Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Proofread Before You Post


I came across a contemplation-inducing tweet one time when someone I follow on Twitter posted something about missing his 'succulent hair'. Now I am not claiming supremacy in the grammar and correct usage arena, but if my memory serves me right, succulent, as an adjective, means tender and juicy and tasty, and should never, under normal circumstances, be used to describe hair.

I posted an indirect tweet about it but the guy got angry and accused me of being a grammar Nazi and all. He even said that it was his 'personal interpretation'. I was enraged. If English was indeed subject to 'personal interpretation' then it wouldn't be long enough before people start describing mountains as cute.

We should really begin to think of grammar and correct usage as a way of packaging personal identities. We live in a generation with unlimited means of broadcasting individual activities. The quantity of social media feed we get exposed to everyday makes it even more important that we become clear and concise with the information (or musings) we share.

Be an effective communicator. We wouldn't want people to think that our hair is some avant garde pasta dish, right?

6 comments:

  1. hahaha. personal interpretation, huh. maybe he really has a tender and juicy and tasty hair after all. but yeah, I agree with you. English might be dynamic and all but there still has to be an appropriate term to describe nouns. Adjectives should still be used "wisely". ^_^

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    1. Exactly. 'Use English wisely' is a mantra people should definitely subscribe to.

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  2. This post made me LOL! Seriously. Hahahh. I am very particular about grammar as well, although I admit mine can get quite rusty sometimes. Syntactical errors make me pull my hair out in frustration. �� But semantic errors like the one you related above, maaan, I might commit suicide if people start 'personalizing' the meaning of words. The guy might as well coin a new term than changing the very essence of the words.

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    1. I know right? When the time comes when evolution and society permits 'personal interpretation' of words then I'd probably just start learning Mandarin or French and leave crazy, dystopian English. What will happen to the dictionary by then? Tss.

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  3. 'Succulent' could also be used to describe plants. Well, unless his hair is made of leaves, then you are correct. :P

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    1. I think it wasn't. He posted a photo too and his hair was normal. Unless mutation or whatever kicked in. Haha.

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