Reports MSNBC:

[W]hile blunders and bloopers have ever exasperated the spelling snobs and grammar grunions of the world, our recent woes — housing foreclosures, massive layoffs, rising debt and war — may be ratcheting up the pressure some feel to seize control of something (anything!), even if it’s just a properly placed comma.

Can I get some anecdotal evidence with that?

Dale Siegel, a financial expert from White Plains, N.Y., whose spelling is routinely corrected, says she’s definitely noticed a change in people.


“In general, I think people are getting a little bit meaner about correcting others or sharing what they call their ‘observations,’ ” she says. “They’re uptight and stressed out about losing their jobs. And if it makes them feel better to tell me I have a string hanging off my skirt or I used the word ‘your’ when I really meant to use the word ‘you’re,’ then fine.”

We’re all victims of the economic downturn, somehow (be we recipients of pink slips, mean “observations,” or… tenuous reporting).

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.