Is it me, or can most people on social networking sites not spell? I get acronyms, but actual misspelling, really? I'm not that old, either-not even thirty.

Does this make anyone else crazy or is it just me?

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Eric Whitacre's "Animal Crackers" is what introduced me to those poems!

The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn’t been peppered.
If you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don’t anther.

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other milk.

The firefly’s flame
Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
Person’s posterior.

This music and Animal Crackers Volume II at

I don't mind when people here misspell an occasional word. What gets my goat is the use of netspeak in the forums or chatroom.

I'm sure I make punctuation mistakes.  Misspelling though, ugh!  Would OF, could OF, should OF, instead of Have is one that drives me nuts.  Also the non-word: irregardless.  Double-negatives. The old your versus you're.  Too, two, to.  I'm sure there are many more!

Another thing that "literally" gets my goat: that use of "literally" to mean "not literally, but figuratively, and feeling strongly about it". It's become a more polite version of "... that f---ing gets my goat...."

In 2011 the Oxford English Dictionary started recognizing that sense in informal contexts; the mainstream press seems to have noticed only this month. I posted on that in Linguaphiles and Sesquipedalians.

Loren, this conductor is a genius at pulling people together in interesting and creative ways. He reminds me of the research on domestic violence. Conductors have the lowest domestic violence rates of all occupations measures. The researcher used incident rates for 10,000 by occupation. It seems conductors have control but violent means are not used. They find other ways to motivate people to a common cause.

Eric Whitacre is more than just a conductor; he's a composer who is bringing some genuine life into choral music.  I've been listening to Eric's handiwork for over 10 years now, and his gift for creativity and engaging those who become involved in his music is something truly remarkable.

If you're interested in learning more about Eric, his music, and what he is about, please check out Eric Whitacre's website.

The punctuation help that curled my toes is in the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition.

To see if you're using a comma correctly, go to section 5-29 on page 165:

The comma, perhaps the most versatile.... There are a few rules....

The rules start with 5-30 on compound sentences and end with 5-83 on maxims, proverbs... (page 179), I count sixty four rules.

How else do we distinguish educated folk from the others?

We don't. I just use commas where they feel appropriate to me, and I don't give  ratsass what anyone else thinks. But on the other hand, I rarely, if ever, misspell words, and I only use "bad" grammar when writing colloquially for stylistic reasons. And I'm capable of understanding what register is appropriate for which occasion. Wherefore most people DO know I'm educated, although they mostly think I'm "smart"!


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