I think it’s fair to say that after one reads his hundredth real book, say around fifth or sixth grade or so, one should know the necessary word is “drivel.” By that time, one should have read enough to avoid unnecessary ironies like this. When making a statement that someone else is saying something stupidly, one shouldn’t say anything stupid. Right?
I’ve come across this foul usage several times lately, in forums and “sound offs” in the newspaper. It’s almost unbelievable that grown adults can make this mistake. I guess I see it more than I used to because I read more words from amateur writers than I used to. Professional writers don’t make this mistake. It goes without saying that the pros have read at least a hundred books before they become pros. But apparently it also goes without saying that there are far too many adults in the world who simply don’t read books, and yet feel compelled to offer opinions in writing.
These people are mistaken when they think their opinions matter. They don’t. It’s not my job to try to figure out what they meant to say when they don’t have a clue themselves. My time is more valuable than that. I urge them to read some books, then get back to me.
Please: if you haven’t found the time to read a hundred real books in your lifetime, keep your god-damn hands off your computer keyboard. Thank you.