Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Washington Post gets slated for poor grammar

img src="" border="0" title="We've moved to" alt="We've moved to" />

I happened upon this blog post from the Washington Post's transportation writer, Dr Gridlock. It is part of the paper's official blog.

...if you see an official looking sign at a bus shelter telling you that you can get a free ride if you're bus is late, it's a hoax.

[omitted text]

She wanted to alert riders so they don't get there hopes up about this.

Ok, it's over a year old but the main reason I'm posting this is that the comments are quite interesting. Among the commenters, two teams are quickly established; Team Grammar and Team Don't be so Picky. Team Grammar takes an early lead.

'... you can get a free ride if you're bus is late, it's a hoax.'
YOUR bus is late ...

Swiftly followed by,

'She wanted to alert riders so they don't get there hopes up about this.'
She wanted to alert riders so they don't get *their* hopes up about this.
Ouch! It isn't all one way traffic though; the exchanges flow thick and fast.
Grammar nazis--stay home.

Posted by: IggyPop | October 26, 2006 12:59 PM


grammar nazis need not apply

Posted by: | October 26, 2006 12:59 PM


Grammar Afficionados WELCOME.

If we can't depend on the press to use our language correctly, we're doomed.

Posted by: | October 26, 2006 01:07 PM


Afficionados is snob language for jerk; two people agreed that the term grammar nazis was appropriate at the exact same time. Case closed!

Posted by: | October 26, 2006 01:09 PM


You have to be kidding to think that pointing out the incorrect use of two third grade words is Grammar Nazi behavior.

This blog reads like an elementary school paper.

If you don't want professionalism, read the Washington Times.

Posted by: Grammar Nazi | October 26, 2006 02:20 PM

I love the phrase, "Afficionados [sic] is snob language for jerk". That really cracked me up. These are just a selection of the comments I could have posted. The question is this: are we right to nit pick? After all it's only a blog post. I understand why people would get annoyed if I went through every dodgy MySpace profile or amateur blog with a fine-toothed GrammarComb™ (I want one of those please, Santa) but I don't think it's unreasonable for readers to expect good standards of grammar and punctuation from professional writers. Then again, maybe I'm just being a total aficionado.

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Blogger Gloom Raider said...

Amen. My rule of thumb tends to be that if someone is getting paid to produce the work in question, then everyone, not just compulsive folks like me, should be upset when it's substandard.

I, of course, will be getting upset anyway. :-)

20 December 2007 at 20:18  
Anonymous evolution said...

Too right. As Malcolm X said, "If we don't stand for something, we may fall for anything".

We have to have some standards.

20 December 2007 at 21:57  
Anonymous Copyeditor General said...

As you point out, critics of people who take a stand against poor grammar often lack the basic skills themselves.

And "blog post" is not code for "doesn't need editing." If content is created under the banner of a professional publishing organization, it should uphold the standards of the publication.

21 December 2007 at 21:59  
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