SOCIAL MEDIA

26 October 2012

Bare with Me

I'm not one of those grammar-correctors. You know, the people who go all prim and proper on you and say "It's not "Can I go to the bathroom?" it's "May I go to the bathroom?" or who send you back the letter you wrote them with red pen markings where your grammatical and spelling errors are.

I actually find those people very annoying. Currently, there's a kid in my class who goes around correcting everyone's grammar and pronunciation as they are speaking throughout the day, and sometimes I feel like shaking him. Either that or asking him if he got a perfect score on his ACT.

Okay, most of the time I'm really good but I still laugh about the time he told me that he thought "No Loitering" and "No Littering" meant the same thing, because they sounded the same, they were just spelled a little differently
 
I know English grammar, and spelling, very well. The most thrilling job I've ever had was when I graded papers for a busy professor when I was in college. But I choose not to correct the speech of people around me. I'm fundamentally opposed to it, for one thing, because I believe that spoken English need not follow all the rules laid out in our high school textbooks. Any language, when spoken or written informally, should have a little more color to it than the textbooks allow. For the second reason, I've spent a large part of my life around non-native English speakers. I'm even married to one! Most of the time, non-native English speakers aren't going to speak as correctly or as naturally as a native speaker does, and that's okay! You know what, I'm impressed with everyone who learns English as a 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th language. It's a hard language to speak, and learning any languages as an adult is difficult. I'm okay with the errors a non-native speaker makes, and unless I'm in a teaching position, or if they've specifically asked me to help them with their English, I'm not going to correct them, instead, I'm going to choose to understand their meaning even if they don't have the right words.

Few things irritate me more than native English speakers who stubbornly refuse to understand broken or strongly accented English. I choose to understand, or seek to understand when it's difficult, because Mandarin Chinese is my 2nd language and Spanish is my 3rd. I'm not fluent in either. My tones in Chinese are a little sketchy sometimes and, in the heat of the moment, I usually start putting all of my Spanish verbs in the present tense. But I know I appreciate it when the native speakers I talk to don't laugh at me or act like they can't understand anything I've said because I made a few mistakes.


However, even though I don't correct other people's speech. I feel there is one thing I need to address. I have seen this phrase so often on so many people's blogs: "Bare with me."

And it always makes me giggle. I do not usually have a childish sense of humor, but I can't seem to help it in this case. The sheer frequency of this phrase makes me think that the meaning of it is not commonly known among bloggers. "Bare with me", at least to me, implies being bare with someone....as in not wearing any clothes with someone. The term most bloggers are searching for is "bear with me," as in, perhaps, bear with me the burden of this long explanation in my blog post.

So, for future reference, you'll almost never run into a situation where you need to write "bare with me," though you may find plenty of uses for "bear with me."
Heather said...

I'm actually a stickler for grammar - I'm sure I drive people nuts!

XO
Pearls & Paws

Christina Marie said...

dang girl you know mandarin?? thats amazing! I speak three languages too but I wanna still learn spanish...

Nikki said...

A-you speak mandarin?? Crazy! B- I am a stickler with native English speakers but not non natives. English is hard to learn but if you grew up with it, you should know the difference between seen and saw. It literally makes me cringe. Bare with me always makes me laugh because I get the same visual you just painted lol

Genna said...

I read the title for this and I was already saying to myself, "Ahhh, she used the wrong 'bear!'" Thanks for clearing that up :)

Angie Hales said...

I wonder if I've asked people to go "bare" with me!?!

the lovebirds said...

ha ha. THANK YOU for clearing this up. I not a professional paper grader like you, however the wrong usage of words is one of my biggest pet peeves! ;) xo

Heidi said...

ha ha ha! It does make me crazy when people use the wrong spelling of a word (bare/bear, sore/soar)however I never correct anyone (I don't want to be that annoying person!)

I agree with you about people who don't try to understand accented English. My mil gets rude comments sometimes (she's been here for over 30 years!) and it makes me so mad when I'm out with her and she'll ask a question to a sales lady and the sales lady answers back to me!

Angi said...

I totally agree with you!! When speaking or writing English in an informal setting, grammar mistakes don't bother me. When it's professional, though...I just feel like some care should be taken to edit your work! (i.e. businesses making huge grammar mistakes on their websites, store signs, etc.)

I see that "bare with me" thing ALL THE TIME...drives me nuts. But you'll be happy to know I never correct them! ;-)

LeiShell said...

I never correct anyone either when they are talking...but it cracks me up how many people get things wrong. I just have to laugh. And yes, bare with me definitely holds an entirely different meaning!

Holly said...

Ahahah! Yes! Also "I could care less", when they mean "I couldn't care less!" I never say anything, but I always notice it!
Dropping by from the blog hop. :)

Sippy Cups and Pearls said...

hahaha. you crack me up. well as for me, I always always always notice things like "your really cool" when it should be "you're really cool" and as annoying as it is, I don't correct it unless I'm asked to critique the paper - or unless it's my husband or in the future with my kiddos. ha. MAN I feel like I haven't visited your page in ages - (insert sad face here)

Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

This post had me laughing. I don't correct people, unless they are close like my husband or my siblings but that's just so they don't make the same mistakes over and over again. My dad and my doctoral supervisor correct me but that's about it. I have noticed the 'bare with me' on blogs too, and the 'your' instead of 'you are'. I smile, and keep on reading...

Kate Cee from Mrs. Monologues said...

I love everything about this post. I get corrected a lot because I mix up words (not on purpose). I usually reply with "you knew what I meant", which actually makes me mad because I feel like sometimes people just want to correct you to make you feel like you made a mistake.

Bev said...

Hi, from a new follower via the GFC Blog Hop. This post is awesome!

Dawns Disaster said...

Thanks for liking up with Super Sunday Sync!
Glad you stopped by,
Hope to see you next week :)

Enjoying the Epiphany said...

Hi! I am your newest follower and was hoping that you would stop by and follow me back!

www.enjoyingtheepiphany.com

Thanks!
Sarah

Anna said...

I had to come back to this post today because I couldn't for the life of me remember which bear/bare was correct. I can tell it's been a long week. I know my language, I swear. Thanks for reminding me.

For the record, I'm totally ashamed that I forgot.

Carolynn Markey said...

I, sadly, am terrible at spelling and grammer. My mother, who reads my blog, will call me. "Carolynn" She will say "You did this. and this. wrong word!!"

me: sigh.