Constance Hall’s story might stop you from ever making fun of grammar online again
If you observe internet arguments long enough, there will inevitably be some grammar-shaming.
Your wrong. Don’t you mean, YOU’RE?
Oh yes, we are very proud of ourselves when we can correct someone else’s grammar. But if you take a step back, it’s a pretty terrible thing to do. We have no idea what a person at the other end of a keyboard has been through — or what they’ve struggled with.
Mom and best-selling author Constance Hall shared a story yesterday about her life, and why her grammar isn’t always up to par with the online grammar police.
“Every time I write a blog I’m asked about my spelling and grammar, every time. So I owe you all this explanation,” she begins. Then she outlines the struggles she always had as a child in school, from being behind in homework in second grade, to having a hard time concentrating in fifth.
“In yeah [sic] 5 while holidaying with my dad he cut out all of the sugar from my diet to see if it could improve my concentration. It didn’t,” she explains. “At the end of year 6 my teacher made me stand up in front of the class and read her the answer to the two last questions of our social studies homework, I didn’t know them, she screamed ‘of course you don’t, this whole class knows how dumb you are.'”
Awful, right? And she continued to have these kinds of experiences. In seventh grade, her best friend overheard her music teacher telling another teacher that Constance would fail. “Just watch, she always does,” she said.
She continued to struggle with her studies. It wasn’t until he twenties that she was informed she had dyslexia and possible ADD.
But it never stopped her from writing.
“I wrote, I traveled and wrote, fell in and out of love and wrote, had babies and wrote,” she says. “My writing was rejected by every publishing company in the country, still I wrote.” At 28, she made it into college, in the top 92 percentile for that year’s intakes. But by that time she had two kids and found balancing university with motherhood too difficult.
“So I quit and continued to write.”
Now Hall is a best-selling author with a sold out clothing line, her own radio show, over a million followers on Facebook — and she’s funded two safe houses in Kenya. All of these accomplishments, from the self-described “dumbest kid in the class.”
“This is why I don’t employ someone to edit my blogs, this is why my spelling fuck ups are there for the world to see and I never get my they’re and theirs correct or my women and woman’s and don’t get me started on my you’re and yours,” she explains. “This is why I celebrate my kids academic achievements but never worry about their failures.”
We should all think about this the next time we rush to judge someone for their spelling, or grammar, or anything else for that matter. That may be the struggle of someone’s life. We have no idea what obstacles someone has faced, or what hurdles their early educational life endured. And making fun of someone’s abilities is just kind of a shitty thing to do.
“I am who I am and if there are any other ‘dumb’ kids who can’t spell or read or even learn how to use a fucking PC I want them see me in them,” Hall writes.
“Because there are so many different definitions of smart. Nobody believed I could do it.
“So I did it.”