Weekend Wrinkle: Don’t Throw Grammar Stones

Although there are many (too many) times I cringe while reading something poorly written on the Internet, I try to make it a policy not to pick too much on specific people or sites.  The one exception is people who profess themselves as writing experts but who make awful, repeat mistakes.

Hey, I’m not perfect. I know that the minute I throw a grammar stone at someone is the minute I’ll make a stupid error and have a mountain of righteous writers descend upon me.

On the other hand, here are some examples I don’t mind tossing a few pebbles at:

If you're going to talk about writing good headlines, it's a good idea to make your sentences short, clear, and error-free.

If you’re going to talk about writing good headlines, it’s a good idea to make your sentences short, clear, and error free.

This self-professed journalist should not only have corrected the mechanical errors, he should have written intelligible sentences.

This self-professed journalist should not only have corrected the mechanical errors, he should have written intelligible sentences.

Here's a tip: make the first sentence clear and understandable.

Here’s a tip: make the sentences — especially the first one — clear and understandable. (Avoiding sentence fragments is a good idea, too.)

A classic case of why people shouldn't harp too much on other people's mistakes. (Seems like a case of auto correct gone wild.)

A classic case of why people shouldn’t harp too much on other people’s mistakes. (Maybe we can blame it on a case of auto correct gone wild.)

I think I’ll put my “blue pen of shame” away now while I’m ahead.

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