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Are Your Web Articles Representing You As An Expert Or A Moron?

Updated on July 19, 2008

Its true that prior to the computer age, writers where obliged too actually learn language and couldn't rely on there computers spell checkers to affect the changes to bale them out from loosing credibility.

Stop. Did you catch all eight of the spelling errors in that sentence? Don't bother running your spellchecker on it, since all eight words are spelled properly. They are however, completely wrong in context.

No, I'm not going to tell you which are the eight. If you want to be a quality web writer, figure it out yourself!

It's hard to believe in a day and age where the proliferation of spellchecking is seen to be a substitute for actually learning to write, but once upon a time writers actually had to learn to spell. Spelling these days is a lost art, as all we have to do is click a button and rely on the wizardry of software to take care of everything for us.

Most people who are ardent users of spellcheck will rail against using grammar checking software. This may be a residual of unpleasant experiences in grade school, or it may be that grammar checking software is too strict and points out too many problems in everyday writing which simply aren't that bad. In the last sentence, "which" was incorrectly utilized. It should have been "that". However, the sentence actually sounds and flows better with a which instead of a that. Grammar checking software doesn't care. It is written with all of the rules of the English language incorporated in it and it will apply them to your writing, no matter how archaic or outmoded the rule may be.

A great example is: a squirrel, a mouse, a cat and a dog. Is that three subgroupings or four? The way it's written it seems that the cat and the dog are together, separate from the squirrel and separate from the mouse In order to demonstrate that they are four separate groupings shouldn't there be a comma prior to "and a dog"?

That may seem irrelevant when discussing a group of mammals, but if you change the subject to technology, it becomes much more significant:

The CompuWhizz 2000 computer comes with 500GB hard drive, 2GB RAM, a 512MB videocard and all the software.

What does "all the software" relate to? Is the software discussed just the video software such as drivers and Control Panel applications to use the videocard, or does it refer to the software for the computer, such as the Operating System, Office Suite, Anti-Viral, and other similar applications? Considering that the video software comes free with the card, and the combination of Windows Vista Ultimate and the top Office 2007 software package costs quite a bit more than $1,000, it might be a really good idea to specify exactly what you're including with your CompuWhizz 2000computer.

The bottom line is simple. Either you learn how to write properly, or you will turn off any educated reader and be left only with readers that are as illiterate as you seem to be... and if you're trying to sell them on your authority as an expert web writer, you're coming off looking like a fool.


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    • profile image

      Way To Harsh 9 years ago

      No offense, but I hope never become a teacher because you would make children cry. Belittling people is not a way to teach them and this hub is way too harsh.

    • profile image

      Way Too Harsh 9 years ago

      One of the best teachers I had in high school used a dictionary to ensure he spelled words correctly. Carrying dictionaries around was considered a good idea at one time, so people do not have to memorize how to spell every word in the book in order to be a good writer. They may not reach your standards, but like I said I can tell by reading this you would not make a good teacher.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      I'm a horrible teacher. I have had various opportunities to teach and turned each one down. In my past experience I believe I have been a good mentor, but never a teacher. Whether I'm right or wrong, I cannot find excuses for illiteracy when a person claims that their business is literacy. No one is forcing web publishers to write their own content. Anyone can easily afford hiring freelance writers to do it for them. However, there is no excuse for posting garbage. The University of British Columbia's Writing Centre has this as the lead line on their listing: "An indispensable part of passing University is being able to write good." I think that whoever wrote that deserves to clean latrines for a living, not be on the payroll of a major university's Writing Centre. Yeah, it's harsh... but these are not my standards, they are the standards that society demands from its intelligent and educated members.

    • Pam Pounds profile image

      Pam Pounds 9 years ago from So Cal Girl in the Midwest!

      I have to agree with you, Hal. As an employer, I can't tell you the number of resumes, e-mails and other communications that I receive from people where there are misspellings, or other abuses of the English language.

      I certainly have never claimed to be an expert, or perfect in any way....but for gosh sakes, at least use the spell checker, or LOOK IT UP before submitting your work!

    • ParadigmShift... profile image

      ParadigmShift... 9 years ago from San Jose, CA

      I have to agree with Hal on this one. Educational standards are way to lenient, as superintendents are more concerned with budgets and head counts than actual minds being educated. Statewide budget cuts (I'm from California) aren't helping matters. Add to that the exponential growth in popularity of "texting" among these very same uneducated teens, and we have a recipe for... the Dark Age.

      My own sister, age 19, cannot spell to save her life. She is an avid texter, so much so that it bleeds out into her every day writing of simple notes and memos. Pam, I hope you never come across her resume.

      To anyone who might think Hal too "harsh" in his hub, ignore him! DON'T learn how to spell! DON'T learn to write effectively! Exercise your free will. More power to you. I'm sure Webster's will be happy to hear that their sales will be increasing. In the words of someone much wiser than I, "If you're happy with the results you've been getting in life, by all means, keep doing what you've always done. If you want to change your results, you have got to change your thinking."

