Thursday, August 1, 2013

“I Hope You Have Went”—Confessions of a Writer Snob

Adam, my college-aged son, is a writer.

This pleases me, because our families are littered with creative people, and it’s a treat to see one of my children take his place among them.

However, Adam is not as pleased about my writing career. In fact, he’s quick to tell me I’m not a writerI’m a blogger.

See, Adam writes literary fiction, and he doesn’t equate creative nonfiction blogs with “real writing.” In short, he's a writer snob. 

And hey, I get it. I’m not hammering out prose to rival the likes of Tolstoy, or Toni Morrison, or Stephen King, even. Plus, there are lots of crappy blogs around to give blogging a bad name.

That said, my own definition of “writer” is pretty simple—writers write.

But even I have my limits, and earlier this week I collided into one when I read this line from a blog—

“I hope you have went to check it out.”

God almighty! What manner of obscenity is this?

I’m an egalitarian sort, and I’m a die-hard capitalist, too. As such, I’m not one to make too many judgments about how someone makes a living. But dang! If you’re a writer, a firm grasp of basic grammar ought to come with the title and the territory. Am I wrong?

Could it be that I’m a bit of a writer snob, too?

Oh well.

This post was part of a link party at


  1. I enjoyed your light-hearted look at writing. I never realized that writer snobs exist on a variety of levels. Turns out there is a little writer snob in me too. Perhaps in everyone?

    1. Thanks, Jillian. Yes I agree. A little snob in us all!

  2. You are not alone. That sentence made me cringe! Guess you can include me in the writer snob club!

  3. Two thoughts--Cisco Kid/Pancho, and less/fewer.

    Pancho--"Let's went!"

    Less vs. fewer, sigh! Fewer fruits, not less fruits. Visit Weird Al's lesson about fewer vs. less at

    1. From IMDB:

      "The Cisco Kid and his English-mangling sidekick Pancho travel the old west in the grand tradition of the Lone Ranger, righting wrongs and fighting injustice wherever…" Lol.

  4. That's silly! Of course bloggers are still writers. And all writers should know basic grammar!

    1. Ally, I agree of course. (Like I said, my son is a snob--and not just about writing, by the way.) As for the grammar thing… coulda, shoulda, woulda. Have you seen some blogs?? I don't mean to criticize, but golly.

  5. "and I’m a die-hand capitalist, too."

    This is what we call irony, correct?

    Did you ever stop to consider that maybe that other "writer" just didn't proof-read in the same way that you didn't proof-read?

    1. Oops! Ironic, yes and no. (Thanks for finding that.)

      Sorry, anon, this isn't a simple proofreading error, like a mistake in spelling or even a wrong word choice. You can bet I spell check obsessively, but spell check doesn’t flag correctly spelled words. My mistake was a fault of my eye, not of my understanding of basic grammar. There’s no way someone could write "I hope you have went" and think it's right unless he or she doesn't know any better. This kind of mistake crosses the line, in my opinion. The writer is an American native, by the way.