Back when I was on Facebook, I was scrolling through my feed one day when I encountered a meme that I found hilarious. It read:
I can’t stand people who can’t tell the difference between “your” and “you’re.” There so stupid. [sic]
Since I love to write and love to edit even more, I could relate to the idea of cringing when writers confuse these homonyms. I took this meme as a lighthearted, funny jab at poor writing, so what did I do? Reposted it, of course.
The next morning, I was again scrolling through Facebook (see what a time-waster that platform is?) and navigated to my own Facebook page. There stood that meme, now adorned by a comment from one of my friends: That’s not nice.
“Well,” thought I, “aren’t we overly sensitive.”
About a month or so later, I met a friend in a public place and we began talking about our educational experiences. It turned out that my friend had struggled a great deal with writing when she was in school. I knew full well that she was not stupid. She just had a hard time writing.
You guessed it…she was the friend who had commented that the meme on my page was not nice. I suddenly understood why she had been offended. I had indirectly called her “so stupid.”
I was humbled. Just because I am good at writing (and frankly, I don’t think I am that good at it compared to many of the others in NAIWE) doesn’t mean it comes easily to everybody. This points back to a post I made months ago, “No Snobbishness Allowed.” We editors need to be sensitive to the feelings of our clients, even if (and especially if) they don’t write well.
I have since left Facebook and deleted my presence from it, but this incident stayed with me and serves as a reminder to me not to be an editing snob.