Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Testing My Patience

I was just reading a blog post on a travel blog, written by an English teacher who believes in lots of travel so he will have interesting anecdotes and information to share with his students to encourage them to write. Perhaps your first reaction is "Man, I wish that guy taught my student!" or "What an inspiring teacher!"

My reaction? Well. He used the phrase "...test my medal..."

And I immediately lost all respect for him. Especially as an English teacher. Because the correct expression is (and I'm SURE you knew this) "test my mettle."

As soon as I read it, I thought hmmmm...isn't that supposed to be...and I checked with my BFF Google and, sure enough, I was right.

This sort of thing makes me crazy. I am positively ANAL about making sure my spelling and grammar are correct on my blogs. I don't always succeed as my proof-reading sister will attest and I bless her for emailing me my mistakes because I instantly go back and fix them.

I will sometimes email a blog writer and offer a correction but not often. You just don't know how something like that will be received. I have done it and been thanked but I have done it and never heard back. They were probably too angry and cursing too loudly at the UNMITIGATED GALL of this person who dared to correct them. So I usually ignore it.

What about you?

And I realize it is at this point that I will make some glaring mistake on one of my posts and everyone who read this will be snickering and pointing. Such is life.

Updated just to show what happens when you get too full of yourself: A comment from Maggie: This is from an old English teacher. You have a punctuation error here: "test my mettle".
The quotation mark should be outside the period. Quotation marks always go outside a period or a comma. J

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

5 comments:

Granny Annie said...

Now, now, settle down Jan. Blogs are supposed to be relaxed exchanges of information and unless paid pieces, should not be judged for correctness only for communication. I did not know you were anal retentive and it is good to learn. I do not think any less of you and can't wait to catch you:)

Lynda said...

lol - I am anal about grammar, too, but try and go with the flow on my own blog...even start sentences with, "and." Yikes!

Bobbi said...

I'm a horrible speller and I'm sure my grammar teacher is rolling over in her grave!!

Nance said...

You are preaching to the choir here, JR. I become absolutely apoplectic when people misspeak common idioms like "test one's mettle." I just included my pet peeves regarding grammar, usage, and spelling in a recent post over at the Dept. I am, however, a constant abuser of the Punctuation Inside the Quotation Mark Rule. Mainly because it looks ugly. (Yes, that was a fragment there, but it's allowable as part of my "style.") As far as Granny Annie's philosophy about not judging blogs for correctness, I respectfully disagree. I find that poorly spelled blogs with poor grammar and usage are usually poor overall. If the spelling and grammar errors are so intrusive and pervasive that they hinder the communication, then that's too "relaxed" for me.

sarah said...

Oh my my my. We could not be more oposite on this. I assume it is my solid math and science brain, but I DO NOT SEE grammar errors...and honestly I don't take the time to look for them in my own writing on my blog. I know it may drive some people crazy, but then honestly, I am not the blog for them. I would of course double/tripple check something important, but when it comes to my blog I view it as a place for my free flowing thoughs...and apparently I think with LOTS of spelling and grammar errors! :) I will see them later when I re-read a post, but I almost never take the time to change them.