This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.
‘Grammar Nazis’ is the phrase which has been coined for this band of individuals who seem to think that they need to take on the task of patrolling the internet and correcting grammar. Even on Twitter they have a compulsion to check the accuracy of your tweets, which to be honest is one of the saddest/most annoying things I have ever encountered to date.
One of the things I like about Twitter is that it is all about interacting with others, sure there are trolls that can cause you to pull your hair out and send you seething with anger. Luckily we can mute or block people on Twitter which pretty much resolves the issue.
Its not that I am all about puppies, rainbows and cat pictures online, but the constant sniping and trolling is something that I prefer to avoid at all costs if I can.
Because of the sheer nature of the beast, specifically the 140 character limit, we can conclude that the service is of course for quick and easy communication. So of course there is very, um, relaxed spelling and grammar usage.
In fact, I put it to you that if you get hung up on grammar while looking at Twitter to the point where you tweet about people and their grammar then you don’t really understand the purpose of the service in the first place.
However for some people, well they just can’t help themselves and in their opinion the constant erosion of our beloved language must not be allowed to continue. As a result a squad of ‘grammar Nazis’ now has formed to police Twitter, the following is an excerpt from the New York Times.
A small but vocal subculture has emerged onTwitter of grammar and taste vigilantes who spend their time policing other people’s tweets — celebrities and nobodies alike. These are people who build their own algorithms to sniff out Twitter messages that are distasteful to them — tweets with typos or flawed grammar, or written in ALLCAPS — and then send scolding notes to the offenders. They see themselves as the guardians of an emerging behavior code: Twetiquette.
“It would be kind of nice if people cleaned up their grammar a little bit and typed in lowercase, and made the Internet a little bit smarter,” said one of them, Nate Fanaro, a 28-year-old computer programmer in Buffalo, whose Twitter handle is CapsCop.
Now this is not a new thing, people like this have been on the Internet since the 90’s and all the way through to the current day. However on Twitter using modern Web 2.0 tools they can be more efficient about it by writing programs that detects tweets with a certain grammatical error and then sends the user an automated response about it.
I have been a target of some of these people over the years, more so since I started regularly blogging in March this year. They clearly feel that someone who writes articles online should be held to a higher standard – and they are right. When it comes to writing an article I have software which proofreads it for me and while it is not 100% accurate, it lets me know if something goes disastrously wrong before I hit the publish button.
It is the nature of the medium now – such as with instant messaging and Twitter – that speed and convenience are the key and as a result mistakes are often made. Still, it hurts to get dinged and I will often delete and repost a tweet if I see a grammatical error after the fact.
Over the past few years, grammar and spelling on the Internet have relaxed. Attempting to enforce proper language and good grammar is a fool’s errand and is a case of simply swimming against the tide.
My advice? Simply continue to block the grammar Nazis and keep writing.
About The Author
Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis, he is also a proud father of his bearded dragon, Lola. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here.