Grammar Nazi on Patrol.


Grammar

I am a grammar nazi. Really. Everyone has a pet-peeve, right? Something that just irritates them beyond belief? Well, for me, that happens to be poor grammar and an incorrect usage of homophones. Also, since text messaging and instant messaging have become normal conversational tools, it seems that this texting/messaging language has made its way into our daily lives, plaguing our emails and correspondence. I understand the stray comma or the forgotten semicolon here and there, but to write and entire paragraph that is void of punctuation and capitalization? Not only unacceptable — purely indecipherable! If you don’t capitalize, I don’t know where your sentence begins. If you don’t punctuate, you force me to try and read your three paragraph email as one incredibly long run-on sentence. It’s impossible!

Also, note to those that write in such an indecipherable manner, CAPITALIZATION is used in a few capacities: primarily when beginning a sentence or when capitalizing a proper noun. You can’t use compensatory capitalization! For example:

hey ma wanted to see if you wanted To get coffee

Capitalizing “to” in this sentence doesn’t make up for the fact that you suck at writing. It doesn’t take the place of capitalizing the first letter of the sentence, nor does it make up for the fact that you’ve left out punctuation in its entirety. Moreover, it NEVER makes up for the fact that you’ve referred to me as “ma,” “babe,” or any other bizarro term that you find appropriate for me. FYI — I’m not your mom, so calling me “ma,” “mama,” or “mami” is just incestuously weird.

Now, moving on to homophones… oh Lord, with the homophones.

To, Two, Too

There, They’re, Their

Yes, when you say them, they sound the same. That is the joy of a homophone. They are not, however, interchangeable in any way. For example, the following sentences do not work and never will:

I’m going to.
It’s over their.
I think it’s there’s.

If any of those looked remotely correct to you, I suggest you read this book and then re-visit this post and this situation. In the first case {I’m going to}, it really looks like an incomplete sentence (and I’m not just being a bitchy grammar queen); it appears as though you’re saying “I’m going to…. [some specific location],” but didn’t finish your thought. It does not appear as though you are trying to say that you are going, also. In that case, you would say “I’m going, too.” As a side note, bye and by are two different words, as are here and hear. Learn how they work before you use them.

Lastly (last rant here [not “hear”], kiddos): Using text language in normal semi-professional correspondence is a no-no. FYI, it was never a yes-yes. I get that sometimes the 150 characters allotted to a text message aren’t enough to complete your thought, and thusly you have to use some text-y abbreviated language: r for “are” or u for “you”. I can totally understand that in a text message. When typing an email to another human being, there is seriously no reason to ever use “u” instead of “you.” Never. You are not so pressed for time that you can’t hit the other two characters that comprise that word. “4” instead of “for”? Same thing. Lame. To the nth degree.

Using l8r instead of “later”? I think it probably took you longer to find the “8” key than to actually just type out “later” like a normal person. Or using “wuz” instead of “was?” I mean, really? You’re not saving any characters in your text and you look like a total tool. “Wuz”? In what language is that correct?

I’m not a bitch, I promise. I’m just a girl who appreciates correct grammar and spelling. Additionally, I think that running across a gentleman who understands the correct use of punctuation and implementation of grammar is so incredibly attractive… probably because I can decipher his text messages :)

Gotta jet now. Talk to you kids l8r,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

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13 responses to this post.

  1. Hi
    Interesting article! In this world of E-mail and internet and short texting grammar is one thing least needed.
    As long as one is conveying some meaning through such funny combination of letters everything is considered alright though it is undermining the very purpose of langauge.

    Nice to read

    Best wishes

    George

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jillian on August 28, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    For this, I love you. I, too, am obsessed with grammar and find it beyond annoying when homophones are misused, particularly if the culprit has passed the second grade. Have you read Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation? If not, read it. You’ll be happy to know there is someone else out there like us. Oh, and I would have italicized that book title, but I don’t know how to do that on here!

    17 days until London!

    Jillian

    Reply

  3. Hey Jillian! Glad to have a fellow grammar-lover on patrol. I’ll have to nab that book and read it on my 10+ hour flight across the pond! 20 days until I meet you over there! See you soon!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Maitrayee on August 28, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    Well atleast you haven’t had to be an editor to a columnist who insists on writing 1000+ words article without a SINGLE punctutation mark! Gahh!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on August 28, 2009 at 11:25 PM

    Oh gosh! Seriously! I can’t stand incorrect grammar! Especially the the capitalized letter mid-sentence…wtf?! Great blog!

    Reply

  6. Posted by musingsalatiffany on August 31, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    I love the post, sister! It’s a shame I can’t let you post the inspirational text, but I wouldn’t want to do that to the him – way too embarassing. Haha. But the homophone part was brilliant and the wuz vs. was part was very astute. :)

    Reply

  7. Posted by Ryan B. on September 2, 2009 at 8:00 AM

    Grammar is always a fun debate! Best to treat it like a set of rules that is sometimes meant to be broken = ART. But only if you are doing it intentionally, right?
    PS – I think you meant to say “an incorrect usage of homophones” in the first paragraph :)

    Reply

  8. Oh gosh, THANK YOU! The “n” in “an” must have slipped by! I’m okay when people don’t use perfect grammar on a daily basis, but when it’s blatant… oohhhhh, it just irks me!

    Reply

  9. Posted by Stefanie Falzon on September 6, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    Ok cousin, I now know that I need to be very careful with e-mailing you while you are away! I am the worse at e-mail grammer when I am writting to a friend or family member. You must want to strangle me when I e-mail you!! I’m sorry! But I will say one think that bothers the crap out of me ( Aaron does it all the time) is when people saw “seen” instead of “saw.” It’s like nails on a chalkboard for me! for example “I seen that the other day.” I just want to scream!!!!!!!! Ok that my little grammer pet peeve…..
    Loved the post. Love you

    Reply

    • Hahaha. I can’t even tell you how funny that is to me (your “seen” versus “saw” statement)! Chris was telling me just a couple of weeks ago how that’s HIS pet peeve, too. He once broke up with a girl because she over-used “seen.” Hilarious!

      Reply

  10. This post is fantastic! I am the same way about grammar. I admit, I do sometimes use text message abbreviations when texting or sending IMs, but only abbreviations that make sense to the person I’m talking to! There is no excuse for butchering the English language (and lose a few IQ points in the procees} just to save a couple of seconds.

    (By the way, I ran across your post in a Google Images search for “grammar.” It was the second search result!)

    Reply

  11. Posted by Anti-Grammar on October 19, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    theirs know reason to get mad aboot grammer gai yur title itself sayz sumthin aboot you the werd Nazi haz srs negativ connotashunz dood 2 bee a Nazi iz a bad thin so that meens beein a grammer Nazi iz beein a bad thin 4 soopid reesonz get ovr ur pet peev and wurry aboot sumthin that actually matters dood 4 srs

    Anti-Grammar, Opposer of Nazis, protector of lols, self-proclaimed M4st3r 0f L33t Sp34k.

    Reply

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