Perhaps it's because I teach English and have had a lifetime's fill of grammatical and constructional monstrosities. Or perhaps I'm just plain finicky and nitpicky but I detest people who cannot write correct English. Now speaking is a different matter altogether. Not being a native speaker myself, I fumble and trip over the spoken form all the time. Especially in the absence of daily conversational practice targets. But writing, ah, now that's something we've all had plenty of practice of most of our schoolgoing lives so it irks me no end when people keep doling it out in brokenly cringeworthy fashion.
Needless to say, I adore people who effortlessly and seamlessly write well in English. Of course some people are naturally born with the proverbial silver spoon at the tip of their fingers. They just naturally write well. And without fudging the issue, I know I write well. It's something I enjoy and have slowly got better at as I get older. But the people who unfailingly hit me for a sixer and make me fall madly in love with them are those who mix and manage standard English, formal and informal, and most importantly, colloquialisms with equal dexterity. I think the truest measure of a person's complete grasp of a language is his or her ability to use colloquial expressions with ease. When someone cruises along in formal English but completely misses out on a contemporary idiomatic expression, doh, that just doesn't cut it in my book. It's almost as criminal as the classic "Wanna make franship?" come on. Sic.
The funniest thing is native English speakers themselves are notoriously bad at writing in English. Case in point, all the people you see online, especially in chatrooms, who can't spell, punctuate or formulate their thoughts to save their nuts. Americans are an especially atrocious lot. It makes you wonder what standards grammar teachers keep in the US of A. Sure, originality of thought and self-expression and all that is important but surely not at the expense of making you look like a human grammatical error.
I imagine part of the problem is in the verbal having to be put down in writing. Oral expression is free and informal while writing is cluttered with rules and trip-you-ups. Details of grammar like spelling and punctuation obviously don't matter a dimsum in speaking and there's a lot more stress placed on immediacy of communication than in writing. All of which adds up to the verbal form being so vastly different from the written that fluent speakers flub right, left and centre in just about every aspect of writing.
Indians are reputed to be among the world's best writers of English and I'd have to agree. To some extent. What's definitely an oh no factor for me is the over-formal, pedantic, stilted writing style many swear by. Or maybe it's the only style they know. It just gets me a little claustrophobic after a while. Makes me itch to rip off the suit and neckwear and stuffy shoes and push them headfirst into the linguistic pool.
But then again, like I said, maybe I'm just an over-finicky, nitpicking English teacher.