When mocking people’s spelling mistakes stops being funny

There are gangs of self-appointed spelling police who lurk about on Facebook looking for errors. Their aim, according to the link below, is to “publicly challenge and humiliate sloppy wordsmiths”.

The Best Obnoxious Responses To Misspellings On Facebook | Happy Place.

Happyplace.com collated loads of examples of Sloppy Spellers meeting Spelling Pedants online, and some are quite amusing.

On the other hand, some of the spelling police are effectively trolls, since they set out to bait and denigrate rather than to educate – and they appear to be targeting complete strangers in order to make their points.

But some of the exchanges contained in the link are really very funny.

+ One pedant remarked on a badly spelled post: “There are no correctly spelled words in your message… perhaps you have an involuntary movement disorder in your fingers.”

+ Another spelling troll took exception to being called a “dooshbag”, and kindly supplied the correct spelling so that he could be insulted more accurately.

+ “Margerhitas make everythuing betterr”, commented one poster, only to get the rapid response from a lurking troll: “Except spelling”.

+ Another troll wittily responded: “What a gneiss father” to a Facebook user who said her father had told her never to “take anything for granite”.

+ There was an amusing exchange when someone called Rachel announced that she was “board”. A troll wittily responded: “I’m chalk, we should get together”. Rachel sniffily replied: “BOARD. Like I don’t have anything to do. Not BORD, like a chalkbord.” Rachel went on to suggest that the troll should “learn to spellcheck”, perhaps inevitably prompting the response: “Oh god, I hope you don’t breed”.

+ And someone called Jesse proudly announced to the world “I past my test!!!”, only for a troll to comment: “I hope it wasn’t a spelling test.”

+ Sometimes the victims bite back: one wrote to his tormenter: “Got nothing better to do than troll pages looking for spelling errors… you probably haven’t been laid in 10 years.”

+ One feisty young woman, named Candace, responded: “Go dig a hole and fall in it” to a post correcting her spelling. The troll pedantically pointed out that if he had dug a hole he would already be in it and wouldn’t need to fall in. “Fine,” said Candace, “go dig a hole and die in it.”

The irrepressible troll replied that if he were about to die he would probably be unable to dig a hole. Candace, who one imagines had already lost interest in this exchange, responded tersely: “Shut up” and the dialogue concluded.

+ There can also be harsh words between those who know each other. One girl, called Nicole, took exception to her partner stating what an “amazeing girlfreind” she was – it wasn’t those spelling mistakes she objected to, but the fact that he spelled her name “Nichole”.

Much to chuckle about, in short, on this link. But I found myself rather dismayed about the way some trolls seek to make a point at the expense of people who appear to be genuinely distressed.

On reading a post saying: “My gurl gav me her pies – dunno wat 2 do next”, some wit suggested he should eat the pies, to which the poster responded: “U nasty ass.. I don’t need this shit..” explaining that he was referring to “bumps on ur dick”.

If the poster genuinely has an STD, the would-be wit of the spelling police is unhelpful and somehow a little cruel.

Other examples go further into the realms of unpleasantness. One Facebook user wrote that his girlfriend had left him, he’d fallen out with his best friend and his grandfather had died. “Its only getting worse,” he added mournfully, admitting “I need help”. A Spelling Troll popped up briefly to point out that he’d missed the apostrophe out of “It’s”. Other trolls also stepped forward to correct the spelling of two potentially suicidal posts, one from a boy who didn’t “wanna live anymo” and the other from a girl wishing “congradulations” to those who, she believed, wanted her to die.

We’ve all been tempted to correct others’ spelling: but there’s surely a line to be drawn; those who should know better, like companies, professional communicators and anyone who’s had a university education, are fair game as far as I’m concerned. But there’s something not quite nice about seeking out and criticising the personal communications of individuals who appear to be in distress, with the sole aim of scoring points.

Pic credit: Ambro, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499

One thought on “When mocking people’s spelling mistakes stops being funny

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