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Correcting Someone's Spelling/Grammar


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Sometimes, when I am with a group of people, I can't help but notice their spelling or grammar mistakes. I want to correct them, but I am afraid that they will just get offended. I corrected someone once, and this person told me that I was arrogant and a know-all. From then on, I refrained from correcting people. I just let them and their grammar mistakes be.

Do you correct people when they are wrong? How do you do it?

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To find oneself in such a situation can certainly cause discomfort. Some persons just easily feel embarrassed and others don't know how to appreciate something good. I do correct persons but not ones that I don't know or that would not be grateful for the correction.

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Some people like to be corrected, because they can learn from it, while others feel silly when someone does it, especially within a group of people. You really need to use your best judgement when it comes to the person, or you  could always take them aside when you're alone and tell them then.

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Never try to correct people in front of others. Just talk to them personally if they are wrong somewhere. They will appreciate the time you took to tell them about it.

Not all, I had this friend once, I corrected her because she said "single flight" instead of "solo flight", and she told me that it is just the same, the meaning is the same. And we were the only 2 people that were speaking that time, no other people heard us. I guess some people would prefer to be stupid rather than be corrected.

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It all depends on the type of person they are, and sometimes on their mood. It would be tricky to judge their mood and explain their mistake at the same time, and some people just don't like being corrected. This may also happen if the mistake was unintentional, in which case they will not appreciate being corrected. So while correction is a good thing, which I really appreciate, strangers may be avoided. A friend who will appreciate it and take it light would be a better choice. I myself ignore some errors, as long as the message and its meaning is understood.

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I only correct when someone asks me to do so, I do get why they wouldn't want to be corrected though, specially now with all these slang words. When you're about to correct someone picture yourself in their situation and think how you would feel about that.

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Sometimes, when I am with a group of people, I can't help but notice their spelling or grammar mistakes. I want to correct them, but I am afraid that they will just get offended. I corrected someone once, and this person told me that I was arrogant and a know-all. From then on, I refrained from correcting people. I just let them and their grammar mistakes be.

Do you correct people when they are wrong? How do you do it?

Yup, I do it all the time and my friends (maybe because they're my friends) don't take any offense. Just correct them in a nice way or maybe in a joking way as not to crush their ego. There's nothing correcting people's grammar mistakes your helping them! If they take offense then you can be sure that you're not the idiot.

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I no longer correct people's grammar or spelling mistakes because I already know the message they are conveying.  People are more interested in hearing the overall message than grammar or spelling issues.  For instance, in press conferences, the speaker conveys certain information to the press without any regard for basic grammar or spelling issues, as they have already sorted these out during the pre-conference phase.  Even as much as they want to make their speeches error-free, time is something that they don't have.

However, in certain ceremonies such as graduation rites or public speaking, grammar and spelling are very critical.  From the speaker's perspective, he makes a thorough preparation in drafting and writing his speeches, as well as asking people to help him go through his work so he can improve himself.  Of course, the occasional errors can slip through, so the speaker must be meticulous to read and re-read his speech over and over until there are no more errors.

In all other situations, it would be best if you tell the person privately that he has made a mistake.

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In the case of a native speaker: did you understand what they meant? If yes, let it go. The message was conveyed, thus language has done its job. Using a language is for communicating, and you can communicate successfully even without adhering to all the "rules". What does it matter that they made a mistake! That does not mean being "stupid" as sidney said; simply put, language has to be considered in its context, i.e., in use, and not on paper, on grammar books.

In the case of ESL speakers: find out whether they want to be corrected in order to learn the proper grammar or if they would resent it, and respect their wishes. Some appreciate it, others don't.

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It really depends on how well I know the person. If it's a good friend I usually make a joke about so we can laugh about it and they usually ask what the correct way to say it is. I don't do it all the time either, if I find it amusing and there's a way I can turn it into a joke I will do it. Like one time a girl told me "bare with me" on a text. We had quite a laugh that day when I explained what she had actually said.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a friend who is very particular in correcting other people when they make the slightest mistake. The way she does it annoys a lot of people. If I notice a grammar mistake, I ask the person to explain what they mean so that I can bring it to their attention. A number of people will not get offended when you correct them if you soften your voice.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a friend who is very particular in correcting other people when they make the slightest mistake. The way she does it annoys a lot of people. If I notice a grammar mistake, I ask the person to explain what they mean so that I can bring it to their attention. A number of people will not get offended when you correct them if you soften your voice.

You make a good point. Maybe people are less likely to get offended if they don't sense in your tone that you feel as though you are better than them for knowing more about grammar or vocabulary. It's probably best to approach it having the tone of someone who accepts that even he or she makes some grammatical mistakes sometimes, I think. This way the person you are trying to correct won't feel like they are being talked down to and instead just being corrected by someone who is of the same level.

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Sometimes, when I am with a group of people, I can't help but notice their spelling or grammar mistakes. I want to correct them, but I am afraid that they will just get offended. I corrected someone once, and this person told me that I was arrogant and a know-all. From then on, I refrained from correcting people. I just let them and their grammar mistakes be.

Do you correct people when they are wrong? How do you do it?

With me it all depends on who the person is, if it is somebody that I am free with, then it is easier for me to correct them, if not I get scared that they might go off on me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think it really matters when talking because no one is expecting you to speak in formal English; a casual speaking style is called colloquial English for a reason. While, yes, it's not gramatically acceptable to do things like the common "me and ____" instead of "____ and I" or incorrect word usage, it's not that big of a deal. Besides, the primary purpose of speaking is to convey a message. I don't really care about how it is conveyed, as long as the message sent is clear, articulate, and I can understand the gist of what is being said. Colloquial English isn't as important as formal English in casual settings because you're not trying to say something deep and technical.

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  • 10 months later...

I usually correct the grammar and spelling of those people who are only very close to me. They are those who I know for sure that won't get offended or anything. But for someone else, I just silently correct their grammar/spelling on my mind. I just can't help it and it's because I have worked as a proofreader before. :lol: Also, I have seen a lot of Facebook posts of my friends which are ungrammatical, but as much as I wanted to correct their sentences in the comment box I just ignore them. They might block me if I corrected their posts. :laugh:

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I just let them really. I hate it when people correct me, like what are you, my teacher? I get it, your grammar is better than mine. We all make mistakes, get over it. So yes I always get all offended and defensive whenever someone fix my grammar/spelling mistakes. It's quite silly, but I feel like people who fix other people's grammar and spelling all the time have some sort of superiority complex and I see the action itself as a condescending gesture.

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The intention may be good but the way of delivery might be offensive to some people. You just have to be careful and not everyone will appreciate an unsolicited remark or advice. Better play it by ear or do it in private with good intentions. I had been in that situation too and it felt awkward I was to be blame because I should have practiced more restraint. 

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I always notice grammar and spelling mistakes. Especially on social media. I tend not to say anything because I am always worried as coming off as rude. Unless I know that the person won't get offended then I won't say anything. Some people can't handle being corrected, and some people just laugh it off. I just try to remember that it isn't important to everyone like it is to my family and I. 

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Most people get offended when they are corrected.  It makes them feel stupid.  I used to correct people, as my mother did for me.  I stopped correcting others because they told me the same thing that they told you.  I don't mind being corrected.  I would rather be told what I have done wrong publicly, as well.  I know that sounds silly, but, in my mind, if I made the mistake, other people may have also made that same mistake at some point.  If I'm corrected in front of others, then they can learn from my mistake without feeling embarrassed.  

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