Grammar Police: Acceptable vs. Non-acceptable Ignorance

If I posted a status on Facebook claiming that there were 52 states in the US or that 2+2=7, people would in all likelihood not only correct me, but also lambaste the shit out of me for being so ignorant.

And yet, it’s considered passe, annoying, and even rude to correct improper grammar.  People like myself are often referred to as “grammar nazis,” as if preferring people use correct English, which we were supposed to have learned in school, is something about which to be embarrassed.

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Aside from wanting to grind my teeth into dust when I see people who should know better mix up “your” and “you’re,”  the educational and social double standard that this is somehow acceptable annoys the piss out of me.  These same people who complain about grammar nazis are likely also complaining about the “state of education” in the country.  I’m just sayin’…

grammar-memeIt’s not like these rules are arbitrary.  To me, the fact that “you” and “are” can combine to make “you’re” and that word’s meaning is completely different from “your” does not seem to be an impossible or nonsensical concept.  I’m really not even trying to rag on people who make this mistake (I even do it sometimes if my brain is moving faster than my fingers can type.)  It just annoys me that there seems to be some sort of double standard where, once out of high school, English is regarded as Math/Geography/[fill in blank with subject]’s bastard red-headed stepchild.  I’m not even talking about people needing to know every obscure rule of grammar there is;  I’m talking very basic grammar here.

No one loves a grammar nazi...except another grammar nazi...

No one loves a grammar nazi…except maybe another grammar nazi…

Well, I know all this bitching won’t do anything to change anything.  We grammar nazis are routinely ignored.  But I figured that at the very least, I could get a blog post out of it, and we could all enjoy some grammar memes.   Oh noes.  I’m a… “grammar nerd!”

I was actually THINKING this last night....

I was actually THINKING this last night….

No one is feeling MY nuts!

No one is feeling MY nuts!

You all just better watch your step! Liam is serious.

You all just better watch your step! Liam is serious.

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27 responses to “Grammar Police: Acceptable vs. Non-acceptable Ignorance

      • The issue with the attitude “it’s only the internet”, in regards to poor spelling and grammar, becomes quite clear when you read online *news* articles in which there are multiple errors in each category. Kindle owners may have discovered that there are thousands of free books available, a marketing technique for new authors to get their name/product out there or, I often find, the first book of a series will be free in order to rope you in and hopefully entice you to purchase the rest of the series. I download ten or twenty at time. When I begin reading one of the freebies I can generally tell, within the first 3 pages, whether or not I have a story I will enjoy reading and/or lose myself in or if I simply will not enjoy the story because the errors snap me right out of the story repeatedly. I have come to a place where I simply delete it, attempting to get through several books with this issue has shown me that the quality of the story often directly correlates to the author’s grasp of the language, grammar and spelling.

        This is just a small part of the problem with dismissing the issue and having disdain for the ‘grammar/spelling nazi”. When the issues are passed over and allowed to become commonplace or ‘normalized’ what we end up with are books that a sixth grader would be ashamed to turn in as a school project, journalism that embarrasses on global stage, adults who cannot help their children with their homework because they have become so adjusted to poor usage that they do not even remember how to form a sentence correctly, let alone what an adverb is.

        Just my two cents (and probably full of my own errors, but hey, at least I do try!)

        • Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t understand why more people don’t think this is an issue. The dumbing down of America, and they are hastening it. I guess they often DO care about it… when they complain about “our children’s” education, but maybe they are simply too embarrassed to admit their own shortcomings. I’m not even being sarcastic. I sometimes think that’s part of it. They are embarrassed to be corrected, so they turn it around and make it seem like we’re being pedantic. What some people don’t get is that there is a reason we have grammar rules. Much like rules of the road, when people start ignoring little ones they think are no big deal, it seems fine, but what do you have when everyone is doing it multiple times a day? Well, shitty drivers. lol And accidents.I can’t think of anything much more important to getting along in the world than proper communication. Shouldn’t we all be on the same page, at least with people who speak our language?

