Category Archives: About the Grammar Vandal

For the love of God, don’t be afraid of my wrath!

Ever since I started this blog a year and a half ago, people have been afraid to email me.

The comments are often tossed offhand.  “I probably have bad grammar on that email.”  “Wow, I actually said their instead of there in that IM.”

I tell the same thing to my blog readers, my friends and my colleagues:

Do not, under any circumstances, be afraid that I’m going to criticize you!

I don’t nitpick your writing.  I don’t care about that.  Of course, if you write the entire thing without any punctuation, yeah, I’ll notice.

But, seriously: this blog is about advertisements and businesses and professional writing.  In short, writing that should be proofread before being presented to the public.

I care about professionalism.  When Reebok omits a necessary comma in a prominent advertisement, I’m turned off by the brand.  When I call a doctor for the first time and the receptionist at a doctor’s office says, “Was you in a accident?” I look elsewhere.

I value professionalism, and to me, bad grammar represents a lack of professionalism.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid that I’m mocking your writing!  If you’re on this blog, you probably know what you’re doing more than most other people, anyway.

Also — thank you for all the emails!  It’s going to take a long time to go through all of them, but I appreciate them greatly.


Welcome, MSNBC readers!

I was wondering why my blog was going crazy with visits today!

If you haven’t yet heard, I’ve been featured in another piece — “Fastidious Spelling Snobs Pushed Over the Edge” by Diane Mapes on

It’s a great feature.  Nice work, Diane!

Welcome, readers.  Enjoy the blog — and if you have any submissions of grammar or spelling errors in your community, feel free to email me at kate.mcculley [at]

If you’re a news organization and would like to contact me for an interview — I’ve done educational grammar consulting and I’ve been featured as the resident grammarian on a few NPR segments — feel free to email me as well.

Thanks for visiting!

A Hiatus is Good

Wow.  There are 48 comments to moderate.

I took a break, and I’m sure you’re aware of that fact.  I needed it.  Sometimes you need time away from something that means a lot to you.

I had a great time off.  I took a wonderful solo trip to Buenos Aires and celebrated the Christmas with my family and New Year’s with my closest friends.  I also blogged regularly at my personal blog, Kate’s Adventures.

But I am back in the best way possible!

Stay tuned…The Grammar Vandal is back, and will be posting regularly.

Thanks for hanging in there!

I just did something crazy.

I just booked a vacation for myself over Thanksgiving.

It’s my first solo vacation.  I’ve been wanting to go on a solo trip for a LONG time.  (I’ve traveled through Europe on my own, at times, but never for a whole vacation.)  Now I finally have the opportunity, with a window of vacation days to use.

Thanks to a site with great deals on flights, I was able to secure an incredible rate to a fantastic destination.

I haven’t been close to this destination.

I haven’t even been to this CONTINENT before.

And I am SO EXCITED, I can barely stand it.  THIS is what I live for!  I want to live a life defined by travel!

I digress.  I know that this is my grammar blog, and not my personal blog.  (Speaking of which, if you’d like to know more about this trip or any of the other random and/or cruisazy events in my life, feel free to visit Kate’s Adventures.)

At any rate, I know that you guys enjoy signs.

And here is a sign from the location of my first solo trip, my Thanksgiving vacation:


Online Dating and Bad Grammar

I know that this entry is probably going to piss a lot of you off, but I’m going to be honest.  And I think it’s relevant.

I’m a member of an online dating site.  (One reader of this blog actually found me on there!)  Personally, I don’t think I’ll have time to go on another date until well after the election, but I keep my profile on there, just in case.

I received an odd message from a guy today.  Here are a few excerpts:

“your in my [list of matches] and what not, I feel somewhat compelled to “accept” you rather then reject you like the previous 15.”

“Anyway, if you like to “drop it like its hot” or “get low” then your in luck cause i do 2 and so far no one has been able to drop it lower then me (Shorty gets quite low)”

“have a good night
oh and if i didn’t mention it, i think your hot


Now —

I’m not going to reject a potential suitor based on poor grammar and/or spelling alone.

I’ve dated my fair share of guys who couldn’t write anything to save their lives.  And some of those relationships were the most significant relationships of my life so far.

But on an online dating site, when a message to somebody serves as the best way to make a good first impression, why would a guy write so badly?

Would you have bad grammar and spelling in a cover letter?  In a resume? Then why would you on a dating site?

I think that a message so full of errors — written by a college graduate (so his profile claims) — shows that he doesn’t care about making a good first impression.  He doesn’t care about taking the time to write “you’re” instead of “your,” among other things.  Come on.  That is the MINIMUM.  Everyone knows the difference.

I wouldn’t have gone out with this guy anyway — he’s not my type.  But this email more than sealed the deal.

I replied to him:

Hi, [Name] —

Thanks for the message.  I don’t think that we would be a good match, but you deserve a reply, and I wish you the best of luck!


Unleash your fury.  Call me a snob or an asshole.  I don’t care.  But do any of you feel this way?

Hapee Bday Gramer Vandal

How awesome is this?

The Missus of On Common Ground (great blog — check it out!) and the rest of my co-workers surprised me with this cake today.  I was SO not expecting this!  (They also attempted to find a birthday card with a spelling or grammar error on it, and settled for one that read “There’s no place like Paris There’s no place like Paris”.)

It is PERFECT!  Thanks, everyone!  🙂

The Worst Text Message of All Time

Last November, we had a discussion on text messaging and how grammar plays into what you do.  Everyone seems to have a decisive opinion on just how much of a role grammar should play in texting.

For me, personally, I try to be as correct as possible, including capitalization, but I’ll occasionally use an abbreviation like BRB or LOL, and I hate to say this, but when I want to appear “breezy” (as in when I’m talking to a guy I like or something equally pathetic), I’ll leave punctuation off the end.

While I was in Vegas, I twittered everything I did, and since I didn’t have computer access, I did it by texting.

On Sunday night, I sent the worst text message of all time.  It had been a long and crazy night, seeing Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE, dinner at the Grand Lux at the Venetian, checking out the Palazzo and the Wynn, dancing at Tryst at the Wynn, going to the after-hours club Drai’s at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, and then walking all the way back to T.I., where we stayed, and playing blackjack unil 7:30 AM.

I can’t believe I actually wrote this message.

Here it is, and I am not exaggerating it in any way:

Wait — oh, no!  It deleted a lot of my old ones.  Anyway, the tweets were along the lines of TRYST IS THE BEST MOTHERF—— CLUB TO WHICH I HAVE EVER BEEN, MOTHAF—-!, perfect in their grammar (if using a slang form of spelling!), and then I texted this gem at 4:32 AM:

At local after club Drai’s and nmt paying for a cent because i am the motherfucking afterrclub of vegas

And then this beauty at 5:37 AM:

Dudd. we are sthll up and it is f——  awake.  me officially have left the aeater party at the ip.

I still can’t believe I considered that to be verbally coherent.  We have reached a new low.  There is literally nowhere lower to go.

Also — I would like to wish a very happy birthday to faithful reader furrperson.  I hope your day is fantastic!