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hal - quite right. No-one minds the occasional slip in an email or forum response, but anything that is semi-permanent should be of appropriate quality, and in more respects than basic spelling and punctuation.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Folks, I'm gratified to learn that there are many other like-minded people when it comes to preserving our endangered English language! People who treasure their linguistic heritage must never allow the language of Shakespeare, Yeats, Joyce, Dickens & Hemingway to become corrupted to gobbledigook. It is of maximum importance that ur m8s gotta b able 2 understnd u innit, wtf ftw! :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Well said, Hal. I think you created very effective examples that anyone can understand. If someone takes exception to what you said here, then someone is in need of both a wake-up call and a thicker skin. I don't know any successful writer who has not benefited from a good dose of constructive criticism.

      What poor writers fail to understand is that human beings read according to a set of language standards, and when those standards are violated, the relationship between the writer and the reader is violated. A reader will usually do one of two things when confronted with lousy writing: abandon it within the first few sentences, or struggle through it and get pissed off at the effort it took. Either way, the writer's credibility is lost.

      There's much to be said on the topic of whether a piece of writing represents the author as an expert or a moron. Your Hub is a fine beginning, and I'm hoping to read more of your thoughts on the subject.

      Regards, Sally

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Excellent hub! I totally agree with you too.

    • Maylinda Arons profile image

      Maylinda Arons 9 years ago from India

      Absolutely agree. I campaign for the "Save The Vowels" movement, so 'chatspeakers' watch it around me!

    • Marian Swift profile image

      Marian Swift 9 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Hal ...

      This Hub made my day. You may not do classroom teaching, but you've written an article worthy of use in any classroom.

    • ProCW profile image

      ProCW 9 years ago from South Carolina

      Im in aw of the awefuly "awsome" tatoo. :) hehe


    • spryte profile image

      spryte 9 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Although colloquial speech (in its infinite variations) does have its place in good writing...unless it's intentional and has something to be compared to (i.e. grammatically correct English), the art of it is lost.

      Thank you for your brave post. I applaud you!

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      I appreciated this Hub -- my favourite (British spelling, sorry) so far. More!

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      Hi Hal, maybe I'm somewhere in between? Not an expert, and hopefully not a moron...

      What bothers me more than spelling, is run on sentences and no paragraphs or endless lists. Writing has to build in a comfort zone for the reader, as Sally said.

      I don't mind not finding the point for a few sentences, I like build up to the climax and drama of the story or article. But, rambling and wordiness or "too cutesy" is not genuine.

      Neither is sounding like an encyclopedia. Everyone wants a bit of passion, and we certainly found it here. Bravo, and if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check my hubs... before you do.

      =) I think we are all now forewarned!

    • Eric Graudins profile image

      Eric Graudins 9 years ago from Australia

      When you are online, the way that you express yourself forms part of the "picture" of you (and your company) that a potential client builds up in his mind.

      It doesn't matter what you offer, or how great a deal you make, the majority of people online have a brain - and automatically evaluate many things in deciding whether or not to do business with you.

      Poor grammar, excessive spelling mistakes, an AOL email address, and a banner loaded free website somewhere will almost guarantee that your credibility will be close to zero - regardless of what you are offering to give, sell, or barter.


    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 9 years ago from California

      God, I'm going to be the typical negative bastage that I can be here and say that, while I agree in principle with your premise, your examples undermine your point.

       "Which" and "that" are entirely interchangable and completely grammatically correct when used in a sentence like the one you chose. The only difference is one is "more standard" than the other in a sort of "paint by numbers" grammar meant for the unthinking sort.  There are subtle differences in certain instances in which either the comma/which or a plain "that" might be preferable, but proper use is subjective, which, in huge part, so is all of grammar to begin. 

      And for lists, the comma "rule" you bring up is pointed at what is called the Oxford comma, and it's usage is in no means a RULE.  The British tend to skip it (ironically) and American writers tend to use it as you suggest, but the fact is, grammatically speaking either is correct.  The only "rule" regarding it is that you should be consistent in its use throughout any given text.  And even that "rule" is weak inasmuch as that if a particular list is made more clear by including it (as was your computer example) then it is fine to insert one even if you haven't been for your other lists along the way.  Used properly, it becomes an element of style.

      I believe the spirit of your essay was to say that people should take the time to learn standard grammar so that when deviations in the "norm" occur, they are purposeful and add meaning rather than randomness that destroys credibility.  In this aspect, I could not more whole-heartedly agree.

    • mlm writer profile image

      mlm writer 9 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Your title grabbed my attention and I was intrigued. Are you planning to build on this? Obviously, grammar is not the only determining factor in whether one sounds like an expert or a moron.

    • terenceyap07 profile image

      terenceyap07 9 years ago from Singapore

      Dear Hal,

      I've admired your mastery of the written word for some time now. The way in which you present your case, as well as your choice of examples, inspire me to weave my sentences more carefully in future.

      This is an excellent hub, my friend. I look forward to reading more of your articles in future.

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 9 years ago from Oregon, USA

      You are absolutely correct in that typos, rampant mispellings, dicey grammar, and imprecise expression turn off EDUCATED readers. However, the vast majority of the LOLcats out there would rather read some sensationalized celeb gossip -- they wouldn't know bad writing from good if it bit them in the butt. I've seen some exceptionally good writing go begging; at the same time I've seen a guy who writes about profound issues such as wedgies and mispells every other word become extremely popular. I don't know if they think of him as an expert but they keep coming back to read his dreck. And what good does it do one to actually BE an authority and write like one if no one knows about you?

