Little Things

As I mention in my blog's manifesto -- click the link under About in the sidebar -- I love writing. I take a lot of pride in it, hence I'm sort of obsessive-compulsive when it comes to aesthetics. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm somewhat of a design snob, so I tend the appreciate the looks of something just as much as its content. For instance, you need look no further than this very blog as, um, illustration of my point. It's very clean, orderly, and professional. I spent quite awhile scouring the themes WordPress has available, and found this one to suck the least. Seriously, most of the themes here are fucking ugly, so it was nice to come across this. Never mind the fact that my blog looks a lot like this one. I'm not entirely happy that my sidebar contains an odd number of widgets, but overall I like the new look. It's a keeper. But even with the time I devoted to making my blog look nice, I probably expel even more energy into its content. I want my ramblings to be as coherent and sensible as possible. I always make sure words are spelled correctly and proper grammar is used. And I always know where to place my semicolons. I never take the lazy approach to my writing, even in informal settings like this one and the various Internet forums I frequent. I know being so anal isn't necessary so long as I get my points across, but it's become so second nature to me that I feel weird allowing myself to slack off. I'm afraid it'll make me look sloppy and unintelligent. Such is my paranoia that I even write out my text messages. I just can't bring myself to type "where r u?" without cringing. I know, I so need a psychiatrist. Someone get me Frasier Crane. (As an aside, the only place where I admittedly don't honor the Laws of Writing is on Twitter. My username is in all lowercase, so I tweet that way too. It's consistent and neat.) Given my self-imposed high standards, it really bugs the shit out of me when I see people misspelling words, failing to use punctuation, and using bad grammar. This isn't the first time I've lamented this. It really does make me want to bang my head against a wall or stick nine-inch nails into each one of my eyelids. I can't stand it. Learning the correct uses for there, their, and they're isn't rocket science. You're supposed to learn this stuff in elementary school, folks. And the "it's not professional prose so it doesn't matter" excuse is bullshit, in my opinion. It's even more inexcusable when you consider that most Web browsers now have built-in spellcheckers and certainly word-processing apps have one as well. Whether it be in a self-indulgent atmosphere such as this or a Masters thesis, the attention to detail matters. Especially if you want people to actually care about what you have to say. Otherwise, what's the point? Nobody'll take you seriously. The little things give you away. Attention to detail matters. That's why everyone marvels at Apple's packaging of their products and why John Gruber appreciates "...the exquisite attention to detail that went into every pixel..."  of this app. Going the extra mile matters. Refining the finer points is a reflection of an attentive, thoughtful person. A person who crafts something instead of letting their fingers run amok over a keyboard. Call me a grammar Nazi or a pompous, self-righteous ass if you must, but that's why I obsess so much over every paper, blog post, and email I write. It makes me look totally anal a huge difference.