This is sort of inspired by the thread entitled “Orientate is Not a Word”. I was reading that thread and just kept thinking to myself, “who the fuck cares?” I mean, he knows what the guy means when he says it, so why does it matter?
Think about it, how many times have you been in a serious discussion, a nice little exchange of ideas, when your partner points out some mispronounced word, or some slight misquote, and then smiles smugly as if he’s scored one on you. Now, if he knew the word, then he obviously knew what the word meant. And if he knew the original quote, then he must have known what you meant. So why point it out? It doesn’t help anything and it doesn’t further either side of the argument. In fact, all it does is give him a chance to feel superior.
Okay, so it’s a battle of wits. But does it hurt to have some honor? I can’t believe it bothers you that much when someone uses a double negative. If it does, then it’s not his problem, it’s yours. Why can’t you just let it slide? I mean, there are some times when grammar is important because it makes people easier to understand. But if you can understand what he’s saying, then why quibble over such an inconsequential detail? We put way too much emphasis on what words a person uses, and not enough on what he’s actually saying. When you get right down to it, words are just a way to convey meaning. And if the words convey the correct meaning, then they were used correctly, right?
Then you have people who say “Swear words are the last refuge of a weak mind.” Yeah? Well criticizing someone for their use of a swear word is the last refuge of someone who’s losing an argument.
Or the people who point out that you misspelled something. Why? If he knows that you misspelled it, then he must know which word you’re trying to use. In which case, he must know what you meant. In which case, saying you misspelled something proves nothing. It only proves that you can spell. Which doesn’t mean squat. My uncle is a perfect speller. He’s still wrong. And just because you can spell better than I, it doesn’t make you right.
Or when you’re making an argument about something and someone criticizes one small insignificent detail of your argument in a way that suggests because of this one small false detail, your whole argument isn’t worth shit.
It seems like people always use one of the above strategies when they can’t think of anything better to say. So if you don’t have anything good to say, why not just shut the fuck up? So just run along now, the big boys are trying to talk.