    • talented_ink profile image

      talented_ink 9 years ago from USA

      I have to agree with you in the fact that no matter how great the topic or how passionate the writer is, misspelled words take away most of the writer's credibility. Even as I read through some of my work, I can see little spelling mistakes that slipped past me as I wrote. The main thing is for any writer to care not only about the content of their work, but also the context and the spelling of their words. Good hub!

    • profile image

      Erin Hill 9 years ago

      I'm glad someone finally wrote about this. I'm certainly not an expert, but I've read many hubs that would have been very interesting...had I been able to understand them. Of course, I'm talking about more than just "that" and "which". These people couldn't even put a sentence together. Lets also not forget those who WRITE IN ALL CAPS IN EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE OR HUB. They always come across like they're yelling.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      I have dyslexia, and therefore I have to be very careful about how I write. An occasional misspelling enters my work, but I try to be very diligent.

      What I do usually is to write my hub in MS Word.  I use a color background and for the text a contrasting color.  That way I am doing much as I would if I were reading a printed page, where I place a sheet of color plastic over the page to make it easier for me to comprehend the writing.

      I am a HUGE fan of doing the best I can to make what I write more comprehensible to others.  When I was a teacher I used to help young people learn why it was important to communicate effectively.  Some understood what I was teaching, while others did not.

      Excellent hub, and I hope to see an expansion of this theme.

    • profile image

      dafla 9 years ago

      I love it! When I was in college, the first day of Business Communications 201, my professor (a black woman) wrote on the board two words..."ax" and "ask", and called on a black student to pronounce them each. He pronounced them the same. She said that if we could not learn to speak correct English, we would never make it in the world of business, and might as well get up and leave the room right then. I learned more from her than I ever have from any professor or teacher in my life.

      It may interest you to know that professional proofreaders who read for spelling errors read the book or paper backwards, one word at a time.

    • profile image

      dafla 9 years ago

      Also, thought you would like this:

      f yuo can raed tihs, you hvae a sgtrane mnid, too. Can you raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

    • profile image

      tdrusk 9 years ago

    • ProCW profile image

      ProCW 9 years ago from South Carolina

      "If you can read this, you have a strange mind, too. Can you read this? Only 55 people out of 100 can. I couldn't believe that I could actually understand what I was reading. The phenomenal power of the human mind, according to a researcher at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place. The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole. Amazing huh? Yeah and I always thought spelling was important! If you can read this forward it."

      Um... I can raed it, but to wohm slahl I frrwaod it?

      -- You left out the "I" in the first "If" hehe. I never really thought of my mind as strange, just genius; possibly polymathic. :)


    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yes, but the problem with the jumbled letters test is that it only works because there is a standard word to discover, and because of context. It wouldn't work with people learning the language or with children.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Actually it depends on the child and some could read this above. However, some adults could not even read the jumbled letters.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Of course, but only children who already knew the words :)

    • Lidian profile image

      Lidian 9 years ago

      I agree, and am always horrified at my own typos! Since I am not perfect I am glad to have spell check, but I always try to write as well and as accurately as possible.

      (I have checked this comment for errors several times, since writing about errors has inspired me to make many typos!)

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 9 years ago from California

      Para, the children could have psychic diction or some sort of empathic lexiconish thingy.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Thank you for all the kind words and the agreement: Sally's Trove; Uninvited Writer; Maylinda Arons; Marian Swift; ProCW; spryte; Teresa McGurk; Eric Graudins; terenceyap07; hot dorkage; talented_ink; Erin Hill; Chef Jeff; dafla; Lidian and all. English Forever! (Not eng 4eva!)

      mlm writer: I've just posted another article on the differences between British and American English that is in some ways an extension of this Hub.

      marisuewrites: There are many violations of the English language and some are more egregious than others. Language is a living thing and it continually evolves and changes to suit the times. If not, we'd still be using thou and thee. However, the wholehearted bastardization of a language which is shown in IM Speak, or just good ol' plain uneducated writing must be fought at all costs.

      Shadesbreath: You make excellent points, and although I could get into a long-winded justification of which and that, I'll spare all the readers of this Hub from the stultifying read. As for the Oxford comma rule, there are many rules which are grammatically correct but simply do not make sense in the common usage of the English language which has become the technical/scientific/commercial standardbearer of the world. The use of subsets in comma separated phrases is often misused to the point where the essential message of the sentence is obfuscated.

      tdrusk: Thanks for the Digg. I'm not a fan of Kevin Rose's rigged casino, but I do appreciate the effort!

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 9 years ago from California

      Eschew obfuscation, I always say. 

      I read in a writing book somewhere, or maybe it was one of my professors along the way, whichever, an interesting point about language and grammar.  The essence of it was that a writer need only know enough of language and grammar to make his or her point.  Basically, if the point was important enough to be heeded and was extractable from the text, then the purpose of communication has been served--communication being the ostensible purpose of language to begin. (Imagine a cave man scratching a warning in the dirt to you by drawing a skeleton, an arrow and a snake.)

