I recently participated in a discussion on the validity of amateur wine bloggers as journalists, versus traditional journalist, and came away with a few tidbits of interesting information. But, before I go into what was learned, please, before you stop reading, let me say that bad or improper writing, especially writing that is full of grammatical and typographical errors is never enjoyable to read. In my opinion, and by the way, this blog is all about my opinion, anyone, who at least warmed a chair in a primary english class, should recognize proper writing skill.
Using personal opinion based on the true or false question format, here are my findings. Please note that the discussion involved a small group of highly experienced, so-called wine experts with a collective dislike of traditional journalists.
1. Amateur wine bloggers, who write while partaking of the grape juice make a tremendous amount of typographical errors...and are proud of it! True.
One such blogger who participated in the discussion, was unapologetic about her lack of skill in writing and proud of the fact that she could read and fully comprehend her numerous typos and blatant grammatical faux pas. She was especially astute at making these errors while ranting about a wine she did not like. She further explained that the best way for her to develop a clear evaluation of a wine, was to consume the entire bottle in one sitting and write about the offensive, vile, liquid while she had the frame of mind to do so. Remind me NOT to read too much into what she shares with her audience. Just sayin.'
2. Professional journalist who visit two or more wineries in their lifetime...which is all of 24 years for one in particular, do have the necessary skill to inform the public that they are wine experts. True.
There is nothing more enjoyable than being bored to death by a journalist who has been handed an assignment to go "wine tasting" and report what they found interesting about a particular wine.
The participants in the discussion took great care in ripping this J-guy to pieces. Admittedly, I took a few below the belt shots at him for writing skills that would send a wine drinker to the nearest beer tavern. Seriously, J-folks...and this is an acronym for journalists, unless you write copy for the wineries visited, acknowledge plagiarism and don't repeat the tasting notes word for word...without citations! By the way, not all Chardonnnays...(Yes, that's how he spelled it) have an oaky clairvoyance, that is indicative of innumerable months spent in oak casks made from oak trees grown in oak forests. Moving on..
3. Amateur wine bloggers, especially those who just started writing their blogs...and drinking wine, because they recently went wine tasting and have always wanted to write a wine blog, know everything about writing a wine blog because they have always been told that they can write, and should write about something that they know very little about, but enjoy nonetheless. True.
I suddenly understand how my college english professors could check their emails, update their Facebook posts and balance their checkbooks while listening to endless, mind boggling, unapologetic, poorly written essays as they are presented by chair warmers who suck the life out of their classmates who actually DO know how to write! I wanted to friend this lady on Facebook just to become her personal grammar Nazi as well as someone who would tell her that she should perhaps try writing after a glass or two of something a little stronger than wine. Just sayin.'
4. Professional journalists hate wine blogs, wine bloggers, and social media writing with it's influx of acceptable bad grammar and spelling errors...(got to love those tiny keyboards and the abundant amount of space between each letter), but have been forced to learn the intricate nature of Tweeting which has made it perfectly fine to LOL and say WTF, it's just grape juice! True.
Many self respecting journalists do hate bloggers...simply because it is now acceptable to be a bad writer...and get away with it! Nuff said.
5. Lastly, blogging is not going away. True.
Until hell freezes over and heaven requires that one pass an english grammar class before entering the pearly gates, bloggers will continue to expose us to all things grammatically incorrect. Additionally, we will have to accept that after a glass or six of a good Chianti, those bright red underlines beneath misspelled words seem to enhance a bloggers inability to care whether caps lock is perpetually stuck in the on position or if the word or words are actually misspelled. (Admit it, have any of us ever paused and questioned spell check?)
Admittedly, I do make a lot of grammatical mistakes, and occasionally do battle with spell check. However, at the end of the day, I am, a blogjournalist, and proud of it!
Until next time,