I often drive down the road and see someone working on their road and I know they aren’t an accomplished road builder. They are there trying to improve things a little and hoping to make a difference. Sometimes I wonder if they’ll actually be able to get up and down it by the time they are done. I don’t stop and explain what they are doing wrong and how if they will do this or that it will be much better. If I did stop I’d probably hurt their feelings. That guy is doing the best that he can. He wasn’t taught road building or how to operate equipment. He is learning on the job and having a ball doing it. It’s doubtful that he will ever be someone that could get hired on anywhere, at least fixing driveways or roads.
The next big rain may help level out the windrows of dirt. Some of it will wash into chug holes he has left behind. Many times it will get better just by the traffic running on it.
I know all this because it’s my chosen field, something that comes second nature to me. I started running equipment when when I was barely knee high to a grasshopper. (Geez that’s one old saying I could do without)
Why am I talking about the guy that can’t grade and dress up his road? It’s to made an analogy.
Now moving on to the other half of that analogy, it has to do with people posting on Facebook. There are those of us that can’t spell very well. The American version of the English Language is very difficult, and you know that. There is no rhyme nor reason why some words are like they are. But, spellcheck helps out 95% of the time. (That’s just my guess at a statistic)
Where many of us are at a disadvantage is with sentence structure, punctuation and all that nonsense. There isn’t a function on our computers or iPhones that can compensate for that.
So if you have been out of school for 50 years and didn’t leave there knowing all the rules taught in English Class, it’s not very likely you are going to be picture perfect with what you write. Should that keep us from posting? It doesn’t stop me. Has anyone noticed?
English teachers are conditioned to look for errors and point those out. That’s their job. But there are some things that have to be left at the door of the classroom. You English teachers failed when you passed me. Y’all let me leave school without the tools I needed to post on Facebook. This is all your fault. But I’m not holding it against you, really.
The other part of this equation would be, what if only people that wrote perfectly were the ones we could read on FB? By golly that would really be interesting to hear what little Johnny didn’t do in class or how perfect a student little Susie was. For many of those people, life has been a very narrow and boring life. That is not true all the time, because here on The Angora Chronicles we have a couple of very accomplished English teachers and writers that have led very interesting lives. They can put their experiences to paper and do it beautifully.
When I’ve read books like Lonesome Dove or William J. Bennett’s Book of Virtues and many others I wasn’t worried about sentence structure or how the punctuation was placed. I read those books because I enjoyed the story or was hoping to learn something. Perhaps the editors did a fabulous job of placing every comma where it went, but it didn’t matter. I was able to tell what was being said. The following sentence points out what I mean.
“It deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.”
So folks get down off your high horse and read what was intended and don’t worry about a little mistake here and there. Don’t forget, we are on Facebook. Relax your schoolhouse standards and read it for what it’s meant to be, entertainment. You aren’t reading a book of fine literature.
As for me, I could care less (unless it’s really suppose to be “I couldn’t care less”) if someone points out a mistake here and there, because I don’t really enjoy sounding like a country bumpkin, most of the time.
My wife can tell when I’m telling a story and I revert to my Smithwick roots, I just sound different. I think that happens mostly when I’m talking to Kenny. We do it to each other. But I’m sure it creeps into my writing stories occasionally.
Mostly I would like for people to let me know when I write would and it should be wouldn’t or do and you know it ought to be don’t, by all means call it to my attention. Those mistakes really do change the meaning of a story.
If you want to rag on someone, try reading song lyrics. It doesn’t matter the genre, those people suck at writing things that make sense.
You can take a boy out of Smithwick, but it’s not likely he’ll ever be an Ivy League Professor of Literature.