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As I browse the news on various web sites on the Internet, appalling mistakes stand out like sore thumbs, which no one either notices or—are not educated enough to discover.

English is my native tongue, and I should be able to write it and speak it with a level of expertise that confirms I am a wordsmith, after studying English Composition and Journalism in college and working as a print journalist for several newspapers.

It is horrifying to realize how many English-speaking American citizens go about life with a D- grade in their native language.  I’ve met Europeans who speak English better than many Americans.  That fact should deeply embarrass Americans who claim they “earned” a high school diploma.  Successfully passing the 12th grade today is remarkably easier than when I was in high school.  We actually had to work at it, i.e., go to the library, use a typewriter that had no spell check, and research information in encyclopedias.  There were no computers and no Internet.  We weren’t even allowed to use pocket calculators.  We used slide rules.

Continuing —

Just go to a chat site or any site where chatting with other users is possible and see how so many people make horrid mistakes like:

your and you’re    lose and loose    to and too    and so on.

Today I was browsing Yahoo News and saw this egregious error:

Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain lays on the ground after winning the silver medal . . .”

People do not ‘lay’ down.  They lie down.  You lay a book on the table.  It is easy to remember which word to use:  If it is alive, it lies down.  If it is dead or never had life, you lay it down.

It’s Absolutely Mind Boggling that the author of that caption and anyone who is responsible for editing before posting allowed that mistake to make it to the world wide web.

Many of you will “poo poo” me and this post for noticing grammar errors, but knowing how to speak/write your language and caring enough to make an honest effort to do it correctly is nothing for which anyone should be ashamed—and I am not ashamed of my concern for communicating correctly in my native tongue.

Remember this always:

People will judge you all your life based on your appearance, the way you speak, and the way you write.  Speak/write stupidly and that is the impression people will have of you.

Dress like a slob and that is the impression people will have of you.

Now—pull up your pants and turn that ball cap around the right way.