On the Soapbox #2: Craigslist

Craigslist is the ULTIMATE place to go to find an endless supply of grammatical and spelling errors. Here on my blog, I try to refrain from playing grammar police on things like forums and social media sites. Although poor grammar drives me nuts no matter what the source, I feel I can only legitimately post about the errors made by people who should know better. That’s why I typically pick on businesses and printed publications.


In the “Rants and Raves” section of Craigslist, one thing people love to rant about is other posters’ terrible use of grammar, spelling, and syntax. Because I am a Grammar Nazi, I like to silently cheer them on in my head. The problem is, only a small fraction of these ranters use proper grammar, spelling, and syntax in their own posts.

Example 1: (Click to enlarge)

Let’s begin by examining this person’s example sentence: “I slept better than I did the night before.” When did you sleep better than the night before? And the night before when, exactly? Today? Yesterday? The 5th of December? My point: it’s not a complete sentence. What’s worse is the use of the word “witch” instead of “which.”

Example 2: (Click to enlarge)

I won’t even get into the painfully awful syntax of this post. But I got a good laugh out of the last sentence: “WRITING YOUR ENTIRE MESSAGE IN CAPS is annoying and just shows people your nuts.” Writing in caps exposes male genitalia? Yikes! (This is why we have apostrophes, people!)

Example 3: (As you’ve probably discovered by now, click to enlarge)

Aside from the racist remark that pushed my pissed-off button, there are two errors in this post that make the high-and-mighty poster look like an idiot. “There’s lots of carbs” and “there’s no taxes” are wrong, wrong, wrong. “There are lots of carbs” and “there are no taxes”? Much better!

If you want to criticize someone’s grammar, then go nuts. It’s your right to do so. But please, PLEASE, for my sanity and the sanity of other true grammar freaks: USE PROPER GRAMMAR when ranting about poor grammar. (Oh dear, I wrote in all caps for part of that sentence. Are my nuts showing? 😉 )


7 thoughts on “On the Soapbox #2: Craigslist

  1. It’s my biggest beef with forums and blogs. Grammar police and flame trolls thrashing people for posting their 2¢. Rather than flame them, wouldn’t it be more effective to point out the mistake and how to correct the mistake in private?

    I know I have much to learn about grammar and spelling. It’s not being lazy. It’s being ignorant.

    Oh, by the way, with coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but), is it proper syntax to use them at the beginning of a sentence.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention On the Soapbox #2: Craigslist « Grammaniac -- Topsy.com

  3. You think those are bad? You should see the mistakes made by the professional writers — folks who actually get paid to write and edit — who work for Yahoo. These are folks who should know better. Who ought to know something about the language and the difference between “than” and “then.” You don’t have to be a grammar geek to spot their errors. — Laura (http://terriblywrite.wordpress.com)

  4. I learn a lot from your posts. I´ll try to send you some pictures that I took in Iguazu Falls for your amusement. But please, forgive my mistakes. My excuse is that I don´t speak English!!

  5. that comment isn’t even that bad. Seriously, you should see the shit I have seen on Craigslist, like someone rushed with their cell phone.

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