Many people have many things to say on BlogCritics. I’d like to believe that all of the things said have merit, and I’m certain that all of the people saying them would like to have their opinions heard (or in this case, read). I for one find it much easier to read what people say, and to believe it, when they both write their words in real English and articulate them properly.
There is a time for profanity, there is a situation for grammatical inexactitude, there is a time for spouting off about nothing, there is a place for ranting and raving. Most certainly all of those times and situations can be found on BlogCritics. I have found myself guilty of hitting the Post button before proofreading my comment for typographical accuracy on more than one occasion. I have also hit the Post button without pausing to consider whether or not my comment adds anything to the conversation, or whether I’m simply using BlogCritics as a venue for writer’s diarrhea, rather than as a venue in which to truly articulate my thoughts.
Having spent some time perusing the site, and adding commentary where I thought it appropriate over the past month or so, I have a bit to say about the goings-on here. Several of BlogCritics’ most frequent participants have a solid grasp of the nuances of the English language, compose well and thoughtfully, and articulate their thoughts and feelings in a logical manner. Some other BlogCritics participants, unfortunately, do not.
I must admit, I’m a bit of a stickler for proper grammar. My wife and I prompt our two young children to correct themselves when they say things like “me and Fred are going out to play.” I point out the typographical errors on menus in French and Italian restaurants, much to the chagrin of the wait staff. And it really bugs me when generally well-spoken people at work say in staff meetings “if you have any questions, talk to Barney or I.”
I find BlogCritics participants to be more credible, and I’m more likely to read through their entire post or comment, if they compose using proper rules of English grammar and syntax. Even if I disagree with the poster’s opinion, I am more likely to read through a properly composed train of thought than a poorly written one filled with typographical errors. I’m not talking about the occasional fumblefinger – everyone needs spell check to point out their typing flaws, but about the pidgin English written by a portion of the BlogCritics user base. I am not complaining about certain users’ lack of punctuation, grammar, and proper syntax – they can write what they like. I am simply stating that if a user doesn’t use the fundamental rules of English sentence structure, I am less likely to pay heed to what that person is writing.
Having participated with some vigor in the discussion following the post The Top 100 Guitarists According to Rolling Stone, I find comments like “given what i’ve heard about his shows (LOUD!), maybe he just got tired of the squall and decided to be a little more introspective for a while (or at least quieter)” to be much more readable and believable than ones like “k, what about zakk wylde??? umm slash???? cummon manm listen to thier stuff, slash could kick the ass off teh white stripes, i think the editors were, high, might as well got snoop dog to write the damn list”.
Maybe it’s just me, or perhaps I’m old fashioned. But I find a well-written sentence more appealing than one written in an undecipherable non-English.