Justin Bieber's Writing Is A Terrible Example For His Fans To Emulate

At Mind Your Language, we've always said that accuracy matters, no matter what the context. An error-laden rant from pop singer Justin Bieber reminds us that wealth and the adoration of thousands of teenage girls is of very little help when it comes to writing well.

Picture: Getty/Theo Wargo

Bieber has been attracting bad press in recent weeks following a visit to London in which he appeared on stage two hours late, suffered a medical scare and got into a fight with paparazzi. While Bieber is renowned for his use of Twitter (he has 36 million followers), 140 characters doesn't cut it when you want to make a more detailed statement to your fans about how the media reports are unfair. Instead, Bieber used his Instagram account to post this horror:

Everyone in my team has been telling me, "keep the press happy" but I'm tired of all the countless lies in the press right now. Saying I'm going to rehab and how my family is disappointed in me. My family is beyond proud, and nothing's been said by them, my grandparents wouldnt know how to reach to press even of they did want to so that was a lie and rehab cmon. if Anyone believes i need rehab thats their own stupidity lol I'm 19 with 5 number one albums, 19 and I've seen the whole world. 19 and I've accomplished more than I could've ever dreamed of, i'm 19 and it must be scary to some people to think that this is just the beginning. I know my talent level and i know i got my head on straight. i know who i am and i know who i'm not My messege is to to believe. My albums could be about anything but my messages have been to never say never and believe, not to believe in me but to believe in yourself .. I honestly don't care if you don't believe in me because I believe in me, my friends believe, my family believe, my fans believe, and look where that's gotten me so far.. I'm writing this with a smile on my face and love in my heart. Letting u know first hand how I feel rather than have these story linger. I'm a good person with a big heart. And don't think I deserve all this negative press I've worked my ass off to get where I am and my hard work doesn't stop here… All this isn't easy. I get angry sometimes. I'm human. I'm gonna make mistakes. In gonna grow and get better from them. But all the love from you guys overcomes the negativity. I love u. Thanks.

I have no idea if any of the stories circulating about Bieber are true. But one thing is clearly true: his own statement makes him sound like a moron. The endless spelling errors in the teenage fans responding to his comment are equally hideous. This is a world where apostrophes are forgotten diacritics and capitals are only for countries.

In issuing this, Bieber (and his team) would have known it would be picked up on by media worldwide. Under those circumstances, it's astonishing just how many errors there are. Even if you make allowances for the casual style of social media and want to argue that the stream-of-consciousness style is more important than knowing how to spell 'message', it's a train wreck. "These story linger? In gonna grow." Someone show the boy a real word processor.

The lesson? As we've argued before, if you get into the habit of writing sloppily in one context, it will quickly overflow. Bieber himself will probably never be in a situation where he has to avoid mistakes in a job application. His equally-grammar-shy teenage fans will almost all end up in that situation. Accuracy matters.

Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.


Comments

    It's Bieber, a manufactured story to create money. His spelling, and probably intelligence, isn't going to be anything to write home about.

    Thanks, that made my head hurt.

    I tried reading it, and all I managed to get out of it is that he's 19.

    I read the first line and then realised that I really hate that twat of a human.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhpJC1FRTtI

    1:10 - Yeah, he's a fool.

    Jeez... He was 40 minutes late to this concert, not two hours, and the statement is downright Shakespearean (in a positive way) compared to most other people his age. Language is important, but only on an artificial level - the meaning behind it is more important. As long as there are those who appreciate spelling and grammar, English (or other languages) won't just collapse into nonsensical gibberish

      No, just.... No.

      He is literally the only person claiming it was only forty minutes, and he literally arguing about the start time with what was pretty on the tickets.

    Guys. If we ignore him he'll go away.

      Unfortunately that isn't the case. As much as we'd all love that to happen it wont.

        But if we ignore him we won't have to listen to anything about or from him, and that's just as good.

        Just like NKOTB, the Backstreet Boysevery single RnB douchebag from the early 2000s, Ca$h Money/No Limit southern 'rap' or that friggin Celine Dion song... this too shall pass.

      tell that to the 36 million jerk-offs who started cutting themselves because he smoked a joint.

