You know what’s funny? When you meet somebody you only know online, or only know through HTMF postings.
You form an image in your mind about the person based on how they express themselves. It’s the traditional MiG clichÃ©: The medium is the message.
If all you know of somebody is how they sound, then you’re going to form a unique vision of that person if they stutter, if they mumble, if they use a strange accent. If they speak like a news anchor, then you’ll have a different vision.
If all you know of somebody is how they look on TV, then you have a unique idea about them as well (the famous example is the Nixon-Kennedy debate, which made Nixon look sneaky and shifty-eyed).
Of course, these visions of people change when you finally meet them. Ask hoshq. He’s not nearly as annoying in real life as he is on here. Neither am I … ok, yeah, I am.
Grammar and spelling are part of this medium – if you want people to think you’re a 12-year old, then write like one. The internet is cool in that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it’s how you express yourself. If you express yourself like you’re in grade 5, then that’s how people will see you. Until they meet you in real life.
I guess I’m lucky in that I’ve met most of the HTMF’ers, so I know what people are really like – it’s usually nothing like they are here. But there are a few of you who I haven’t met, and my only impression of you is what you write here.
So yeah, spelling and grammar is irrelevant to people who know you. Just like mumbling on the phone is irrelevant to people who know you. But to complete strangers, that’s all they have on which to base an impression of you.