      Obviously that doesn't hold for most things today, but perhaps the need for grammatical goose-stepping is ironically most crucial for those who have the least to say.  Look at standard business writing today or even things we read on the fickle Internet.  Nothing that will be read for long, past a handful of years at best, but those are the very things that command the most grammatical "accuracy."  The more average something written is, the more excellent it's required to be. "Bad" writing is lambasted for breaking rules that don't actually exist, when the truth might be that bad writing is just content that sucked to the point that non-standard grammar made it even more unbearable than it already was.

      I realize that's a devil's advocate stance, but I do love my devil time.  LOL.  Get's more into the philosophy of language maybe, but this hub seems to be skirting the edge of some of that. 


    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Shadesbreath, I just want to share this as every time I read it I don't know whether to laugh or cry. From:

      STEP (8)

      Toys,are what will make mostly any woman your sleeping with suck your organ in ways you thougth only you could do if you were made without the need for ribs.Dildo's,clitorus stimulatos,vibrators. Whatever she is turned on by:USE because her bodywill thank over and over.

      STEP (9)

      The key to all this being a successful mission is your willingness to use all the tips and lessons.Dont get selfish and fall off corse.She already thinks you cant handle her.So dont proove her right, put your thing down


      I was suppose to submit a 10 part plan to satisfying a women,but decideding that as much as anyone we all could use advise and I'm no exception.I will leave this part empty and anyone can comment or suggest things i left out.Looking for some nasty,erotic,senual beautiful metorphores that make the art of pleaseing a women so damb enjoyable!!!!!blog on

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 9 years ago from California

      You see, a perfect example of what I am trying to say.  Clearly this author has spent all his time mastering the art of seduction and sexual technique rather than learning how to write.  Who needs grammar when you can woo a woman with a corse of clitorus stimulatos that has not the need for ribs?  I believe my arguments are completely made by these senual beautiful metorphores at this point, and I anticipate your recognition of the fact very soon.


    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      You know what really gets me? Out of my 227 Hubs, 3 of them have a lower Hubscore than this sentimental opus to romance. So much for Technology and Motorcycles... Maybe I should share with my readers the patented Hal techniques for situmlatos a lady's clitorus? :)

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 9 years ago from California

      My wife and I anticipate that hub eagerly, Hal, expecting that "her body willthank over and over" once you get that article done.

    • ceounlimited profile image

      ceounlimited 9 years ago from California

      Hi Hal, thanks for the reminder that written words are a powerful instrument of communication when they are written correctly. I certainly am not a moron and definitely do not want to present myself as such.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Shadesbreath: Unfortunately I have a commitment to HubPages to publish content oriented around the family, not Hubs that instruct how to make a family. :)

      ceounlimited: I believe that the correct use of language is our best business card.

    • esocial profile image

      esocial 9 years ago from California

      Excellent points here! Clean up the content :)

    • jonesj64 profile image

      jonesj64 9 years ago from Michigan

      Hal - This is hilarious and I love it!!! I cannot tell you how irritating it is to read paragraphs of errors - it drives me crazy. Great post.

    • ozarker profile image

      ozarker 9 years ago

      Hal - Could not agree more with your Hub! It is encouraging indeed to find others of like mind, concerning the need for "grammatical correctness". Write On!

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      esocial: I promise. No situmlatos a lady's clitorus Hubs from Hal! :)

      ozarker and jonesj64: Thanks! Join my mighty army and rise as one against the evil usurpers of the English language who dwell in the dark shadows and banish them to the fiery depths of hell forever! :)

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Years ago there was a commercial on TV that asked the following: "Are you taking medicines for a headache that you don't need?"

      Naturally, being a smarty pants when I was a teenager, I wrote the company and asked basically, "Well, who needs a headache?"

      I never got a reply, but that ad campaign probably earned the writers a lot of money. I always wondered why people with bad spelling, poor grammar and the inability to put words together properly get paid the big bucks? It certainly can't be for excellent communicative skills!

      Of course, there is also "A mind is a terrible thing to waste" which I believe should be "It is a terrible thing to waste a mind."

      I could add: "Mission Accomplished" but I don't want to belittle the half-wits who lead us or attack those who are not present to offend themselves.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      I'm old enough to remember all the grammar teachers explaining what was wrong with: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!" :)

    • ozarker profile image

      ozarker 9 years ago

      Yeah...and while we're at it, let's make English this country's "First Language" once again!

      Well, now I've gone to meddlin'.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      First language? On January 9, 1794, a petition in Virginia requested that the U.S. Congress provide for the publication of German translations of some of its laws. It was reported favorably out of committee on December 23. It was rejected by the House committee of the whole on January 13, 1795, by a vote of 42 to 41. Just one vote! :)

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      And actually Ozarker many parts of this country were not English speaking when they entered the Union. Just about everything west of the Mississippi comes to mind.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      LOL - excellent hub. I'd say that if it wasn't for the invention of the spell-checker Iwould have had no hope of ever publishing anything. Its all very well to say look it up- but you need to be able to spell the start of the word to do that! Over the years the spell checker, my dearest friend, has improved my spelling no end, usually because of repetition I finally go some of the more common words right! I am running a risk submitting this as this computer does not have my "form spell checker" installed -a very nice little firefox extension

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Chef Jeff - {{And actually Ozarker many parts of this country were not English speaking when they entered the Union. Just about everything west of the Mississippi comes to mind.}}

      So, nothing changes?


