Short the Tyranny of Form! Embrace the Freedom of Insubstantial Mistakes!

by Johnny Debacle

thus spaketh JDOften sites’ comments’ section devolve into a mutually destructive duel between two or more parties. Sides becomes entrenched, dig in and then continually try and crush the opposition with typed mustard gas. This kind of duel is fine and represents a dialogue that may lead to progress.

But another duel lurks deep in the bowels of comments section, the pernicious spelling bee or syntactical nitpicking duel. It it this duel against which I launch my campaign. I seek to destroy idiotic irrelevant comments like pointing out someone can’t spell, can’t do grammars or even stupidlier places a comma in the wrong place. Usually it’s just an indication that the commenter can’t type, or rather can’t type well, but even if it’s more, who really cares? In the days when you would spend hours drafting 300 words with ink and paper or painstakingly craft a single simple thought in cuneiform with a stick, spelling errors were a sin. But let’s move on now that we all compose thousands and thousands of words in rapid fashion daily. It’s asinine and unhelpful to slog that into any discussion, especially when the mistakes are understandable enough that nothing is lost in transmission which is the case 99% of the time.

I declare a Pax Spellimanicus et Typographicus.

In all debates, focus on your opponent’s idiotic substance not their idiotic form.

As a note for commenters, we won’t delete comments that we disagree with unless they are really vile (racist mainly) or worse, spam. But consider the above a thoughtful suggestion that can push communication to better levels as opposed to letting it be weighed down by the red-tape and bureaucracy that is inherent in grammatical, syntactical, spelling and typing nitpicking. Use this in your daily life and spread this to the uninitiated! Indoctrinate your friends and enemies alike! Reject the tyranny of perfect form! Embrace the freedom to make minor insubstantial mistakes!*

*Excepting the egregious error of spelling “patients” as “pacients” by HF in our comments. That is unforgivable, a sin that should be punished by internment in the harshest gulags. HF, pack your bags for Vorkuta.

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  1. Dead_cat
    July 9th, 2009 | 10:40 am

    ‘grammars’ plural?

  2. SBMA
    July 9th, 2009 | 10:42 am

    HA! Didnt realized I touched such a nerve.

    I will be using the “pacients” clause defense at my hearing to exonerate myself from grammar nazi status.

  3. Ted
    July 9th, 2009 | 1:45 pm

    now i can finaly be mee without h8ters teesing

  4. July 9th, 2009 | 1:47 pm

    its the only way their can ever be any piece!

  5. July 9th, 2009 | 1:54 pm

    Packs Lawnga

  6. FuManChu
    July 10th, 2009 | 5:26 am

    What the hell? After all that, you went and spell-checked your own article!

  7. bftd
    July 10th, 2009 | 1:54 pm

    from now on i am throwing off the shackles of the english Subject-Verb-Object sentence structure in favor of a more indoeuropean/yodaesque free-form.

    better feel i. sentences you to read my more difficult is maybe but suck it

  8. July 10th, 2009 | 2:40 pm

    See, you still need to communicate. Here is the test.

    If you can without batting an eye understand what someone is saying, and it’s incidental, well THAT don’t rake someone over the coals publicly about it. You’re wasting people time.

    I am NOT advocating that you be a total tardass.

  9. bftd
    July 10th, 2009 | 2:49 pm

    JD it’s just like reading sell side research. all jumbled at first glance but eventually you get used to it.

  10. tardass
    July 14th, 2009 | 6:09 pm

    johnny debacle he to blog post grammar matter punctuation not or very much syntax never or spelling even understand civilization cant after discard how 3000 years i construct think not so but do money maybe to give dangerous i instead trade short understandability.

  11. Fadi
    July 15th, 2009 | 3:58 pm

    I don’t think I can embrace this one completely.

    I agree that communication is key, but if you’re only going to speak one language you should do it well.

  12. July 16th, 2009 | 8:33 am

    To be clear, I am not advocating for what the second to last commenter wrote. Argumentum ad retardum is not insightful. You have to be able to communicate well enough that you are idea was transmitted. Whether they spelled transmitted incorrectly or have an extraneous word — those are things worth ignoring.

    It’s funny that the people who tend to balk the most at this concept, are also the people who seem to be weaker at reading comp.