Grammar Nazi

I hate to say it, but I am a Grammar Nazi.

I am not by any means a perfect speller, and I sure as heck didn’t get my degree in literature or some other language-based medium. At least I try. Sure, I speak in LOLspeak and use other, not so grammatically correct turns of phrase on occasion, but the fact of the matter is that I know the difference, and I tend not to put the aforementioned bastardizations of the English language in print, especially on a social network feed where all my friends are privy to my inner workings.

The unfortunate fact is that many of my friends on Facebook and in the blogosphere do not bother to check their spelling and grammar, and it drives me crazy! Avoidable bad grammar is one of my pet peeves. Yet, I would probably lose most of my friends if I went around correcting their mistakes, which are many and often.

So, gentle readers, consider yourself forewarned: you are about to experience a rant about the main offenders in my news feed.

  1. Run-on Sentences
    “At the braves game checking the phillies score go phils”
    “Scrapple and eggs for breakfast now to clean up for my family BBQ I love when my kids are here and my mommy”
    Punctuation marks are your friends. They make reading much easier and pleasant.
    Equally important is the proper use of punctuation, once you remember to use it at all…
  2. Proper Punctuation
    One of my friends ends every sentence with an exclamation point! I’m not kidding! I have never seen a status update from him that does not end with an exclamation point! I would think he is really excited, but he punctuates thusly on the most mundane things! My clue to his real excitement is that he uses many of them!!!
    Also, “LOL” is not a punctuation mark. Nor is “LMAO” or “Haha.” Example:
    “watch this lmao u can def tell when someone walks in at the end lmao i loved wen we were together fill sandbags ummm but we dont want to haha”
    This seriously showed up in my news feed yesterday. After reading that through about seven or eight times, I think I may have an idea of what it means. Maybe.
  3. Spelling
    It’s called spell-check, folks. I understand that sometimes texting in a status update from a cell phone while you’re on the run makes for sometimes sloppy spelling. It happens (although, I can’t imagine being in such a rush that you can’t correct a spelling error). But if you are at home in front of the computer and don’t know how to spell a word, look it up. You will appear much more intelligent to your friends.
    While we’re on the subject of spelling…
  4. Homophones
    Oh, boy. This one gets in my craw worse than all the rest combined. A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word, but is often spelled differently. Not to be too demeaning, but I learned about those in elementary school. I find it hysterical that those people who like the group “They’re”, “Their”, and “There” have 3 distinct meanings. Learn Them. are among the worst offenders. (Since I’m arguing grammar, I’ll add that the creator of this particular group needs to learn about comma placement inside quotation marks and consistent capitalization.)
    Here is what I wish I could comment without fear of angry retaliation and loss of friendship:
    Babies do not “wine,” they “whine.”
    I think your cake was made with whole wheat “flour,” not “flower.”
    The show is “American Idol,” not “American Idle.”
    You are “wearing” an engagement ring, not “whereing” it.

What really concerns me is that these mistakes come from my friends, most of whom went on to college and beyond. How do you graduate with a master’s degree without knowing the difference between “where” and “wear?” Don’t even get me started on the difference between “its” and “it’s.”

In a perfect world, I could correct my friends and not cause offense. My intention is not to belittle, but to help. Unfortunately, people take things terribly personally, because they are people. Alas, the silent struggle goes on.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thephotomaestro
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 11:07:13

    The apostrophes and homophones drive me crazy! I was on a road trip a few months ago and stopped at a gas station in Nevada that had a building labeled “Restroom’s.” Ack! (They got a couple of points back for everything being really clean, but still! Yikes!)
    You might want to share this site with your friends that are really struggling with grammar. =)

    Reply

  2. Laura
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 17:43:46

    A fellow grammar Nazi! Yaaaay! Don’t compromise your standards. Folks who think they don’t have to worry about the niceties of language in informal media don’t realize the impression they make on their readers, even those who are close friends. It’s not cute. It doesn’t make you look oh-so-busy that you can’t bother to read what you’ve tapped out. It just makes you look careless, ignorant, maybe a little dim, and inconsiderate of your readers.

    Worst than the errors you point out are the ones made by professional writers and editors, who are paid to know better, but don’t. I’ve been chronicling the mistakes made by the writers/editors at Yahoo! for some time, and the number and severity of mistakes they make every day is horrifying. Check out http://terriblywrite.wordpress.com and leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

    Reply

    • thephotomaestro
      Sep 02, 2010 @ 16:27:57

      I don’t understand how people are confusing your/you’re, there/their/they’re, to/two/too, lose/loose (those aren’t homophones, but still!). I mean, really. Didn’t they pay attention in elementary school?

      Reply

  3. that girl
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 22:12:51

    I have to be honest. I couldn’t read your whole post. I was getting so annoyed by all of the “issues” that I couldn’t keep going, and I only read the words in bold.

    This is how terrible I am. If any of my friends misspell words or don’t use punctuation, I block them from my news feed. It doesn’t hurt them and I feel much happier.

    Reply

  4. pezcita
    Jan 29, 2011 @ 01:27:42

    Heil webster! I’ve been an English tutor for the past three years and seen just about every mistake in the book (even some that aren’t in the books yet). They really need to add a chapter on texting shorthand errors.I can still laugh about it though. Grammar Nazis are the current subject of my weekly comic strip on
    http://pezcita.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  5. pezcita
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 01:36:18

    Ooops! I forgot to say that this is a weekly comic rather than a daily one. The second part is up now.

    Reply

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