      Edit: I know that not all of his followers reacted that way, but even if one did, thats too many.

      this kid needs to be put down.

      Last edited 18/03/13 3:29 pm

        > Jokes about his fans cutting themselves because of a post as though it's unacceptable
        > Says a kid needs to be put down.

        Nice.

          1. Anyone that cuts themselves over a post made by anyone needs to be put down.
          2. Anyone that cuts themselves over a post by Justin Beiber needs to be out down... Violently as a message to others.
          3. Anyone named Justin Beiber needs to be put down. Period.

      I've ignored him for years and yet I still have to deal with that stupid song he and Nicki Minaj (who might be the worst person in the world) did.

    Why the fuck does him grammar matter when posting somthing on twitter? I'm sure you would spell words wrong when you are angry and rant as well. Learn to write without being bias fucking poor excuse for a writer.

      Ignorance is unpleasant. Let me point you to our recent post on the correct use of biased.

        Perhaps this poor guy's name is actually "Stupid Writer" and this his comment was the best play on irony lifehacker has seen haha

        Wonder if other people noticed you were the author faster than I did. Thought you were some random guy trolling people for a bit.

      I find humour in the fact that both reading and writing are in question within this response.

      It starts at twitter and sms messages. Before you know it, your using it in formal emails and job applications. Take the wide spread use of 'lol' in spoken English today for an example.
      We are closer to 'newspeak' and 'doublespeak' than everyone thinks.

        Indeed.

        I do my best to avoid any sort of text speak. I have a high opinion of those who aren't lazy when it comes to spelling and grammar.

        I have the greatest respect for those who know the correct usage of "your" and "you're" though.

        So - Justin Bieber does doubleplusgood duckspeak?
        I suspect I'll be hearing him again, when I'm in Room 101: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3U83QLoATU

      I'm sure you would spell words wrong when you are angry and rant as well.

      Lol, like you just did?

      Ah, a Bieber fan with the same low level of literacy. You have my sympathies.

      Grammar != typos. Bieber fan spotted.

      Also, 'learn to write without being bias'... the ironing is delicious.

      Last edited 19/03/13 12:42 pm

        did you mean "irony" or "ironing," or is that some joke i missed.

    He's hardly a twat like a few of these messages say, and whilst he is "mass-produced" and pushed to our Top 10 charts, he is a self-made star and has earnt everything he has. Im not a Belieber just I have an informed background about this, it's not hard to see where some of these stars come from and how hard they really do work. Anyway, it's just him posting on Instagram. Who gives a fuck about spelling on Instagram!?

      He's not self made. Whoever his manager is, made him.

        Agreed. And not only is he not "self-made", his writing clearly shows he doesn't deserve it either. He's seen the whole world and sold millions of albums, but he hasn't gone through school to learn spelling and grammar?

        And as much as we'd like to give him some allowance for mistakes due to his rage, he should learn to compose himself before he types anything to the public, even if it's instagram.

          Wait.. You mean pop stars don't start out making pop music in their basements and are in fact usually schooled in musical arts from a young age and heavily pushed by over controlling parents into controlling contracts? Well fuck.. And here I thought they were legitimate artists.

          Next you will tell me they don't even write their own songs!!

    Most viewed/commented story of the day.. Biebers marketing team wins again.. Good job haters.

      Gotta say, was not the most viewed or commented for the day by a large margin (though it was popular).

    With such an obviously low level of intelligence, talent and literacy, the chances are he won't even have any money left when he becomes too old for the starry-eyed teenagers. He will end up back where he started.

    I remember when Justin Bieber posted on twitter "#writing" and got 30,000 retweets. I fear for humanity.

    In his defense, have you ever tried writing something on Instagram? You have a pretty small window selection on what you've already written and it's almost impossible to accurately jump back to specific points to fix any typo's, errors etc...

    He speak doubleplus ungood.

    In his defense, it was clearly written on a smartphone - who hasn't simply typed and not double checked the spelling and grammar... If you're judging it on the spelling and grammar, you're missing the point!

      And if you can't see that poor expression makes it harder to get the point across, you're missing the point.

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