So you’ve just gotten a notification on your phone informing you that a friend you haven’t heard from in a while has commented on your recent status update. Excited to see what this old friend could possibly think about your mix-up at the DMV, you log on to your Facebook account to read the post. All it says is “their”. Wait, what does that mean? Searching for answers, you go back to find the original post. It reads:
“FINALLY leaving the DMV…I won’t go into the details, but they really need to get there crap together down there!”
OK, so now you see it. You made a holy mess of your homonyms. Big deal, right? Of course you know the difference between “there” and “their.” What kind of a jerk actually corrects people’s grammar on Facebook? Maybe if it was a close friend giving you a hard time…but that guy? We haven’t even spoken in years!
Friends, I have a confession to make. I myself have been “that guy” before. I won’t go into the details of the botched grammar or the argument that resulted thereof, but trust that it was trite and paltry. And it didn’t end well.
I wanted to write this blog on behalf of all the Facebook Grammar Police out there and simply give one word of advice: stop.
I know how you feel. Before Facebook and Twitter, word nerds like us could only assume that everyone else was as learned and passionate as we are about making a pretty sentence. It’s difficult to sit idly by and witness, upon our own computer monitors, the complete desecration of the English language on a daily basis. It’s not like we want to seem condescending or pretentious to our friends — we honestly just want to help!
But times have changed. People simply don’t proofread before they post. Facebook itself has even show its support for this leap-before-you-look mentality by lessening the comment button from a mouse-click to a keystroke (you now need only press the enter key to post a comment.) We are powerless in our struggle to make a difference in the world of Facebook Grammar. So do yourself a favor, do the world a favor, and don’t be that guy!
If you’re like most people, you probably spent more time on social media during 2020 than in previous years. And while the pandemic affected everything