If you’re a Tumblr user, chances are you’ve seen a post similar to this one:
As someone who has a sense of humor but also cares about the rules of language, I feel torn whenever I come across a post like this. Do I laugh at what I’m reading, or do I cringe at its atrocious grammar?
Of course, I could have the best of both worlds. I could reblog the post and alter its text to make it grammatically correct without changing its meaning. I used to do this, but look at it this way: There’s a difference between the horrendous original composition and “Christopher Columbus arrives in America. ‘Laugh out loud — I’m first!’ he writes in the sand.” Something about the post’s acronym, “lol,” and the post’s utter lack of proper capitalization and punctuation makes it more comical than your average, boring and structurally flawless text post.
Shh. Let’s keep this moderately disturbing secret between the World Wide Web and me: Sometimes I, a copy editor, admittedly write in the aforementioned revolting style — albeit only in my personal life — in order to produce its mysteriously amusing effect. As the hip, young kids say it these days, “Sorry not sorry,” grammar gods.
To illustrate, one of my more recent tweets reads: “wtf this bart train is slow as fuck can u pls hurry i need to release my bladder like a mother.” I wrote in this, um, colloquial manner, let’s call it, to let people know that while my BART ride was indeed a plight for the ages, they didn’t actually have to pity me.
But fret not! The way I conduct myself on Twitter does not interfere with the way I conduct myself in the Daily Cal office. I try to keep my headlines as professional as possible.
Although, come on: You have to admit “napolitano can u not” as a headline would elicit at least the slightest of chortles.