Thursday, March 7, 2013


I am  a grammar snob.

There, I said it.  It annoys me to no end when people, especially journalists, can't manage to make the subject and verb to agree.  It would seem that at least people who make their living writing would get the grammar right.  I am not perfect.  I admit that also.  But I am not a writer.  I am a nurse, mom, geek, but not a writer.  I don't expect much.  Semi-colon use eludes me.  But please, please, please, don't make me listen to another "I -me" screw up.

When we were kids,  my mother would constantly correct our grammar.  "I ain't got no homework"  was quickly corrected to "I don't have any homework."  I learned grammar, not so much by the rules but by what sounded right.  And the source of what sounded right was my mom.  So it really bothers me when I hear news readers read their copy and get it wrong.  Millions of people are hearing it, many of them are kids.  And they are hearing it wrong!!!!!

Another thing I remember from when I was young was being corrected when someone would say.  "Bobby and me are going outside."  No, it's "Bobby and I are going outside"  (Bobby is my brother.  He's a cool dude.)  That one was easy.  Even the rule was easy.  Just get rid of Bobby (sorry buddy) and see if it sounds right.  "Me am going outside" Makes me cringe just typing that.  After a while it seemed everyone decided to use "I" all the time.  It made them sound intelligent.  At least until they started using it incorrectly.  Please give Mike and I a cookie. (He's my other brother)  Arrrrrrggggggg.  Makes me crazy!!!  Would you say "Please give I a cookie"?  It happens all the time.  Even on CNN.  And you know they get everything right all the time.

Pretty soon, if it hasn't happened already, the whole world will think that rotten grammar sounds right.  Now kids will have to learn the rules if they want to speak correctly.  But I don't know if they care any more.  Already we see words spelled wrong and I don't mean just typos.  I mean using lite for light and site for sight.  I will admit occasionally typing "their" when I mean  "there".  But at least when I proofread, I know to change it.  I also don't get too annoyed when I read comments online and the spelling and grammar are so atrocious that I can't figure out what the person is trying to say.  I know you can't edit some of those pages.  But it is really annoying when reading an online news report and the actual article is full of errors and missing words.  It's OK for a while if it is breaking news, but for crying out loud, fix it before a couple hours go by.  The newspaper isn't full of missing words or typing errors.  Why is it OK for the online version to be such a mess?

I think I am raising a spelling snob.  Katie loves to look over my shoulder and watch the red lines appear as I type and can't wait to tell me I spelled something wrong.  The problem is, she usually does it before I am finished with the sentence.  I never said I was a typist.  I have to look at my fingers when I type.  But at least she notices.  Her grammar and spelling are impeccable.  So maybe I am channelling my mom.  Maybe Mom is standing over Katie's shoulder from heaven watching her write and correcting her.  I like thinking that.

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