Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crimson White article

The Crimson White is Alabama's school newspaper, and Keli Goodson wrote an article for us for today's paper. Here's the link, and the full text is reprinted below. I'll post some thoughts about it later.


Grammar lovers united by Facebook

Keli Goodson
Senior Entertainment Reporter

Issue date: 11/14/07 Section: Entertainment

For those English speakers who just can't use correct grammar or spelling, there is a Facebook group out to get you.

Formed in October 2006, "I judge you when you use poor grammar" has more than 220,000 members and has garnered plenty of attention lately, with mentions in The New York Times, the Canadian press and a blog from the Wall Street Journal.

First-year law student Sharon Eliza Nichols is the founder of the group.

"It's kind of overwhelming, still," Nichols said of the attention the group has gotten. "It's growing by one or two thousand a day."

"I judge" had to make another group after the first one completely filled the space Facebook allows for images, Nichols said. There are about 5,000 images on the group's Facebook Web page.

The first bit of attention the group received was from the newspaper The Ottawa Sun on Sept.r 7. A mention in The New York Times on Oct. 21 was next, followed by a post in the Law Blog of The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 26.

"It's been mentioned other places," she said, "but those three were the big ones."

Since the mention in The New York Times, Nichols said, she has gotten an agent, and a book deal is in the works.

"We're going to make a book with pictures and information from the group," she said.

The book will be a lot like the popular "Post Secret" books, as it will be mostly images posted on the Facebook group's Web page, Nichols said.

A book proposal has been written, and the book's release date will not be decided until Nichols and her agent choose a publisher, she said.

"I judge you when you use poor grammar" has also spawned its own line of T-shirts, produced by and available at

The group started with a sign she saw one day that said "Applications Excepted," instead of the correct "Applications Accepted," Nichols said. She said she felt embarrassed for the business when she saw the sign.

"I started it as kind of a joking response to that," Nichols said.

She said another pet peeve of hers was the inability of some people to correctly use "it's" and "its."

Images in the group include things like pictures of Facebook profiles, church signs and billboards with misspelling, improper punctuation and other things group members find grammatically offensive.

"I think that the Internet has made written communication more commonplace," Nichols said. She said that results in some people not knowing better or just not caring.

She said it seemed grammar on the Internet was getting better, because people are beginning to be more careful about what they say and how they say it.

"Powerful people should choose their words carefully," she said. "When people mispronounce things it conveys a definite impression to other people."

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