    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent Hub! I agree that correct english is essential, but the writing should flow. It should be the vehicle to transport the story or the idea and not overpower the content. My love of the english language came from an Irish High School English teacher.I know this sounds Irish! His first words to the class on the first day of High school were; "full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste it's sweetness on the desert air" which is not the case with this hub.

    • ozarker profile image

      ozarker 9 years ago

      "Rebuttals well received" :-)

      Isn't the purpose of language, written or verbal", that the conversants be able to understand one another?

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Chef Jeff, ozarker, and Paraglider: Without wanting to contribute to making cheap shots at "hillbillies", I do want to provide this anecdote without comment: Years ago I was involved in a medical research project at a major Arkansas hospital. I was discussing some aspects of viral capsid proteins with an associate in the presence of a local man. When I excused myself to refill my drink, the local turned to my associate and asked "Is he speeekin' Eeenglish?"

      Lissie: Beware of spellcheckers. Remember that many words can be spelled correctly but be in the wrong form for the sentence. I find that the grammar checker in OpenOffice is actually better than Microsoft Word and worth a try. Besides, it's free!

      sixtyorso: May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. Ah, I miss the Emerald Isle. When I was working there all I wanted to do was to get a little cottage on the Kerry coast where the bays catch the last gasps of the Gulf Stream and your garden is filled with palm and banana trees... aaaaaahhhh... paradise...

    • Brownie23 profile image

      Brownie23 9 years ago from Chicago

      I definitely agree with you...but your wording is very...hmmmmm writing isnt meant to be long as i put the right intent and spelling with the correct word choice...then im good...

      (I am agreeing to incidents where people use "too" instead of "to" and vice versa...)

    • jcorkern profile image

      jcorkern 9 years ago from Wonderland

      It is a great hub, but very biased. I am a professional internet marketer that grosses 7 digits per year(and most of the time, each month). I put a lot of content out on the web, and there are few as lost as you are. If you have a page that is the ultimate landing page on a site. Yes, the writing must be fairly clean. But there are time when i want incorrect spelling, specificaly for search engines.

       The second part is that i put out thousands of articles a year, and i really do not care that much about the english, because they are for links. This give me loads of visitors to my sites, which equals money, so my job? You are as lost as a goose in the fog.

      Most of the population will not even notice what you are ranting about. Give me a call, let's compare bottom lines and see who comes out best. I can lose the 3 % of the do gooders and wanna be grammar police for the 97% that do not care and will not even notice.

      I write for majority, not the cry babies.

      You need to wake up.

    • birder profile image

      birder 9 years ago from Alabama

      What a range of comments on an excellent hub article. Actually the first I ever read. We write for different purposes online and sometimes the grammar suffers and most often no one recognizes the spelling errors. So, when I write articles I put on my thinking cap and clean up grammar and even punctuation. But when I write blogs, I tend to be more conversational and the misplaced adjective or split infinitive is not as important as the flow. As the person before me has said, sometimes the errors are what bring in the dollars. I prefer to speak a language that people can understand and I do not mean the text message people who have abbreviated our thinking into one syllable phrases! And I have a tough time reading and comprehending them. Integrity and professional work will always shine even if we are geese lost in a fog. I prefer geese to geeks anyhow.

    • jcorkern profile image

      jcorkern 9 years ago from Wonderland

      Well said, That was my whole point. You write for your target market. People buy from sites that they are comfortable with, and most of the time it is not the "perfection" that sells, but the human aspect of the site. The story by the high school dropout that made it big, the struggeling single mom with a high school diploma that can relate to millions of other moms in her situation. they do not care about a perfectly spelled post.

      People return to sites based on emotion about 80% of the time. It does not matter if it is anger, joy, sadness or any other emotion. People also buy on emotion, just the facts. The tiny precentage of grammar police means next to nothing to an internet marketer.

      Poor spelling can bring in loads of traffic from google alone.

      Some of my best producing sites would make the writer of this hub cringe, but they were designed that way, and for a reason.

      If you have a "perfect" site that promoted larry the cable guy competing with a redneck style site that was low quality with poor spelling, guess who makes the money?

      Now, if I was selling $2,500.00 bottles of wine to the stuckup wine sniffers, yes, it would need to be more perfect, because these people expect something they are not themselves, and that is perfection.

    • OrangeCast profile image

      OrangeCast 9 years ago from Dallas, TX

      I have to agree. As a former newspaper editor and current copywriter, I have been accused of being OCD about spelling, grammar, and proper punctuation. My question to those people is, why aren't you??? The words one uses, and the manner in which they are presented, absolutely communicates a message to the reader. Think of spelling, grammar, and punctuation akin to non-verbal cues in relation to verbal communication. So much is communicated through the appearance and structure of words, I find it ludicrous that more people are not taught how to properly write and construct ideas through the written word. Everyone should take personal responsibility for this, or risk accepting the consequences: appearing uneducated.

      Thank you for highlighting this issue!

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Thanks to all for their comments. jcorkern as a web publisher you are free to post on the web anything you want. You can put up a page of literary criticism of G.B. Shaw or a photo collage of bestiality. It's your choice.

