crazy. LOL! Just me, I am sure... I love reading the blogs that are not so professional and fun. When I started blogging I tried to sound so professional and it was SO not my style. Now I am happy to report that I can be myself, and have the occasional typo! Thanks for this super-funny post!


mary said...

I care about the message more than the typos! I enjoy reading blogs with lots of them and blogs with none. Grammar is only necessary when in school. I just want to express myself in a way that what I type will come across to the reader as personal.

Da Mouse said...

I'm a communications major with an emphasis on tech writing (writing manuals). I tend to not be so up tight about things when I blog, email, facebook, or whatever. But, there is one thing that really bothers me: then vs. than. It drives me crazy. Well, that and the whole three or more list with commas. I'm seeing more and more professional publications not putting a comma before the "and" and "or" in a list of 3 or more. Sonic drive-in menus are what get to me the most. I just want to take a sharpie to those things about everytime I'm there. lol. :)

mrsgarageflower said...

The only grammatical error that bugs me is when people use "then" when they should have used "than" and "than" when they should have used "then". But than again who am I to judge?

kahlanne said...

Grammar has never been my strong point. I know I have made many grammatical mistakes and will continue to do so in the future. I do try but sometimes my "country bumpkin" side shows its pointed head.

As a reader, I seldom notice errors. If I do, I just ignore them especially if it is a blog I particularly love.

salmagundi said...

I love the way women write on their blogs - it IS like they are talking to us rather than writing a college essay. Grammar errors do not bother me in the least. I think it adds to the charm and appeal - we ARE real, after all. Sally

Jenelle at This Lady Blogs said...

I agree with Kathleen Grace and Southern Inspiration. I think part of the fun of blogging is getting to know other bloggers. And writing how we speak helps with that. I guess the line gets crossed when I feel that how a person speaks must sound very uneducated. And that happens when the wrong form of there, your, then, except, etc. is used. Or improper pronoun usage. Check out boomama.net for daily examples of that (she teases people on tv who do it).

Charity said...

I graduated with a degree in English Language - so I learned a lot about grammar and punctuation and rules. But what I mostly learned (yes, I did just start that sentence with but) is that most of the rules are something that someone made up because they had a preference (usually based on Latin) about how things ought to be. Starting sentences with ands and buts is perfectly appropriate for informal settings (like blogs). What I hate more than anything is when people twist their language around to fit some sort of proscribed rule, when it just makes their sentences sound awkward and confusing. Writing how you talk is brilliant and makes people feel comfortable.
That's not to say I don't have pet peeves. My husband mocks me because I tell him it's perfectly all right to end a sentence in a preposition (which I maintain it is), but I get all huffy when someone says they "literally" exploded. If you literally exploded, you would not be here to tell the tale. But that's another story.
In any case, the only thing that really really bugs me is punctuation. And that's only because I'm an editor, and I have to watch for these things like a hawk. Apostrophes show possession and omission, not plurality. But when I read blogs, I just turn off the editor in me and enjoy them, because I know that no matter how bad a blogger's punctuation may be, she still knows a heck of a lot more than me about whatever she's blogging about.
p.s. I also love toile. And your blog. You're awesome.

Shandra said...

I just found your blog and must say, I love it. I'm a bit of a "Grammarian" though (as you put it) although I try to put it on hold when I see it on blogs. The one that really bugs me, though, is probably a spelling thing really. I hate it when people put "wala" instead of "voila!" It absolutely drives me nuts!

PlantingOaks said...

Homonyms are the only thing that really bugs me. Well, that lacking any and all punctuation and capitalization. I don't care if it was faster for you to type, it takes longer to read!

As long as you're aiming at a real sentence structure I'm ok if it's a little 'conversational'.

But There / Their / They're drives me up a wall! It's not interpretive, it's just wrong!

And as sandra says, picking the wrong spelling of idioms. i.e. 'wala'. I can't think of other examples at the moment, but it is the reason I've never committed the phrase 'jerry rigged' to type. I'm not 100% sure if those are the actual words or if it's really 'jury rigged'. And it makes me crazy when people pick the wrong one for things I *do* know!

