Grammar shaming

I follow a very cool, very smart writer/actor/director on Twitter. His tweets are usually witty and fun. Today, though, he replied to someone with what I would call public grammar shaming.

Here let me say that I am constantly shocked at the things people will tweet in general but to celebrities especially. I’ve wondered if celebs read the Tweets directed to or in reply to something they Tweet. Sometimes people can be wildly inappropriate – on so many levels and not just in deplorable spelling and grammar usage.

I think this guy must read at least some of the tweets to or about him because I have seen him respond before.

Today’s reply Tweet was in response to that grammar nazi favorite ‘your/you’re’ error. I know this is a ‘fingernails on the chalkboard’ error for many of us.

Writer/Director/Actor tweeted about leaving the country. Random person who felt compelled to reply said “If your going, I’m coming with you to make sure your ok”.

Ok, so this is grammatically painful and generally awkward. I totally get that.

But Writer/Director/Actor actually replies back to her. His reply tweet is simply: “you’re”.

I know I was not the only one of his half a million followers who had to then look at the person’s tweets to see what was said.

I wondered was this a hilarious reply to a friend? An ongoing inside joke maybe?

Nope. It appeared to be just some clueless Twitter newbie with 20 some odd followers who then apologized and figuratively hung head in shame in her reply back.

The exchange made me think of the scene in the movie, Pitch Perfect where The Bellas leader, Aubrey, calls out a newly initiated member for sleeping with the rival acapella group they’ve all sworn not to be involved with. Girl getting kicked out drags her metal chair across the floor, sad screeching sound filling the otherwise silent room. Then Becca, our Too Cool For Everything heroine, says in her best indignant tone, “Was that really necessary?”

Random tweet was awkward and the grammatical errors were egregious, but, “Was that really necessary?”

When is it okay to grammar shame someone? Is it? And upon whom does this most poorly reflect? The person who made the stupid error, or the person who chooses to highlight the person’s mistake?

I think the answer is in this question: “Is it better to right or to be kind?”

Kind – always kind.

8 thoughts on “Grammar shaming

  1. Always be kind. It costs nothing. And on Twitter you have to say what you can in 140 characters. So people like to save space. It’s not a big deal since its a casual forum. I’m big in grammar shaming myself but I try not to in others. It’s not kind or helpful to them. No need to make someone feel bad just because of our own idiosyncrasies.

  2. Yes! Kindness always wins. And to call out somebody like that over such a public source, well that’s just rude. Anyone can have a typo. I don’t know who that celebrity is but I don’t like them very much right now!

  3. Kindness is the responsibility of people who are “leaders” and unfortunately celebrities are considered role models. This person made it okay and tolerable to put someone down in a public forum. If he or she wanted to “help” he or she could have done so privately. Great commentary!

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever addressed someone personally on a grammar area. I save that for general posts on my blog. How embarrassing! With only 140 chars (and being a newbie), too!

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