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It’s amazing the stuff we’ll endure in the quest to find what Mary was singing about all those years ago: “Real Love.” Even when we know with every fiber of our being that this beau isn’t the right one; some of us are so…thirsty for attention, affection or infatuation, that we end up putting up with things we could never have imagined, adopting friends like “Ignore” and “Rationalize.”

We all have that friend who consistently finds herself involved with men who are not about the right. My friend like that is the reigning Queen of rationalization and searching for the good in men…in cases where the good just ain’t there. A couple of months ago, she found herself infatuated with a tall, chocolatey, former football player/father of one.

Initially, he came off as a decent dude. Before their first date, they seemed to have quite a bit in common and he didn’t let her love of Harry Potter deter him from taking her out on a proper date. But the more they corresponded, she started to notice a pattern.

The brotha had terrible grammar.

He played football in college, so he met some type of educational requirements at one point or another. He even graduated. So why couldn’t he seem to construct a sentence free of spelling and grammatical errors? The thrill was starting to fade away. And I knew things were going  from bad to worse when my friend texted me with a rhetorical question/cry for help.

“Does MN need a guest post…’grammar is standing in between me and my boo’? lol”

Man! I knew immediately, where my friend was coming from. In college, I too found myself attracted to someone who, though he once taught middle school history, admitted that he always misspells words and always will. Yikes! (This is why our schools are in such a disarray.)

By now, some of you are thinking I’m some type of elitist. I know in my heart that no one is capable of avoiding the occasional typo every now and then. I know that some really good writers also happen to be terrible spellers. Even we here at Madame Noire are not above a slip up here and there. (Some of you have kindly…or rudely let us know.) My own mother, thanks to a subpar educational system in the ’50’s and ’60’s, misspells words she should definitely know. But whether it’s right or wrong, as a person who writes for a living and values words and the sanctity of grammatical rules, reading a message riddled with mistakes is not only distracting; but when I’ve just met someone, it immediately makes me question their intelligence. I know that’s probably a prejudice I need to work on; but when I’m in the “new” phase I’m constantly looking for the “stop” sign.

Bad grammar might not be a stop sign, but for me, and a couple of other learned women, it’s at least a “proceed with caution.”

So, I’m not saying bad grammar warrants an immediate dismissal. On the contrary, if everything else lines up and the person demonstrates their intelligence in other ways, despite the sentence struggles, then you should give them a chance. But as was the case with my friend and the chocolatey one, the bad grammar was just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe she could have worked with the terrible grammar had there not been an unflattering, premature package pic and a hidden girlfriend.

Ladies, now is your time to sound off. Does bad grammar bother you or is it something you can work with?


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