(wow, I think I started half the sentences in that comment with conjunctions. Sorry!)

Pretty Organizer said...

Ya'll crack me up! Okay, so it's safe to say that the majority of bloggers are non-judgemental and highly forgiving of grammar mistakes. Whew! I'm off the hook!

Then-than, here- hear, to-too-two, alot- a lot, there-they're-their, and walla-viola... which I did get emailed about... so I'll never make that mistake again.

What are those punctuation rules?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this counts as a grammar error, but when people spell "ridiculous" like "rediculous." I see it all the time and it drives me nuts!

Charity said...

Back again - if you want to brush up on punctuation and laugh your guts out at the same time, read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss. It's absolutely hilarious, you learn a little about the history of punctuation, and you'll understand a lot of the mysticism behind it. Did I mention it's really funny? Also, there's an awesome podcast all about this kind of stuff, which also ends up being very funny most of the time, called Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, and I would highly recommend that too. Here's the website: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/default.aspx

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

The only grammatical errors that really bother me are the big ones like "to much" instead of "too much" or "there" instead of "their." I blog the way I think and speak...so it comes out with dashes, dots, and commas. I'm okay with it. ;) I assume most people are if they keep coming back. I like to give people a break, esp. if the content is good. This isn't university! ;)
*Written by a girl with an English, Speech, and Linguistics degree. ;) ;)

Carla said...

I find that
I prefer blogs written in a conversational tone. I don't want to read an essay. I want to chit chat. I ignore most grammar errors, like than-then, too-to, your-you're, etc. I may notice it is wrong but I know what they mean. Finishing a sentence with a preposition? LOL I think everyone in Ohio does that. Where's the problem at? :op

Bad spelling bugs me though. I will prolly go crazy if I see probably spelled wrong one more time. You can run spell check before you hit publish.

redsoxmom said...

My degree is in English, and I also spent several years as a writer/editor before becoming a SAHM. Blog typos and spelling/grammar errors don't really bother me. We all have our strengths (math is not one of mine!). I'm a little abnormal, though, because I can spot a typo on TV when something is only on the screen for 2 seconds. Newspaper typos? My eye will train right on the typos. It even freaks me out sometimes.
However, my BIGGEST pet peeve, and what I think is the worst crime against grammar is the use of apostrophe's (see--I put one there to show you how it is used incorrectly everywhere I look). Rule of thumb #1: Just because there is an 's' at the end of a word does not mean it needs an apostrophe. #2: Use an apostrophe if the word shows possession (e.g., I saw Taylor's mom at the mall.). #3: When you add an 's' to show more than one, there is no apostrophe (e.g., The eggs are in the basket.) Those are just some basics. I've even seen teachers use apostrophes incorrectly, so it has definitely become a universal problem OK, I'm getting down from my soapbox now!


Pretty Organizer said...

@ Charity- That's sooo funny! I just bought that book for my hubby for Father's Day. I knew it was over my head when I read the opening paragraph that apparently was riddled with errors... looked good to me! Husband loves it.

He's a brainiac... I also bought him the math version called Innumeracy. I don't know why I'm encouraging this in him. I guess I'll have to steal his book and do some pre-post readings!

@Redsoxmom- Apostrophes and commas wreak havoc in my brain! It seems like there are too many rules for them. I need to go back to sentence structuring 101! Teachers? I can't tell you how many times I received emails from teachers that displayed felony level grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Grr... THAT happens to be my line- if you teach it, model it so I don't worry about what you're teaching my kid! Ooo, that sounded a bit fiesty.... didn't know I had that pent up in me.

Kim said...

I personally don't care if the grammar or spelling is wrong in someone's blog. Probably because I am not sure of the "so called rules" myself. If I had to worry every time I wrote a comment or wrote a post on my blog, I probably wouldn't write. I'm not reading a blog to see how well they spell or if they have good grammer. I'm reading to learn something about the person or what they are sharing. Most bloggers are human (last time I checked), and not every one is a college graduate. We all make mistakes. If we have to feel that the grammar police are watching our every move, we might just give this all up and that would be a shame. We'd all miss out on some wonderful ideas, not to mention wonderful people. I'm cringing now thinking of all the possible mistakes I made in this comment.

