So long as I understand what someone is saying/writing/texting/emailing, then I don't care about their grammar/spelling.
I would never dream of correcting them either - that would just be too crass.
I wouldn't either unless I was doing something like proof-reading (which I have done) where it was essential to correct not only the bad spelling but the grammar as well.Nigel
1) I've given a couple of my pet hates, but another is the over-use of words, something which is much loved by officialdom. Why, e.g., say "at this point in time" when "now" will do?
2) I went to school in the late 1940s and the 1950s, first at the local primary, and from age 8 at a private school. Spelling was drummed into us at the first, and at the second both spelling and grammar were, along with punctuation. English language was part of the school curriculum and we had marks docked in exams for bad spelling, etc.
I don't think these days it matters what school you go to. Just look at Prince Harry as an example. His alleged A-level cheating was disproved because the spelling and grammar were so bad, and, as we all know, he went to Eton.
3) I think text-speak must ruin spelling. Obviously it's going to make children and even older people lazy. I read in the news about a teenager who wrote his entire A-level English essay in text and the Examining Board accepted it!
Americanisation is another of my dislikes, even although it seems in many ways more sensible, e.g. "nite" for "night", "labor" instead of "labour", and spelling words like "practice" and "licence" the same for both noun and verb. Have to say, though, that I play Scrabble online, often against people in the US and being able to use both types of spelling is very useful.
4) It's very important if, for example, you're applying for a job, or have to write reports. I've seen applications for jobs recently where the writers couldn't construct a simple sentence properly and yet they were apparently well-educated.
5) No I don't automatically assume people are thick because of basic English mistakes, especially spelling. I'm well aware that there are those who suffer from dyslexia to a greater or lesser degree. I've a friend whose emails are often so garbled that they're incomprehensible, yet he has a very responsible job in which he has to write detailed reports. I'd never dare ask him if he's dyslexic, but can only assume that, whatever his problem, he makes full use of spell-checks, etc, at work. I, would, however, be horrified by a doctor who couldn't spell. There's no room for error in the medical world.
I think Doctors sit a special exam in scribble that they have to pass before they are allowed to practise.
Thankfully computers are being used more and more even to print out prescriptions, which must be a great relief for pharmacists.
I see txt speak dying out very soon with the explosion of smart phones and how they use QWERTY predictive text, especially with the invention of the Swype entry method which I expect will massively take off once it's out of closed beta. I know smart phones are more expensive than your standard phone but it looks like a good selection of budget smart phones are around the corner.
That's encouraging news.