Monday, August 13, 2007

Definitely a short post.

I don't know why it bugs me so much, but why do so many people misspell "definitely"? (Or "definite", etc.?) Maybe it's because they mispronounce it, too, because they have lazy American speech patterns, like "nukular". Pronounce it "deaf in it lee".

At any rate, the word is definately not spelled "definately". It is definitely "definitely". This is one of those errors that, when you fix it, results in your readers' opinion of your IQ rise about 15 points.

Other than that, today's not been bad so far.

Update: Jamie Spencer, publisher of the fine Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer blog, has politely pointed out that one of my sentences above (now italicized) could be, um, improved. I would have been a lot less polite. I'm too proud to try scanning it and counting the errors; you may amuse yourself with that task if you like. Here's my stab at an edit, though.

This is an error that, when fixed, will result in your readers' estimates of your IQ rising about 15 points.

That's still awkward, but it keeps the meaning of the original sentence. Definately better.


Jamie said...

“This is one of those errors that, when you fix it, results in your readers' opinion of your IQ rise about 15 points.”

The only way to force that to be grammatically correct is to insist that there’s such a thing as “your readers’ opinion of your IQ results”. (In other words, ‘results’ must be a noun modified by the phrase “your reader’s opinion of your IQ”.)

It’s certainly possible that such a thing exists, I suppose… perhaps if there’s an elided poll? :)

At any rate, as long as we’re on the subject of “reasonable” snobbery (see your previous post), may I suggest:

Fixing these types of errors increases your readers’ perception of your IQ by 15 points.

That’s off the top of my head, but there are better ways than that of saying it too.

Anyway, your profile didn’t include an email address or I would have emailed you this rather than commented. Tone-of-voice doesn’t come through well in comments, so I hope you realize that this is meant “good-naturedly”.

My mom was an English teacher, so I have the same type of “snobbery” that you do.

Found your blog by way of your comments on Grits, and have now added you to my RSS reader. (So keep posting, would ya?)

Michael said...

Yikes! Did I really write that horrible post? Okay, better fix that pronto. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment. Please note that my next post probably won't be about grammar. But hopefully it will have been edited more carefully.