To Assume is to Make an Ass of U and Me

by Tarin Kovalik

I guess I consider myself a writer. I’m in a place in life where I’m working my way up, but when someone asks what I do, I say, “I study creative writing.”

Then bing, bang, boom – in comes their writing insecurities. Oh, I never know where the commas go! This conversation happens among family members and friends, but here I’ll be discussing the matter in terms of getting to know someone through messaging, or rather, yes, online dating.

Most times a guy feels it necessary to tell me he’s horrible with grammar, spelling, or language in general and not to reprimand him for his shortcomings. He assumes these things come naturally to me, because you know, I’m a writer.

Below are three messages spanning over the past couple of months. When I tell someone I am a writer it seems as though there is a flood of preconceived notions that goes on in the person’s head. Here is Tim’s:

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“So you’re bad at spelling, eh? Well, that’s a deal breaker for me. Laters (insert peace sign emoji here).” Is this what people truly think when they are talking to a writer? I for one do not attempt to use “perfect” grammar or spelling in my messages. I don’t care. But is that faulty of me? Did I miss the blood oath meeting? Not only am I assumed to be a world-class speller, I am also believed to love punctuation:

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Yeah, if you’re trying to take me out definitely keep using the Oxford comma. That really gets me going. I’m sure some writers do love when others use proper grammar and punctuation when messaging, and those people are making the rest of us look bad.

And last but certainly not least, the writing prompt guy:

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This guy should drive 6 ½ hours away, and then stay there. The real issue here is these guys heard “writer” then fell into the rabbit hole of what they think a writer is or should be. Perhaps I’m a writer doesn’t choose to use proper grammar and spelling in her personal messages, and that is okay. If you disagree, take me away, Grammar Police.

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