I am a grammar Nazi. A language snob. A linguistic bitch, if you will. I offer the following as proof:
- When I was ten years old I once took a red pen to a letter my best friend had written me. I had every intention of mailing it back to her with all my corrections. Luckily my mom got to it first and advised me it would not be good for the friendship.
- Over ten years later I completely ruined what would have otherwise been a special moment by pointing out improper use of your/you’re in a very cute note left for me by a special someone.
- I read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves and Mother Tongue. For fun. And loved them. And would read them again right now if there weren’t so much else on my reading list.
I really can’t help it. Often times a “You mean this” will escape my lips before I’ve realized it when someone misspeaks. My fingers start typing on their own to correct people on facebook. But luckily I usually get to the delete key before my fingers get to the enter key (But not always).
I foolishly think that everyone cares about proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation as much as I do. I know that I take my Naziism to a higher level, but I do think that everyone should be able to speak and write in their native language to a relatively error free extent.
I’m not completely unforgiving in my opinion. English is a complex language which makes spelling, pronunciation, and grammar rules only so that we can break them. We are a mishmash of languages from all over the world and have adopted rules and vocabulary from others the way that the media follows Republican presidential candidates: what ever is sparkly and popular, whether or not it makes sense.
I don’t claim to speak and write the language perfectly. I love my spell check as much as anyone. There might even be mistakes in this very blog (If you see any, please tell me). However, I have to draw my line of toleration somewhere, and all of the following definitely fall below it:
- there/their/they’re & your/you’re- Learn them. Don’t confuse them again. Please.
- definately- Does the word finite have an “a” in it? NO! Then when you add a prefix and suffix to the word, it still doesn’t have one!
- could of/should of- This irritates me like nothing else.
- apostrophe-ed plurals- No, you did not buy some book’s. That curvy thing is used in contractions or to show possession. Go back to second grade and learn about it.
- there’s books over there- “There’s” is a contraction for “there is.” Would you say “There is books”? I hope not. So stop saying “There’s books.” It should be “There are.”
I could go on for days. But for your sake I won’t.
I’ll leave you with a few things that simultaneously make me me smile, cringe, and worry for the future of humanity.
|Wrong. I do too.|
Plea from this grammar Nazi: please use your spell check.