1/18/2008

It is I, Mr. Rewrite. Me want better grammar.



It's time to clean out Mr. Rewrite's mailbox ...

The most important e-mail this week is in Mr. Rewrite's outbox. He just informed his regular readers -- both of them -- that this site is no longer for members only. Let the search engines crawl.

A close second in importance is an e-mail from GoDaddy.com confirming Mr. Rewrite's new domain: www.rewrite.net. Rah. You can still reach Mr. Rewrite at irewrite.blogspot.com, but he hopes you'll use the domain to justify his $9.99 investment.

A tip from Mr. Rewrite: If you're e-mailing a news release announcing a run for governor, proofread it. A candidate kicked off his campaign for North Carolina's highest office with an e-mail saying he's running for governer. When a reporter inquired, a campaign official blamed a hacker. Then the candidate himself came clean: The person who designed the e-release goofed and nobody caught it.

Grammarians beat up on another columnist who chooses words poorly: "Woods began by thanking Gheen and I. ..." To his credit, the columnist lists the rants. Here's hoping Mr. Rewrite never sees something like this in his inbox:
"An idea for a good column would be for you to research how the use of our language could deteriorate to the point that an experienced and highly capable writer/journalist could make that error. ..."

Meanwhile, this is Mr. Rewrite's kind of columnist: someone who'd ask whether Sesame Street's Cookie Monster, already forced to promote healthy snacks, will clean up his grammar ("Me want cookie!). Mr. Rewrite confesses that his skin crawls when Sesame Street's Grover begins Rewrite Jr.'s favorite book with, "It is I, your lovable, furry old pal ..." But he knows it's grammatically correct because of some explanation involving complements, linking verbs, objective/nominative and other things that confuse Mr. Rewrite so. Here's an explanation of "It is I" from someone who understands grammar.

Mr. Rewrite is dying to know the word misspelled on admission buttons for the Chisholm Trail Festival in Kansas. This story notes that officials caught the mysterious mistake before printing the buttons, but it doesn't identify the offending word. Mr. Rewrite's money is on Chisholm.

Here's good reason to watch your spelling: This PC World article details the practice of typo-squatting. It turns out that porn sites and other virtual ne'er-do-wells are waiting for Mr. Rewrite (and -- gasp -- Rewrite Jr.) to botch a spelling. One study found tens of thousands of such traps, some using common misspellings of children's Web sites. Thank goodness Mr. Rewrite uses www.dictionery.com.

Special note to Mr. Rewrite's fellow bloggers: Want to appeal to Diggers, Stumbers and other social media users? Among other things, you should offer correct grammar and spelling, this article says. Would the person who explains domain masking (see the second item) please enlighten Mr. Rewrite about Digger, Stumbler and social media? He has no idea.

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