“Do Not Submit Articles Filled With Spelling Errors And Bad Grammar – We Ignore Rubbish”
Being the compassionate sort, I find printed statements like, “Do not submit articles filled with spelling errors and bad grammar, we ignore rubbish” irritating. I mean, duh! Who wants to send in poorly written pieces anyway?
That’s why the “do not” brigade gets on my wick. Who wants their own work to look slovenly anyway? For that matter, who would wish to be treated so patronizingly? Still, it happens… a lot.
The unthinking people who write stuff like “Do not submit articles filled with spelling errors and bad grammar, etc.” feel entitled and righteous about their efforts. For starters, they’re usually excessively busy. So, carelessness and inefficiency easily irritates them. Yet it seems to me that it’s kind of naïve to expect such an admonition will do anything to make those with difficulty do any better.
People want to communicate, and writing is a great way to do it. But not everyone reveals particular literacy. Try as we might, we all struggle to some degree with spelling, grammar, punctuation, and whatever else wordy. Nobody should feel that bad about it (after all, you can’t be good at everything). So, for all those who would lay down the law with statements like “Do not submit articles filled with spelling errors and bad grammar…” or worse, I say, they need a better grasp of communication too.
Having no regard for the equality of others and lacking in fundamental courtesy, these people turn the written word into a power trip. Instead of tactless commands, they could do a whole lot better by showing some respect.
They could, for example, state, “Please do not submit articles filled with spelling errors and bad grammar” and optionally add “as we do not have the facility to fix these for you”. Surely, there are dozens of ways to say the same thing with graciousness and due regard. And that’s the issue. Seeking high standards doesn’t need to be antagonistic. Given we all have our share of botched approximations, it’s better to generate a call to excellence than start sparring.
So, here’s my message to all those blunt people that you and I know, who make aggressive demands like “Do not submit articles filled with spelling errors and bad grammar – we ignore rubbish”, or a litany of demands like it. Standards should never be crudely applied; just wisely. Because a little insight and humility go a long way.