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Guide to Grammar - The Internet and Cynicism

Updated on October 12, 2014
This is truth in its most basic form.
This is truth in its most basic form. | Source

One thing that really bothers me on the Internet is the laziness and the intentional butchering of the language. It makes me feel as though our society is becoming dumber and dumber. When I was gaming on a regular basis, I made the following for the sake of RPers. It is my opinion that if you play on an RP server, you better be above the masses grammatically. Although it was originally written for the gaming community, it fits throughout the Internet as I see more and more ignorant writings. What really irks me most is, "LAWLZ so what i can rite how i want"
Well, technically, yes you can. And you look like a 5-year old with a learning disability when you do. Don't look like a 5-year old with a learning disability.

I've been called 'grammar nazi', 'language lawyer', and straight up [deleted expletives]. My take is this: I have no problem with typos and I have no problem with ignorance. Ignorance can be fixed. My problem lies with those who CHOOSE to be ignorant. In my opinion, chosen ignorance equates to stupidity.

Anyway, please enjoy and don't take anything in it personally (unless you've reason to). It's primarily meant as a guide, but the fact that i even had to write it is problematic.

With the understanding that typos happen, please take the following into account. You are in a text-based society. Therefore, your speech, your mannerisms, everything about your character is dictated only through text. It is important to make it clear to your fellow chatters of your intent, as well as not look extraordinarily dumb in the process. Therefore, here is a guide for you to follow. If you don't do the following, then don't worry about it. This isn't directed toward you. If you DO, in fact, do any of the following, use this guide to stop. And remember, these are basic grammar rules and do not intrude on characterization or dialects. Thank you.


This is an Alot. You can hug alot a lot.
This is an Alot. You can hug alot a lot. | Source

1) The following are punctuation marks. Please use them:. , ; : ! ? ' "

2) Your vs. You're: Your: being possessive, would be used to describe someone's possessions as in, 'your dagger,' 'your clothing, 'your poor grammar. 'You're: being a contraction of 'you are.' You're wonderful. You're beautiful. You're no English major.

3) Choose, chose, chosen: To choose, present tense. "I choose to point out your (note usage of 'your') poor grammar. Chose: past tense. "He chose to ignore this post and perpetually irritate those around him. Chosen: "I/You/They/We have chosen to work on things." "He/She has chosen to ignore the things we've worked on."

4) Loose vs. lose. Loose is the opposite of tight. "The tire fell off because the nuts were loose. "Lose” is the opposite of win. "If you play the game, make sure you don't lose. "Lose also means to misplace. "Did you lose your (note usage) dagger?"

5) Their, There, They're. Ok kids... easy one here."Their" = possessive. "Their swords." "Their problems." "There" = place. "He's over there next to your (note word usage) cat." "There" = demonstrative adjective – "There were hundreds of them." "They're" = contraction "They're over there by their wagon." Ok... that one may have been tough for ya... let's try an easier one..."They're dancing in the moonlight."

6) There are THREE... count em... THREE periods in an ellipsis. Not 4, not 10, not 20... THREE! (And yes... I am aware this item was written in very poor grammar.) Actually, there are four in certain circumstances; such as when quoting a text and you skip through a sentence termination (period, question mark, etc.).

7) Direct address requires a comma. A direct address is defined as when you are directly addressing an individual (go figure). For instance, "Where are you going, John?" Note the important comma before "John."

8) Apostrophes *sigh*. Most often used to define a possessive."The Martian's grammar was much better than yours (note usage). "Or possessive plural (note location of apostrophe): “Those are the Johnsons' kids." Can also be used as a contraction: "The Martian's late for dinner." i.e. "Martian is" PLURALS DO NOT GET APOSTROPHES!" The shadows enveloped him." (Note: No apostrophe between "shadow" and "s".

9) Commas do not need to be placed after every word, but sometimes they are (they're) required.

10) Steel vs. Steal: Steel is a metal. Steel is formed by treating molten (melted) iron with intense heat and mixing it (alloying) with carbon. Steal is to take without permission. "Did someone steal your steel blade?"

11) Then vs. Than: Then is another one of those demonstrative adjectives."The time was then." "Then why do it?" THAN, however, is most often used as a comparison: "I'd rather pull each nose hair individually than have to continue to watch my brain bleed due to poor grammar."

12) Have vs. Of: This one is sort of placement specific, so I will deal only with a single type of incident...The phrase is "could have", "should have", "would have", etc. Can also be used with one of those apostrophes we spoke of."Could've, should've, would've. "The previous contractions would be appropriate when dealing with dialect where the character would say the phrase as though it sounds like "could of", "should of", "would of".

13) It's vs. Its: Ok. This one's tricky, I'll give ya that. Here's a way to remember it... in this case, "it's" is contraction only. "It's a lovely day." "Its", however, is possessive. "That was its only food." So remember, if it doesn't actually make two words (it is), it isn't call for an apostrophe. In addition... "tis" is a shortened version of "it is" as well. We do not need to see "it is it is." For example, I have seen "It's tis..." This is very very very dead wrong. So wrong it makes my brainfreeze... much like when you eat ice cream too fast. Unless you have a stutter, don't do it.

14) Were vs We're: "Were" is the past tense of "are" (whereas "was" is the past tense of "is").
"We're" is "We are".
They were going to correct your grammar, but we're going to do it instead.

15) Alot is not a word. I cannot emphasize this enough. In fact, someone else already did a much better job: The Story of Alot

16) To vs. Too vs. Two vs. 2: Too means "also". "Her grammar was horrible too." Two and 2 are numbers. "There were two of them. Count 'em! TWO!" To has multiple uses, but it is neither of the above. "I went to the store to pick up some beer too. Sadly, there were two people there whose display of horrible grammar made me want to beat them over the head."

The following are NOT WORDS:
4 (though numerically correct)
2 (though numerically correct)
1 (though numerically correct)
etc (you know where I'm going with this)

Thank you for taking the time to read over my rant. I do hope you will take it into account throughout your journeys. And please, if you have a complaint about poor grammar, perhaps something I missed, feel free to post it. If you have a complaint about this post, consider why. With all that said...

"There comes a time when its only purpose, its only stake in life could have shunned the world. And yet, he'd rather step into his own subconscious than hope to retrieve an ounce of gold from their pockets."It's not too far to Brambleshire." He thought. "I could steal a portion of gruel and make my way in half a day."But the road was tough then; his shoulders now pained with spikes of fire. The time to choose had come, and what he had chosen was solitude... a place away from the shadows of their magics. His voice, muffled in the fog, resonated within his ears as he spoke, "They're not going to accept you, Jason. You're well beyond their praises. You'd be best to take your belongings, your heart's endeavors elsewhere."He loosened the straps around his boots and slid them on his feet."You lose." He thought as he began to make his way down the trail. "You lose."


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    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 3 years ago from Nottingham

      Amen! I am so glad it isn't just me. I try hard not to be a grammar-nazi and am fully aware mine isn't perfect but I get really frustrated when there's just no effort at all. I think a lot of it is just lack of thought or care. A great hub! I hope people read and listen.

    • jponiato profile image

      jponiato 4 years ago from Mid-Michigan

      Nice work. The only time I am forgiving of "texting short-hand" is when I actually have to respond to a text on my phone. I hate texting, and will do as little as possible. Fortunately, I rarely have to.