Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don't Snooki Around with Grammar

The youtube video above is a clear representation of how celebrities are subject to the same grammar judgments all of us are vulnerable to.

Many of us frequently use one of the many social media sites available to us, and we are subject to criticisms about our grammar, which is typically focused on what people call usage errors. That means that now, more than ever, we should be aware of our writing etiquette.

At any given time, people from all over the world can make instant judgments of our intelligence from merely glancing at a tweet. A poorly written Facebook status can cause massive amounts of critical comments written in all caps. Likewise, a simple grammar mistake on a dating site profile can have horrible consequences.

This public shame should be seen as a huge internal motivator for correcting our grammar.

The first step to avoid these embarrassing types of errors is by valuing language. As Hank says in the video, we have to "care about the quality of discourse in our society." By doing so, we will not only improve our individual reputations, but our social media discourse as well.

These are the important skills we learn in writing classes and classes where strong written communication is highly valued and supported. All we have to do is transfer these grammatical and stylistic lessons from the classroom into everyday use.

For example, proofreading and editing are skills that can be applied to even the smallest post, say even one less than 140 characters, before hitting "Post."

Awareness is crucial to our media reputation.

Using strong proofreading and editing skills in our attempts to communicate on social sites, paired with a consideration of our audience, purpose, and subject will not only improve our reputation and our credibility, but it will also improve our social media discourse.

I'm not suggesting we remove the culture, creativity, or the fun out of social media communication. What I am suggesting is that we value clarity and integrity in our social discourse.

So, let's not Snooki-around with our grammar. Let's consider our language quality!

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