How Not to Lose Respect on the Internet

Do you know what drives me crazy? People who write things like "your stupid" when posting comments on internet forums, youtube, digg, and anywhere else that has a comment box. As a lover of the English language, it pains me to see minor atrocities of this sort on a daily basis. This instructable is not meant as a panacea for the internet's grammatical difficulties, and as such it is by no means comprehensive, but every little bit helps.

If I am legitimately wrong on something, let me know and I will make every effort to correct my mistake. In such instances, I would appreciate it if you would quote me chapter and verse of The Bedford Handbook (6th Edition), or at least give me the error code; this is not necessary, but it would lay my mind to rest.

Again, this is by no means comprehensive, so cut me some slack.
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Step 1: The "Shift" Key is Your Friend

Picture of The
One of the things that bugs me is when I see sentences that do not start with a capital letter. Seriously, there is no good reason not to start your sentences with capital letters, and people won't immediately lose a little bit of respect for whatever it is you have to say if you use capital letters properly. If for some reason both of the shift keys on your keyboard are broken, the best thing you can do is to abandon the keyboard immediately; it is no good to you anymore. As a stopgap, you can use the "Caps Lock" key, but please remember to disable caps lock after the first letter, writing in "ALL CAPITALS" is just as bad as never using capital letters at all.

Another important thing to remember is that proper names and the first-person pronoun are capitalized; I do not care what Paris Hilton says, proper grammar is important.
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ilpug2 years ago
I painstakingly read your entire Instructable, looking for grammatical errors.

I just had this insane desire to tell you that I found only one, then refuse to tell you where it was, but then I realized that would be rather mean.

In other news, great work. Thanks for helping to make this site a better place.
....Although I did find one.
i Know i hate when ppl spell stuff rong on faceBook like waht are there thinkn
Ryanoxpqz1 year ago
I completely understand. I'm the same way, but I disagree about one part. Spell check is overrated!
08motooley1 year ago
I must admit i am almost always guilty of neglecting the capital in social media, however i do use it in hand writing and on word documents, I think I've come to the conclusion that social media is less formal and so it's slightly less necessary, unlike commas which play a key role in the meaning of a sentence. another thing is full stops, which i tend to leave out at the ends of posts but use if there is more than one sentence, again, i think this a formality thing>
08motooley1 year ago
I must admit i am almost always guilty of neglecting the capital in social media, however i do use it in hand writing and on word documents, I think I've come to the conclusion that social media is less formal and so it's slightly less necessary, unlike commas which play a key role in the meaning of a sentence. another thing is full stops, which i tend to leave out at the ends of posts but use if there is more than one sentence, again, i think this a formality thing>
rockerape1 year ago
Vinstepula2 years ago
I think your title is misleading. I think the community would benefit more if you wrote a grammar instructable for those who want to improve. Those who type badly aren't going to improve because *you* are bothered by it. I tend to have bad grammar and I also misspell words because I am dyslexic. The last thing I want is some random stranger butting into my conversation to correct my grammar because instead of focusing on others, she has to "fix" me. I already know my brain doesn't work right and it's pretty embarrassing to have people point that out to me. Now I also know that you probably don't mean it that way at all or have a desire to be mean. But I do know that a lot of "grammar Nazi's" lose respect on the internet. It's a form of bullying.

Now I like to try to improve my grammar. But I wouldn't learn it from someone who starts off saying that grammar issues drives them crazy. It's just weird that people will let something little bother them by it. Not that it's little to you. I can tell it's very important and you have a gift for grammar. But on the life scale of things. It's not a matter of life or death.