Charity said...

But see - keep reading and all of it will no longer be over your head, and you'll go "Aha! I get this stuff!" And you'll never unknowingly make a mistake again (sometimes I very knowingly make a choice to make a mistake. Because I like it that way.) But that comes with its own set of problems - like seeing errors everywhere and getting irritated by them. Perhaps ignorance is bliss?

Kristie said...

I usually just lurk, but today I felt compelled to comment. My degree is in Studies in Religion and Ancient History...but writing all those essays has taught me a lot about grammar. I've thought about this topic quite a bit and I think that what we all need to remember about blogs is that they are an informal genre, so the tone of the language used is much more casual than writing an academic essay (for example). Therefore, it is perfectly fine to begin a sentence with a conjunction and not to worry so much about appropriate punctuation (things like the correct use of a comma). However, there are a few things that always bother me no matter how much I tell myself that it's not that important. Firstly, like so many other commenters on this blog, I get annoyed by the incorrect use of apostrophes. But (yes, a sentence beginning with a conjunction!), the thing that bothers me most is the incorrect use of homonyms...there/their/they're, your/you're, etc. These are fairly simple and the constant misuse of them is irritating to me. There is one blog I read where the author constantly makes mistakes with homonyms and I suspect a serious lack of education. Education doesn't make one better than other people, or make your blog a better read, but hopefully makes one think a little more carefully about these sorts of things.
In the long run the most important things about blogging (to me at least) is that a blog is interesting and has great content, as well as a writing style where you feel as though you are having a conversation with the author. Maybe that's why I love your blog so much :)

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

If I had waited to blog until my grammar was perfect, I would never have started blogging. Fortunately, I have a daughter who also blogs and for quite some time after college was the editor of a local newspaper, so every now and then, when my sentences continue to run on I think she secretely (or not so secretely)goes in with my password and corrects my grammar grammar mishaps. L.O.L.

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

I like conversational comments. You can run spell check on your blog, but I don't think you can run it on your comments.

There is no such word as alot. A lot are two words.

Although not grammer, but it really bugs me to see tablescapes where people don't know how to set the table.

Anonymous said...

Most grammar errors don't bother me except as noted they're, there, and their etc., the most notable being saw/seen. Drives me nuts when someone says/ writes I seen!

I actually dropped reading two blogs, not because of grammer per se, but one used LOL after every other sentence which got quite annoying after awhile.

The other one would write an entire post as one long paragraph. She might cover 3-4 different subjects/thoughts in the paragraph with no breaks or spaces. It was also in smaller type which made it even harder to follow.


Susan said...

I don't have a degree in anything, but I did well in English and enjoyed it in school. My strong point is spelling, so I have a huge misspelled-word radar, which drives my husband crazy! The homonyms mentioned bug me, but my daughter and I both think "viola" for "voila" is hilarious. Whenever we do something amazing, we exclaim "Viola!" ;) Even though misspellings bug me, I would never email someone about it, because I honestly don't feel like it's something worth offending someone over.

I use a conversational tone on my blog, and I've been told that people feel like we're sitting across the table from each other when they read my blog. I like that! So keep on blogging the real you, because I think people like getting to know the real person.

Samantha said...

The error that makes me crazy is misusing apostrophes. Apostrophes are used in contractions in the place of missing letters (example: isn't) and to show possession (example: Brenda's book). I see them used so many times to make something plural and I think people have started doing that because they can't remember how to make something plural, so they just throw an 's on there and call it good. Like I said--it drives me nuts!

Anonymous said...

Well, first, I think the word you're looking for is Grammatician. I'm definitely one of those.

I used to be a fanatic when it came to sentence structure, grammar, spelling, etc. And then (see how I snuck that in - or is it sneaked?) I decided that most people had English teachers and mothers and didn't need me silently judging them and correcting them all the time. The exceptions being my children, of course, because I am their mother AND their English teacher.

What cracks me up, though, is the use of made up words that sound like they should exist - like ironical and irregardless. That ain't write.

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