Why do I care about spelling and grammar? Let me show you some examples.

Buzzfeed shows us The 20 Most Unforgivable Spelling Mistakes of the Year gleaned from Twitter, and there are some real gems on that list. It is because of errors like these that I give grammar advice and tear at my hair over spelling mistakes. This is why grammar nerds exist and why we want you to be aware of when you’ve spelled, punctuated or conjugated something incorrectly and how to do it correctly in the future. It’s because we want to prevent you from becoming one of those typists. It’s because we want you to communicate clearly.

To communicate clearly, you need to be aware of how a spelling error can change the whole meaning of a sentence, and usually not for the better. Some errors merely make the user look sloppy or uninformed, but some actually render the message incomprehensible. For clear communication, one should know the difference between COLON and COLOGNE. One should know that OVERREACT is a single word and OVARY has no place in that sentence. If you put EAGLE where you want EGO, I might not catch your meaning. If you’re going to use the expression “time heals all wounds,” you should know what it means, and if you don’t know the difference between WOUND and WOMB, you probably don’t understand the expression.

If you think there is an O in GENIUS, you are not a genius at anything that involves language. If you think there is an A in COLLEGE, you will not do very well in a lot of college courses.

If you have Internet access, you can find an online dictionary, which will show you that SILHOUETTE is not two words. Yes, I see that it’s a tricky word. If you can’t remember whether it’s one word or two, try using SHADOW instead. In this case, the meaning is close enough. I know that AMBIANCE is also difficult, so if you’ve never seen the word in writing, try using ATMOSPHERE to get the same meaning across. You might misspell atmosphere, too, but you’ll probably get the first letter right, and that will make the sentence much clearer.

Look up VICARIOUS in the dictionary. Now, look up BI-CURIOUS. Not synonymous, are they?

If you can type HIPPOCRATES with perfect spelling, you should know that a HYPOCRITE is something else.

Yes, I am aware that English is a non-phonetic, idiom-heavy language full of exceptions that only weirdos like me ever manage to learn. Except, actually? No, I won’t take the excuse that English is so incredibly hard. I’ve learned and spoken Spanish and Albanian, and let me tell you: there is a lot of shit that we English-speakers don’t need to worry about. We hardly conjugate our verbs at all, our plurals are nearly effortless, we don’t adjust our adjectives for number or gender, and in fact our nouns are all gender-neutral. If you don’t need to worry about hitting the right form of the imperfect tense for an irregular verb, or how to decline a masculine plural noun in the accusative case, you should know the difference between ORGASM and ORGANISM before you try to use either word in a sentence.