Often, people get on their high horse about “Grammar Nazis” – you know, the annoying, overbearing person on your social media – who cannot resist just making a comment about a terrible spelling or lack of correct punctuation.
But controversially, I LOVE a Grammar Nazi.
It gives me a good belly giggle to see someone have their poor use of the English language, totally obliterated in front of my own eyes. And to see them get all defensive over it, as though they truly believe they’re being hard done by!
What I wonder, more than anything, is why on social media, does it become completely acceptable to basically write a whole load of shit?
Recently spotted on Facebook:
“Cant wait too see my amazin man 2night, love him too bits.” Okay, so grammar check, we have one missing apostrophe, the wrong use of “to” (twice), the use of a number instead of letters AND you’ve missed the ‘g’ off a simple ‘ing’ word.
But you know, this status still received 6 or 7 likes.
ARE YOU SERIOUS GREAT BRITAIN?!
To “like” someone’s status when it is that poorly written, is as though you are congratulating them. If someone spoke poorly, with a lack of grammatical sense or structure, you would not shake their hand and pat them on the back – because it is NOT worth rewarding. So why then, on social media, is it acceptable to over look this?
Worse still, however, is when out and about in the real world, you are witness to horrible, devastatingly embarrassing, grammatical mistakes. I was recently unfortunate enough to see a sign on a bus which stated “d’ont open the windows” – I mean, what is that? It’s so bad that I actually laughed (for fear that if I did not laugh, I would probably weep!)
But honestly, I do believe that it’s a genuine problem. Shop signs, restaurant menus, advertising posters – even some books I read, are full of terrible, grammatical mistakes. Apostrophes fly around with no purpose, homophones are a nightmare: too, to, two, their, they’re, there, here, hear etc. The list is endless.
Another one that ‘got my goat’ recently, was on a sign – and my inner Grammar Nazi was screaming – the temptation to get a thick black pen and change what had been written was almost unbearable. The word ‘off’ had instead been replaced by ‘of’ – THEY DON’T EVEN SOUND THE SAME. But no don’t worry, this had been plastered on the side of a road, for everyone to see. It left my blood boiling.
The reason why I love Grammar Nazis, and the reason I am one myself, is because I genuinely believe the world needs to be taught a lesson. If someone makes a genuine, accidental typo or slip up – that’s cool – I will let you off. After all, we all lead busy lives and it’s hard to be perfect 100% of the time.
However, if your use of grammar is SO BAD, that words almost have a secondary meaning, and I have to read what you’ve written more than once – JUST to make sense of it, then you deserve to be named and shamed. And I think I have every right to get kind of frustrated with your lack of understanding. It’s the English language – not rocket science.
My reason for not letting people off (please note: that’s double ‘f’) for this disgusting, ugly problem, is that if we let it slip – younger generations will think it is totally acceptable to speak in an incoherent and incorrect manner. If you wouldn’t accept it in someone’s CV – why would you accept it online? People, when pushed, are capable of using the English language in a (near enough) correct manner, so I want to make sure that they do. Always.
So to all you Grammar Nazis out there – I salute, and applaud you – for your efforts of shaming, harassing and endlessly trying to preserve our precious English language.