Grammatical Stereotypes

         While reading “Ethos and Error” by Larry Beason, I was constantly thinking how judgmental I thought many of the participants in the experiment were being about the errors and the way it reflected on the writer. For example, making a few minor errors in the writing reflected that the writer would also overlook details in their job performance. While I do see this as judgemental, I think I kind of agree with it. This reading made me realize how I too have different reactions to errors and may even judge people on their errors sometimes.

         My biggest pet peeve is people that spell “bored”, ” board”. C’mon now.. I know people who are in their junior years of college and spell bored that way – and it isn’t like I’ve never corrected them before! It also really irks me when people spell you’re, your. However, this one does not bother me as much. While I may not judge someone as harshly on their misspelling of ‘you’re’ or ‘they’re’, ‘their’, and ‘there’..I cannot deny that I definitely view people who can not spell the word board as more illiterate than me and somewhat lacking competence. Ofcourse everyone does accidentally make mistakes sometimes. I’d like to say that the friend I have that spells ‘board’ lacks the knowledge, but clearly he went to school and has a proper education and like I mentioned, I have corrected him numerous times. Why then, does he continue to make the same mistake? And why does it bother me so much?

            I think that judging people on language is something bigger than just me, or students and teachers, but a stereotype that society has aided in creating due to the hierarchal structure of employment and its connection to the value of education. 

P.S. I ironically happened to catch a spelling mistake I made just before I posted this. Good thing, huh?


Comments on: "Grammatical Stereotypes" (3)

  1. I agree with you that I definitely judge people hardcore if they make simple spelling errors. But then again, we are all humans and make silly mistakes like these. I know that when I am trying to type fast and especially on rough drafts I often easily misspell words. Even extremely intelligent people mess up words though.. For example, a certain individual in their rough draft for their research essay spelled “steak” in their essay instead of “stake”. Hahaha. But anyway, it is tough to judge or come to conclusions that someone is less literate than us just because of a few spelling errors. At the end of the day, even the smartest person in the world has misspelled a word or two.


  2. I’m horrible at spelling, so I don’t judge people who misspell but its a fact of life, people will judge other people no matter what. I know society tells us to look at whats on the inside and not judge others by how they appear but this is crap. You can tell a lot about someone by the way they wish to present themselves and this translates directly to writing. Now is it right to do so… In my opinion, if you are a fluent speaker, and your work is a final copy (presentation, report, e-mail.), it is extremely unprofessional to have typos. It is a direct reflection on whether or not you took the time to briefly re-read your work, which reflects on your personal attitude towards your work and your audience. Now I disagree with you that it makes the author seem illiterate. There are many reasons to misspell, especially if English isn’t your first language (I personally think the English language is confusing and makes no sense and I am a native speaker), and how many times have you sent misspelled words in text messages because your thumb hit the wrong letter? (for me all the time… I have big thumbs). In my opinion it is ok to misspell words or speak colloquially in informal correspondence (Whut-up world!), it breaks the rigidity of the language and allows for more expressive text. (if ya get whut I’m sayin’)

  3. I think that people typing fast or not should not mistake words like they’re their and there. Typing fast or not, they create a different meaning into writing and you should know inside and out what way you should be spelling it. I am not the best speller and thank goodness for ABC check, but things that are well known should not be mistaken in writing, and if it is an accident, i think you should have reread your paper and corrected it. Misspelling, if i see it alot on people drafts, i will know they aren’t just bad spellers, but too lazy to look their papers over a second time.

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