This is the internet, a concept with which you are likely familiar. Probably just as familiar to you will be the concept of commenting. And, if you are a particularly feeble example of humankind, you are even more familiar with the idea of commenting to correct grammar and/or spelling.
Of all the breeds of Internet Pedant, you are the very worst. The word/statement/phrase you’re correcting clearly made adequate sense, or you would not have been able to grasp the concept clearly enough to do so. The ideas were communicated clearly enough for you to worry about a small smudge on their otherwise shining surface.
In your flailing efforts to eradicate the smudge, you obscure a very important fact; that you can even see the post is a miracle. The author could live thousands of miles away from you, you are communicating ACROSS THE PLANET, to DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, INSTANTANEOUSLY and the one thing, the ONLY thing, the most important thing that leaps from your tiny mind is: “Oh, they’ve spelt that wrong. Idiot.” (‘Spelt’ is right, before you start.)
This particular brand of cuntery is especially rife on twitter. There’s not a day goes by when I don’t see an informative or funny tweet from say, @SimonPegg or @SarahMillican or anybody else with a large following, that isn’t immediately followed by “Yes, I know I typo’d. You can stop telling me,” about twenty minutes later. These are intelligent, funny, successful people and yet the most interesting thing people can manage? “You made an insignificant mistake. I noticed it…(P.S. LOVE ME!)”
And that insecurity, I think, is the basis of the pandemic. The internet, no matter how hard it tries, will never ever be high brow. Never. Nor should it aspire to be. Its lack of any sort of brow is the beautiful thing about it. Everybody can access it, everybody can contribute. However, the sort of person that automatically assumes that high brow and intelligent are the same thing worries about the height of the internets brow. They sit and they think “Gosh, this life changing thing. It’s full of slightly-not-perfect, quickly typed un-proofread INFORMATION. FOR FREE. What if people think I’m less than intelligent if I don’t correct all of it?”
This type of insecurity is not entirely unfounded (though it is entirely stupid). Some people do judge others on their grammar and spelling, but only if they’re so invested in this shibboleth that they think it’s actually a test of intelligence. They think their superior spelling actually makes them objectively better rather than a product of very fortunate circumstances.
Let me tell you a story about the Ephraimites and the Gileadites. Once upon a time, (in the Book of Judges, Chapter 12) the Gileadites defeated the Ephraimites in battle. The Gileadites knew that the Ephraimites didn’t have the ‘sh’ phoneme in their language, and so were unable to pronounce a common word, shibboleth, in the Gileadite way. When the Ephraimites tried to cross the Jordan back into their own territory, the Gileadites stopped them, and forced them to prove their Gileaditeyness by saying ‘shibboleth’. When they couldn’t, they killed them. Why bother to kill more Ephraimites? The same reason you’d correct a minor mistake in grammar or spelling on the internet. Because you’re a dick-head, mostly. You Gileadite monster.
Rather than see the beautiful potential for global bonding the internet holds, you see its looser boundaries of nation and language to be a threat to your fixed position of superiority. We must create new boundaries, you say. There shall be the Great Nation of Pedants, and the Great Nation of People with Better Things to Worry About. And long shall they be at war.
The internet is as close to truly free communication as we’re ever likely to get. If you don’t want to talk to people from all walks of life, don’t bother taking part. Not everybody went to school, not everybody got a good education. Even if they did, not everybody enjoyed or understood English as well as you might have, some people didn’t even speak English at school. You have this opportunity, this rain of information and experience to scoop up by the bucketful and all you can manage in response to this awe inspiring spectacle is the internet equivalent of the red squiggly line. Microsoft word does that, and it’s annoying. Useful if you’re writing an assignment or a job application, but otherwise just officious, unnecessary and insufferably smug.
The English language is a dirty dirty fuckabout. It picks up stuff left, right and centre, has survived the rise and fall of an empire, the merging of dozens of tribes, the creation of the redsquigglyline standardised version, French and Norse additions, the dictionary…It’s a tough old thing. It’s unlikely to crumble because some people on the internet are doing it a bit wrong.
What you are engaging in, oh you of the passive aggressive *, is language prescriptivism. It’s ugly and limited and quite a lot snobbish. It does not prove, as you may like to argue, that you have standards (though they are an unfortunate side effect). What it proves is that you have a thirst to show that you done good at school. This makes you very fortunate, extraordinarily so. But there no need to be a dick about it.