Basically I'm saying write grammar lessons on here where your skills can be put to real use instead of talking about how people's grammar bother you.
xinistrom2 years ago
zzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZ ;)
Kazeem5 years ago
Despite this instructable being rather boring, and over the top, I too can see your point, and it annoys me as much as you when everyone decides to use English incorrectly. Great guide to how to be grammatically correct, I only have one issue with it, and I don't know if it affects everyone (did you see that? I used one of those horrible affect/effect words...), but my Firefox tries to correct me so that I spell everything the American way... eg. 'centre' or 'center' Or 'Litre' or 'Liter'
love4pds Kazeem3 years ago
In tools/options/content/choose languages and add whatever you like, you can add many different English choices including en-ca. sorry for the grammar but capitalizing is hard for me due to disability. plus I try to pick my battles and this isn't worth it.
Hope this helps Kazeem :)
People who find bad internet grammar need a life seriously its the internet not school... Besides if you can understand it why bother correcting it {ONLINE}!!! BTW(By-the-way for noobs, and %#$%s) Capital letters are for emphasis, and yelling and jerks or complete morons... (a very common occurence) Theres my point and this has been a rant with specopps117 ....
I think we would be great friends....
I have to say, that talking like this ---. 17s l31k [)16 means that no f*cker understands you luv, and that's coming from a 16 year old. Plus, it's old and outdated, no one talks like that anymore, everyone else is normal...
Your right... I admit it... I have no idea as to why I was arguing against you... I recent had a change of thought that lead me to this...
What are you, 9? Bad graMmar and sPallimng make English increasingly difficult to read. I do not enjoy 1337speak, spending a minute or two struggling over what they said to find they were saying something easily expressed in plain English, makes me want to shove my fist up their @#%. Same with bad GrAmAmAR and Spalling. Would you write your English paper like you do your forum posts? Do you want your English teacher to think you're smart? Do you want the interwebz to think you're smart? Then act smart.
Everyone uses leet to mock those that actually use leet. If you don't agree with that I've got some bad news for you. Everyone you've been talking to has been laughing their asses off at you.
example: we say lol!!!111!!11 to mock those that are actually too terrible of a typist to lift the one key up before the shift.
Stuff like "where r u is" understandable so are abbreviations like afk and such. But anything where numbers become letters is either for emphasis, because your a noob, or because people are making fun of the noobs that talk like that.
What is this? A formal writing? A letter to the President that isn't worth sh*t?
A judicial report?

I didn't think so! On video games I only type like dis 2 save time. You have to think about what they said?
If 17s l31k [)16 then I understand... But if I typ3 lik3 th1s i's ok
hough I dont anymore... 09 was long ago
I think one problem with the trolling thing is,
They don't know what trolling is, so when they do troll, it's not on purpose.
They're not trolling, or they think they do, so they continue thinking they're doing nothing wrong
They are trolling, but they don't care if people ignore them or not.

Abortions should be mandatory and free at Walmart.
An Villain4 years ago
*Shakes hand with shift key*
make things4 years ago
great googly moogly i caint spel rite or use commas
Rotten1945 years ago
If a person's name ends with "s" and you wish to show possession, there is no "s" after the apostrophe. E.G.,if the person is named Bobs, it would be Bobs' paper, not Bobs's paper. Sorry, that just drives me CRAZY on the internet.
 In other words one would say "Chris' paper..." instead of "Chris's paper..."??
You do that...

robotguy44 years ago
Right click (or ctrl click on a Mac) the subject bar and select "Check Spelling."

Also, some misspelling and abbreviations are usually ok in cases where typing fast is a boon, such as computer games.
static4 years ago
 No doubt proper grammar, spelling is absolutely essential when it comes factual, legal, and technical writing. Having learned long ago not to sweat the small crap I don't. That doesn't mean I cut the pompous blogger the same slack I do the harried DIY trying to document  projects between life's more important responsibilities. I use spell check whenever available, but there are times when the online, and my dictionary don't produce words that make the spell check happy, so I assume there is going to be someone unhappy with the spelling choice I end up forcing through.  Spell checkers don't catch typos that result in a correctly spelled word that is not relevant at all. :) Online and print grammar guides are confusing as hell. One result being, if the initial consolation results in a grammatical error, the person may be doomed to repeat that error from here on out.
"To put it another way, don't use contractions." There is a distinct irony here. ;) And you know, even though I've always had a talent for spelling and grammar, to this day (I'm 24), I have trouble with "it's" and "its." I know the rule, but when I'm writing/typing, I always use the wrong one.
Yeah, I do the same from time to time, though I usually manage to catch it and correct it. Half of what I type is probably riddled with grammatical errors, but then again, often the reply I receive is worse...
TURNERO6 years ago
I'm not sure you're right about the "single quote" in British English, I think it's the same as American English. You could very well be right but I'm pretty sure when I was at school they taught us to use "double quotes" for speech.
Hycro TURNERO4 years ago
In Canadian English, we were always taught to use the "double quote" to indicate speech...
ross353 TURNERO6 years ago
its "double quotes " and single for nameing something such as a movie or a play 'The Truman Show'
The most frequent mistake that I spot on the 'net is the improper usage of "there", "their", and "they're". This is so fundamental to proper English usage! Do they no longer teach the difference in school? I have seen others who point out a person's grammatical errors, sometimes helpfully and sometimes not. They are usually called "language police", or much worse!
Grammar Nazi: My Grammar is gooder.
I don't care if anyone is a grammar Nazi your just pissing me off. Maybe its your avatar usually I misjudge the way people are talking because of the emotion of their avatar... If so I'm sorry but still its annoying... Lol i love how everyone is using capitals and better grammar in these comments. coinkeeding perhaps i think not! sorry, L.O.L. >.< JK
annrrr5 years ago
Who made your cartoon?
This -ible is pure win because it includes a comic from xkcd.
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