But I am turned off by a lack of a basic grasp of English. It’s not pleasant. It gives me a headache. It engenders a malaise about civilization spiraling into decline. And my eyeballs burn.
I’m talking about the bare minimum: No periods. Misspelling of common three-letter words. Tense shifts within one sentence or paragraph. Misplaced apostrophes. Words upper-cased when they should be lower-cased (or vice versa) … and no, I’m not talking about the contrived internet style designating a person as sub or DOM. I can even live with that (if I must.)
I know it’s really, really hard to remember the difference between “its” and “it’s”; between who’s and whose, or any other number of homonyms (although in reality, it’s not really that hard). But it’s hard to learn a lot of things, and most of us manage.
If this type of writing appears in a personal ad or is sent to me in a message from someone hoping to hook up, he’s lost me. The most recent example I came across was from a man with no profile picture and a profile full of the same types of egregious errors. Yes, egregious to me and maybe not someone else–I understand that–but if he’s contacting me then my opinion counts.
Your basic port of entry into attracting someone else on the internet is how you write (unless you send them a video of yourself speaking). It’s like coming to a party with B.O. and a dirty t-shirt–not a good way to win friends and influence people.
But carry on. I know, I know–it’s all good. It’s fine to look stupid; it’s the American way, right? And don’t tell me it’s because someone is a non-native speaker. Non-native speakers have heard of punctuation, yes?
A quick review lesson:
Are you about to use “it’s”? The apostrophe means it’s a contraction, not a possessive, so separate its two parts into “it is” and see if it fits in your sentence. If not, use “its.”
- “The apostrophe means it is a contraction” — correct; use the apostrophe.
- “separate it is two parts”–wrong; does not make sense. Keep it as “its.”