          Thanks for joining the conversation!

        • PS…Is it safe to assume you came over from that annoying FB argument about misspellings in “funny” memes. I concur with your point regarding regarding reading and say it goes the same with humor. I immediately think the meme is less funny when the grammar and spelling is glaringly incorrect. (PS. I regularly “misspell” for typing too fast in a comment or something, but I really feel bad for people who get misspelled tattoos. lol)

  1. Love it! I get so annoyed when predictive text changes something and I don’t catch it in time. I made a comment somewhere yesterday and dammit if it didn’t change well to we’ll or something like that. I tried to edit it but lost interest when I couldn’t find the comment again. And of course, I totally agree (even though I quite often start a sentence with ‘and’).

  2. I have actually lost some teeth because of poor grammar. I am totally with you on this one. I don’t correct people though, I simply quit reading. 🙂

  3. I hate it when Americans make bad grammar official. You know like when the proper English word ” Humour” suddenly has to become “Humor” in American-English. No, it’s no laughing matter…

    • I hate it how Hollywood feels it’s necessary to remake all foreign films. (Sadly, they are likely correct when they assume that many people are too lazy or ethnocentric to watch a foreign film…)

  4. oh… btw… just so you know… Don’t you ever DARE to criticize MY Gramma! She’s nearly a hundred years old and i absolutely love her!

  5. The reason grammar corrections are different is that the majority of times the person being corrected knows what the correct word is. You’re telling people about a rule they already know. The fact that you’re able to correct someone also proves that you know what they intended to write. Bad grammar can occasionally lead to miscommunication but the vast majority of time you’re correcting people just for the sake of correcting them. It doesn’t help people learn. It rarely improves communication. Correcting people’s grammar just feeds your ego.

    • Sorry, but I disagree. If they knew what was correct, they would have written it that way (Exceptions: sometimes I am typing so fast I use the incorrect form of a word, in which case I would LOVE to be corrected, because I don’t want to look like an illiterate ass. Just saying.). Why would you assume someone would knowingly use the incorrect homonym/word/etc when they know the correct one? And conversely, why would you assume someone making a simple math mistake (or some other subject)”doesn’t” know better, but someone making a grammar mistake does? Also, I don’t usually waste time correcting these anyway because most people have made up their minds they believe what you do. There have been several friends of mine who don’t even bother using periods in massive paragraphs of words, and it takes me several minutes to suss out what they are actually trying to say (if I don’t give up.) I don’t correct that either because if they write that way, nothing I say will change it. However, in either case my point stands that grammar is the only thing it’s passe to correct, and your assertion that it’s done for “ego” reasons is a perfect example of that mentality. Seems to me it’s “ego” if a person makes a mistake and can’t take correction. If, as you say, you think people DO know better and still do it incorrectly, that shows not only laziness but lack of regard for grammar and English as “important,” and how arrogant is that?

  6. We had storms here yesterday, big storms for the UK. On a weather watchers page for almost every description of lightning there was one for “lightening”. Foolishly I commented that the word was spelled lightning. I was flamed off the site, being accused of the usual “grammar nazi/police”, but more seriously of being a bully, malicious, prejudiced against people with dyslexia and learning difficulties, oh and having a stick up my backside. What began as a light-hearted (but in hindsight, unwise) quip on my part aimed at no single person, became a torrent of festering, vicious bile, from which I am still smarting. Others voiced that they didn’t give a damn. It is comforting to know that there are others who believe that correct spelling and grammar are still important.

    • That is unfortunate. I honestly think that the impersonal nature of social media has turned a lot of people into borderline bullies, or at the very least, too many people have taken leave of their manners. I have lapses myself as far as that goes, but I guess people are now using a form of communication for which they have always been ill-equipped (the written form), but never had it pointed out to them before because all of their interactions were in spoken word. lol

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