      As I recently wrote in my Hub: Top 10 Ways To Not Get Rich Online:


      Everyone knows that most internet surfers are pimple-gobbed illiterate wankers anyway, so why bother putting pearls before swine? Stick in some Crysis screenshots and plenty of buxom topless chicks amidst some nonsense about Halo 3, Rock Band and Bioshock cheats and watch your ISP's servers blow up from all the traffic.


      If you've found the secret to this, then more power to you and your bank account. I'm sure society at large is resilient enough to not be overly polluted by your actions. The point I question though, is your assertion that you take in 7 digits in a month.

      First of all, if that is the case, why are you plunking around on HubPages instead of buying a tropical island and chasing the grass-skirt wearing hula girls with a lawnmower?

      And... my quarter million page view Hub made me barely a hundred bucks, or 0.04 cents per visitor. Unless you have the keys to the SEO universe and are doing something very unusual to squeeze money out of clicks, in order to reach a million dollars (7 digits) you would have to be attracting 2.5 billion page views to your sites each month, which means that you'd go through the earth's entire population within 10 weeks.

      That would also mean that you are drawing traffic that would place you between Yahoo Search (2.45 billion) and YouTube (2.76 billion) in page views.

      You wouldn't be trying to pull Uncle Hal's leg would ya? ;)

    • ozarker profile image

      ozarker 9 years ago

      Heh, heh, heh, hmmm... :-)

    • starcatchinfo profile image

      starcatchinfo 9 years ago



    • jcorkern profile image

      jcorkern 9 years ago from Wonderland

      No, I would not. I own half of a service company that is nationwide, and yes, I am an SEO expert, so I do not play with petty clicks. I found a great field, learned to market to that field, and I make better than average money. That is what most people miss, it is not quantity if visitors, it is the targeted visitor.

      I do not play politics, it is a waste of time, but i do spend my time telling people about the frauds online, and trying for massive traffic and hoping for a random click for pennies makes no sense whatever.

      I may only get 500 clicks into my sites in a day, but that can make me a lot more than you get traffic in a day in real dollars. This goes to show you that we are not playing on the same level. And people should listen to someone making 100 bucks for a quater million pageviews over someone who get 15 k pages views a month and make 4 million? This is exactly what I am talking about, the blind leading the blind, and the internet is full of this.

      "As I recently wrote in my Hub: Top 10 Ways To Not Get Rich Online: This one seems to fit your experience, run with it.

      It is not your ideas, it is your understanding that is lacking. Now, I am not a service pro, but I am a professional SEO and have been for several years and partnered with a service pro. I do not play the same cards you do. I have a business that produces a high return per visitor instead of peanuts, so I do not need your traffic from 2.0 (social bookmarking) of casual readers.

      Want another example of picking the right type of business? Brad Fallon has a wedding favors site that done 37 million gross last year, but the trick is not making a few dollars per sale, but larger sales. He sell's stuff in packs of 100, 200, 300, or even 3000, so that one dollar sale is now 200 min. by the way, if you want to check out that site, it is (did not want to put a live link so you could accuse me of anything else).

      Most of the population thinks too small on some things and too big on others, you just have it backwards. Your stats and estimates on traffic means nothing to me, let's compare bottom lines.

       "First of all, if that is the case, why are you plunking around on HubPages instead of buying a tropical island and chasing the grass-skirt wearing hula girls with a lawnmower?"

      As far as beaches and hula girls lol, Get real, that is propaganda. Not only that, but I am about business, not glamor. Next, Islands cost a little more than you think, and I do not live like a rock star, never wanted to, never will. Money is a tool, not a toy, which is another reason you make a hundred bucks from 1/4 mil pageviews.

      So keep writing your literary perfection that pays 0.04 cents per visitor, or learn the real world and make more money per day that you now make per year.

       The choice is yours.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Hmm... 500 clicks a day, 15,000 clicks a month, so you're making over $65 a click, huh... hmm... tell me, do I have sucker written on my forehead? I've seen way too many lines of BS in my life to not smell it a mile away. Go try to impress the high school girls, dude. You'll get no respect here since if you are that rich, you're flaunting it like a common boor, and if you're a liar, you're unloading some serious whoppers. Peace. Out.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      PostScript: Actually, my calculation on 15,000 clicks a month was based on $1 million. You stated you make $4 million. So that's just under $300 a click.

      Dude, do you know you should write for Jay Leno? You're hilarious! Deluded, but hilarious! :)

    • jcorkern profile image

      jcorkern 9 years ago from Wonderland

      Well, I can tell your visitors that they can listen to you and make 100 bucks per 1/4 million pages views, or get into the right field, understand how to use the words to sell yourself, product or service and how to write for your target audience and make boatloads of money.

       They can follow someone who can show them how to make a hundred, or millions. The proof is in the pudding.

      I will pay you a hundred just to stop printing lies that you have no clue about.

