Facebook is a weird thing. It's nice because it allows you to keep tabs on who from high school has gotten engaged/pregnant/fat, but it also brings out some of the worst spelling and grammar I've ever seen.


Photo by HDW

When you meet someone who might be the future love of your life, and you add them on Facebook, what are they going to think when they see that you don't type out the whole word “you” in your status updates, or worse, when they see you used the wrong your/you're? That's going to ruin your future chances at marrying them, and then you're not going to share that beautiful mountain cabin with your two Bernese Mountain Dogs, and you can definitely forget about raising your kids Denver and Dakota in a way that will encourage them to be responsible for their actions while still reminding them that you will always be there for them. You blew it with that misapplied space in “under neath”.

So please, don't make these mistakes. You know, for the kids.


Come on. You learned this in first grade. “Your” is a possessive pronoun; “you're” is a contraction that means “you are”. “You'r” is an argument for sterilization.


This should be another gimme. “Their” is a possessive pronoun. “There” is used to refer to abstract or concrete places. “They're” is a contraction meaning “they are”.

Changing Modes

This just makes you seem a little like you've got multiple personalities. Just pick one for your status update, please.

Using Textspeak as Shorthand

Look, I get it. Language evolves, you're posting a photo from your iPhone, etc. That's no excuse for you to broadcast how much it annoys you when “ur roommate has 2 eat sum of ur food.” For the love of all that is good and righteous in this world, you do not subject people that you call your friends to that absurdity.

Leaving Spelling Unchecked

Yeah, that has gotten no one anywhere. Unless someone misspells “definitely” as “defiantly”. That's still my favorite typo.

At least make sure you've got these bases covered. That way your intended future Facebook spouse can at least have something dignified to call you out on, like misusing semicolons or something.


It's scavenger hunt time. Can you find the Facebook status with the worst, most egregious errors? Post one or three of the worst statuses you can find here in the comments.

This should be fun!

Liz Bureman has a more-than-healthy interest in proper grammatical structure, accurate spelling, and the underappreciated semicolon. When she's not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. You can follow her on Twitter (@epbure), where she tweets more about music of the mid-90s than writing.

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