It’s the eternal debate: is grammar a matter of well-born classes who show off with their outward signs of domination or a primordial common base that allows people to communicate correctly and unite? There will always be debates within the debate, but what is certain is that grammar is not neutral: one way or the other, its mastery or, on the contrary, the difficulty one may have in apprehending it matters directly in our lives. And if you don’t believe it, you’ll change your mind.
3. The guy who almost lost a friend but didn’t
One of the Guardian’s contributors tells this rather funny anecdote: when his phone was stolen, he had the unpleasant surprise to discover that the thief had amused himself by sending one of his friends the following sentence “I want you to know that you are an alcoholic and you need to pull yourself together”. The message followed a series of exchanges concerning the purchase of bottles of alcohol; the contributor was therefore tricard and all his justifications were going to pass for half-hearted excuses. Except that except that… His friend didn’t let himself be taken in: his contributor friend would never have written “you are” instead of “you are”. Like what, spelling can save friendships.
4. Omar Killed Me
Ghislaine Marchal is found dead in a small room and on the wall, inscribed with her blood, is the decisive inscription: “Omar killed me”. A designation of the murderer (the gardener, Omar) supposedly written by his dying victim. Except that… There is this fault, what. And there it is the beginning of an impossible legal imbroglio which will initially lead to the condemnation of Omar Raddad to 18 years of imprisonment and to his pardon in 1996; 20 years later, DNA analyzes will confirm his innocence. Still, this mistake weighed heavily in the debates: was it possible that Ghislaine Marchal, a cultured woman, made this mistake? In this case, the inscription was terrible for Raddad; otherwise, it implied that the real killer had sought to frame Raddad for him.
5. The kid who makes a spelling mistake and sees the police come to his house
In December 2015, a 10-year-old boy had the misfortune to make a mistake in a dictation: he wanted to write “terraced house” and wrote “terrorist house”. The school called the cops who came to his house and searched everything. A similar incident occurred to another 14-year-old Muslim after he used the expression eco-terrorist in French class during a class on ecology and violence deployed to implement lasting change.
6. When making a typo costs you candy
You have to be really careful when you book your tickets online. A typing error in its name can generate absolutely insane additional costs: as this simple error can hinder your boarding, the companies stuff themselves and sometimes ask travelers for absurd sums (up to 160 pesos for Ryan Air) in order to carry out the changes; without of course taking into account the additional costs linked to the reissue of the ticket with the fare increase which is going well. You have to be really, really careful.
7. The financial stakes of spelling in companies
Le Figaro tells how the spelling problems of employees can constitute a pitfall for companies: between email exchanges riddled with mistakes that lower the credibility of the box and advertising campaigns or flyers drawn to millions of copies thrown in the trash because no one was able to see a huge mistake in the document, there are many examples of wasted money. Moreover, studies show that the more faults an online sales site has, the more the trust placed in it withers, which amounts to huge shortfalls in terms of turnover.
8. The Jack the Ripper Question
Jack the Ripper’s letters were riddled with mistakes, and this largely encouraged people to send fake ones, creating confusion over the identity of the murderer in Scotland Yard’s offices. In reality, the hope of the police to identify the criminal through his handwriting by publishing the letters was totally counterproductive.
Like what, knowing how to write it can help anyway.