    • zoephoenix profile image

      zoephoenix 9 years ago from Midgar

      Nope, 'Uncle Hal', jcorkern isn't pulling your leg one tiny li'l bit. I've been working under him for around a year now and everything he says about what we make is true. :-)

      What you should realize is the fact that more clicks does not equal more money. What brings you more money working online is a combination of the quality of the keywords your site ranks for (i.e. whether you target your traffic and market your site appropriately and there are a number of ways to make your site rank for one thing or another, but I won't get into that ;) ) and the sales techniques that you use. Since you are not actively selling a product on this hubpage, I don't expect that you do make a large amount of money every month, even if you do get the number of visitors that you say you do. Affiliate programs are great, but unless you're targeting a very specific audience, they're not going to do you any good. More than that, whether you make any money or not (and how much you make) turns on how much the person visiting your site wants or needs your product. I see that you have and eBay affiliate programs at the bottom of this page, but really, is someone actually going to go and buy "Google AdSense For Dummies" off this site on pure impulse? Probably not. You might get a sale here or there, but they'll likely be few and far between in proportion to how many visitors you get. If you own the book, write a review of it, and try to sell it through Amazon in the same post, you'll likely get more sales than an ad for the same book that appears at the bottom of the page.

      It's great that you can spell and your grammar is perfect, so more power to you on that, but you really have no idea what kind of relation there is between the quality of your articles (or posts and they don't have to be perfect) and making money online. What your site looks like, how well your articles are written (yes, they need to be coherent and the information has to be correct), and how much money you make is completely dependent on what audience you're targeting. Not all sites are going to have perfect spelling and grammar and depending on how much someone needs something (and what level of education your target visitors have), some might not even care what the site looks like as long as they can get what they want.

      And it's quite possible that the reason that jcorkern isn't out on some tropical island somewhere chasing hula girls is simply because when it comes to making a living online, no matter how much you make, if you stop building, the money (eventually) stops coming. It takes someone willing to put in the time and the effort to make a true living online; working smart and putting up pages that your targeted visitors will like (instead of what your own personal taste dictates) is what makes you money, not blindly sticking to your belief that everything must be perfect and the same. Markets can change literally overnight and what sold yesterday might not sell tomorrow.

      As far as how much we're making per click, you really need to consider what kind of industry we could be working in. Not everyone who markets a product (or a service) online is selling it for less than $100 or even $1,000 a pop. The service that we sell runs in the thousands and sometimes tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not everybody uses AdSense, not everybody uses and eBay affiliate programs (or even affiliate programs at all).

      Flaunting it like a common boor? I don't think so. I think he's more trying to show you that with the experience he has, he obviously knows better about what will get you rich online than you do. If he didn't, it would be you making the big money every month, and not him.

      And just because we gross that much per month, doesn't mean that we NET that much. Especially not since the company has expenses to deal with such as independent contractors, and etcetera. When you're running a nationwide business instead of a tiny little hubpage, you might understand.

      Are you capable of manipulating a MySpace page so it'll rank top 10 for your chosen profession in a certain city? Probably not. You probably wouldn't have even thought about it. But, he's done it. Quite nicely, by the way.

      And I believe that you are the one who is doing the flaunting here and I would much prefer someone flaunt something that they do have as opposed to something that they do not have. You are flaunting experience that you have not acquired, which in my opinion, is much more detestable than jcorkern flaunting something that he most certainly does have and has earned over the years. You have no business talking about how to make (or not make) money online when you obviously have next to no idea what you're talking about. You're the one who should get no respect if you're only making $100 or so off a hubpage and you're running around telling people how to get rich online. It would also seem to me that if you could smell BS a mile away, you wouldn't have finished this hubpage, since that's all it really contains. Misinformation and BS. So is your hubpage titled "Top 10 Ways Not to Get Rich Online". Misinformation and BS. We've used at least a few of the techniques you listed on that page to make our money on other project sites in the past and some of those techniques work quite nicely when done correctly. Since I've worked with him, we've worked with all kinds of websites and made our clients more money than they made with any other SEO company. A diamond website, area rugs, windows, payday loans (our payday loan site sometimes makes $100 a day and it gets about 40 visits a day, so we're beating your hubpage), and etcetera. We've marketed in many fields. I wonder what our payday loan site (a side project, btw) would be making if we had your quarter of a million visitors? And it's nowhere near Google's top 10 yet... but it will be soon.

      Some keywords on AdWords are bid on for upwards of $18 and $20 per click, so how could the sites bidding on those keywords afford to pay that kind of money if it's not possible to make that kind of money online? Hmm? (We don't use AdWords, by the way, it's a waste of money and we yield results just as good without it.)

      It takes experience, trial, and error to make a living (a true, quit your day job living) online. Wait, do you have a day job??? I'm sorry. I went from being unemployed and driving a 20 year old $600 clunker Volvo to driving a $50k BMW in 6 months. Good luck with your hubpage revenue next month. I hope you make $101!

      If you want to step up a bit, you might want to give jcorkern a call. He's always hiring writers. ;-) Although since I have the privilege of hiring or firing anyone working under me as a writer, you probably wouldn't last long. Attitude counts for a lot and rain would probably drown you. Spelling and grammar are wonderful skills to have and I encourage everyone to take the time to develop them, but they are not the beginning and end of making money online. Far from it.

      And what level of spelling and grammar a person have does NOT by any means make that person a moron or an expert on anything. My grandfather can't spell and his grammar is horrible, but he's likely smarter than you'll EVER be about a lot of real world things. He knows the real world and it is for THAT reason he gets my unyielding respect; it has nothing to do with how he presents himself in print. Grammar and spelling do NOT turn on intelligence or experience and until you learn that, you're just another poser with a hubpage trying to make enough money to be able to say "yeah, I work online".

