I am concerned.
People come to Open Salon for all sorts of reasons, but nearly all of us are here to write. You may want to be a writer (whatever that means to you) or you might just want to communicate something in writing (opinions about politics, for example, or information you find pertinent or interesting).
Regardless of why you write, the basic process is the same as any other act of creation—you turn raw materials (words) into a finished product (an article, poem, blog entry, rant). But just like that builder you hired without checking references, someone who uses the wrong materials will create an inferior—or unrecognizable—product.
Of course, you have to know what the correct materials are before you can know whether or not you are using the wrong ones. Unfortunately, some people here seem to be unaware that they are saying something quite different from what they think they are saying.
For example, I recently noticed several instances of the incorrect use of:
It was clear from the totality of the writing in each example that a dictionary is absent from these households. There also seems to be a lack of familiarity with those Interweb word-lookup thingies,* else they would have known that empathy does not, in fact, mean "indifference" or "laziness in such measure that it prevents you from getting off your ass long enough to display the slightest interest in searching out a definition." Rather, in this example, the proper word to use is:
It may seem rude to publicly point out the mistakes of others. You may consider me downright uncivil for questioning whether or not someone should entertain even a fantasy of being a "writer" if they don't have at least a passing familiarity with the meanings of the words they toss around. If you suspect that I have a solid aversion to the commission of this particular sin, then you would be justified in accusing me of expressing:
If, on the other hand, you credit me with feeling your pain, if you believe I can relate to the embarrassment you feel at having failed to use the correct word on a site devoted (in theory, if not reality) to providing a public forum for talented and learned writers, then you should employ the word with which I began.
* on-line dic-tion-a-ries
ADDED: Yes, that is a self-portrait. And thank you to all of you who have said it is a cute picture. Personally, I think my nose is a little big ;p