Dear Authors…

I’m probably going to make some enemies over this post – or at the very least, annoy some people – but I guess I don’t care. I’ve done it before, and the odds are better than good that I’ll do it again.

This is addressed to all of the self-appointed grammar Nazis out there, specifically, some of my fellow authors…

cat at computerPhoto credit: Morguefile.com

I’m not sure what you’re thinking when you post insulting comments and memes about the grammar and spelling you see online, but before you do it again, ask yourself a few questions:

Am I perfect?

Do I know all there is to know about everything in the world?

How would I feel if a cyber bully started making fun of me?

That last question is actually the most important of all because it addresses bullying. And yes, when you make fun of people, especially in a public forum, that makes you a bully.

I see authors who will speak out against things like blonde jokes, fat shaming, and a host of other subjects designed to make victims feel bad about themselves. And yet they feel justified in belittling those who don’t spell as well as they do, those who don’t use proper punctuation, or who use the wrong forms of words like their, there, and they’re.

I’ll admit that when someone puts out a meme and they don’t bother checking their spelling, punctuation, and grammar, it kind of annoys me – for a second – but only because most of the people who create them like to come off as professional. It stands to reason then that they should be held to a slightly higher standard.

As far as anything else goes? I speak typo very fluently. In fact, I’ve admitted on more than one occasion that I’m a typo queen who considers spell-check to be my BFF. If someone writes your instead of you’re, I don’t care. I know what they meant to say. Just because they wrote the wrong form of a word doesn’t mean they’re any less intelligent that I am.

There’s a meme that’s been making the rounds this week and it has to do with the word ‘alot.’ Apparently, this drives a fair number of bullies authors nuts. And to those authors, I remind you of the questions above

Seriously, people. We write. In fact, we spend huge chunks of our time creating stories. And because we do, we need to know more about spelling and grammar than the average person. But here’s the thing … just because we do, it doesn’t give us the right to make fun of those who do not.

So next time you feel the need to share insulting memes or posts intended to show your ‘superior intelligence,’ consider the fact that all it does is make you a bully – not a bit different than those who fat shame or make cruel jokes at the expense of others.

The old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” That would apply here. And if that’s not enough to make you think twice, you might want to think about those future fans who might have read your books. You know, those fans who didn’t take kindly to you making them feel stupid and so they chose to read an author who actually respects them.

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