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Wow! Four minutes after jcorkern's reply, I get a tome from a zoephoenix who just (surprise surprise) joined Hubpages an hour ago to back up the fish tale from jcorkern who joined two weeks ago and has written two whole Hubs: Both about making money? No, both about water damage. j and zoe... It's kind of like the old story of "one lies and the other one swears by it."

      Whoever you are, j-zoe, this is getting pathetic and tiring. You must be so thoroughly bored in your gilded 37 room mansion overlooking Malibu that you don't have anything better to do on a Saturday night than to attempt to impress a total stranger. I guess I should be flattered that you are trying so hard to win me over to your cause but I wouldn't care if you bring me your bank manager and the entire mainframe from the Federal Reserve, if you insist that you average $300 a click and $4 million a month, you're out of your tree.

      If you make so much money, send me one million dollars in cash and I'll write up a Hub that says you're a deity and I'm an amoeba. See, then you can have the satisfaction that you so desperately seek to have me kowtow to your greatness, and I'll have your million bucks and be laughing all the way to the bank at how silly and foolish you are. However, since the only place you'll see a million dollars is on Deal or No Deal, then this ends this conversation. Enjoy your millions... heheheh...

      Sheesh... some people... "on the internet nobody knows what kind of dog you are..." Truer words were never said.

    • 2ken profile image

      2ken 9 years ago


      Just found your hub. The title intrigued me so I looked. And thought as I read the first paragraph, "Oh, no! this poor fellow needs to learn to do what he's saying!" So you 'had' me for a moment.

      While sloppy writing may earn dollars, I don't believe that taking care earns less dollars. There are some things which are important - as you point out. So, thanks for this hub. My hope is that some will learn from it.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Ya ur rite, but weather or not I could of preceeded in a diferent maner I wantad 2 b 1337 n dint wanna wriet like a noob, lol. :)

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Out of interest, what does 1337 mean?

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Ah, yes, the famous 1337. When a game player is acknowledged to be superior to his competitors, he is "elite." This quickly became "leet" and then the numericization of letters into a form that somewhat resembles their ASCII shape (which for some baffling reason is very popular) turns the l into a 1, the e into a 3 and the t into a 7. There you have: 1337! :)

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      OK thanks - I knew it had to be something along these lines, but hadn't seen it before.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      No prob. After all, you don't wanna be a n00b! :)

    • profile image

      Annie Fam 8 years ago

      This article makes a great point. A lot of mistakes and a complete disregard for punctuation can be annoying. I find it equally as annoying when someone writes a good article and the first comment that they get is pointing out that one out of place comma or misspelling. I've seen this happen a few times and every time the commenter's language is less than forgiving.

      I'm ok with people pointing out bad grammar but if they do it disrespectfully then it's just counter productive. If the person is clearly writing a decent article, then there is no excuse for not being polite. Lets face it, a lot of the people who write in English are not native speakers and others were educated in poorly funded American public schools. Because of these factors it is unfortunately unrealistic to expect people to learn English perfectly before they start writing online (unless they are in a literary profession).

      I suggest that people should take more of an educational view toward articles with mistakes. If you see a mistake, point it out but don't be a jerk about it. This way the person can learn and move on.

    • 2ken profile image

      2ken 8 years ago

      So Paraglider asked my question before I could! I too hadn't seen 1337!

    • adelacuesta profile image

      adelacuesta 8 years ago

      I just can't avoid reading this hub. As for all folks has their own separate opinion, I think I will feel embarrassed if I write something that is technically wrong, misspelled, or grammatically incorrect, but sometimes it's just a neglect and not unavoidable.

    • Judy Cullins profile image

      Judy Cullins 8 years ago from La Mesa, CA

      Hi Hal,

      You had me with the title! I loved your thesis and humor. Since I'm often referred to as an expert in book writing, self-publishing and article marketing. I never liked the term "expert" and just want to mentor people and get paid for it. I'm kind of new with hubpages, so learning a lot here--especially you--even on sex!

      Thanks again,

      Judy Cullins,

    • privateye2500 profile image

      privateye2500 8 years ago from Canada, USA, London

      I do not understand if this is a *family* spot - hubbing, why is the above mentioned hub even on here.

      I guess they have an xrated version I am unaware of.

    • ParadigmShift... profile image

      ParadigmShift... 8 years ago from San Jose, CA

      Scratchin my head... When did this hub change it's content to be about "making money online?" I actually had to read the hub again. Nope, still simply about grammar. jcorkern and zoe should've just written their own hubs on the matter. Could've added $0.04 to his "bottom line."

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Annie Fam: I completely agree that berating a person who is displaying poor mastery of the English language is not effective. Much better to show them the error of their ways.

      2ken: There's even various variations, like 1337z01d!

      adelacuesta: The important thing is that you try to write properly. Grammar and spellcheckers are truly helpful if you check what they are telling you about whatever it is you're writing.

      Judy Cullins: Thanks! I'm not quite clear on what I'm teaching you about sex, but hey, I'm willing to listen! :)

      privateye2500: I think you and Judy lost me on the sex thing. Am I missing something? (Other than sex... I always miss sex!) :)

      ParadigmShift: Yes, this Hub is and remains about writing properly for web articles. Thank goodness! :)

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