Madonna Can Get Away With Ignoring Spelling, But You Can't

So last week Madonna spelled the word 'ratchet' incorrectly on an Instagram post. When various followers pointed this out, her response was pointed: "Ratchit Ratchet Ratchit Ratchet Bitch I'm Madonna".

Picture: Getty Images

It's hard to dispute the basic point that Madonna is now sufficiently rich and successful to entirely ignore the rules of spelling if she so chooses. But two points arise from this.

Firstly: no-one reading this column is either Madonna or remotely as wealthy as she is. If you want to get on in life, you're going to need to behave professionally most of the time. And as Mind Your Language never tires of pointing out, professional communication means following the rules.

Secondly, for all her bravado, even Madonna recognises that following linguistic conventions makes it easier to get your message across. She capitalised her own name; she used an apostrophe in I'm; she presented likely alternative spelling, not random letters. Writing "Ratshut ratchit rachit racchit bitch im madonna" would not have been nearly as effective. Accuracy matters.

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


    Wait...! We're talking about "Instagram" here... Do we really need to be this anal, when it comes to these forms of communication...? When you're delivering quick fire posts like these, a few spelling faux pas are to be expected...!

    HI -- Actually Madonna's spelling was meant that way. I am in her circles, somewhat. And it is a commentary on what is happening with our PLAN ET, PLAN IT, Earth right now. Thus Madonna is referring to the treatment of EARTH as more of an IT (a thing to be violated and hurt, a notch on someone's belt or bedboard) and not ET, the cute being in the Drew Barrymore movie that likes peanut butter colorful candy by Reese. Honest. Kim.

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