When you correct the grammar of others you are almost always a douche, even if you are on top of your shit. There are only two exceptions: 1. People whose job it actually is to correct the grammar of others (e.g., editors) and only when they are doing so as part of their job. 2. Correcting the grammar of some douche who was correcting the grammar of others, but only if you get it right.
Chaz, I can not agree with that. With a lack of shame to keep people using grammar correctly, then there will be a failure of language. I am sorry, but I do not want people walking around talking like the status updates on this site.
I think there must be a movement to eradicate all grammar nazis. There are times when someones grammar or spelling is so atrocious that it’s illegible, and those people are kind of asking for a little nudge in the right direction… but usually you can understand what a person is getting at, and therefore the communication is received which is why grammar was invented in the first fucking place. I vote we enact full playground rules here. Anyone who wants to prove their grammatical prowess at the expense of a meaningful comment fully deserves the mouthful of mud and bugs that they shall hopefully receive.
I’m the worst grammar Nazi on the planet, and I make mistakes quite often. I’m always glad that someone points them out though. Surely having your mistakes pointed out to you is an opportunity, rather than a reason for butthurt?
Very true… that line started as a joke and turned into a rant, so my bad on that one.Though Grammatical Holocaust is officially my new favourite band name.
It just bothers me when people prove how unintelligent they are when they place a higher importance on the structure of a sentence instead of the meaning.
Here’s the thing, the true fact of the matter is that grammar isn’t actually real. It’s intangible and therefore entirely subjective. That is how the language evolves. The essence of English is it’s adaptability and structured language is meant to aid the writer, not prohibit him. If grammar were always held so militantly, then Shakespeare should read as an encyclopedia on the proper conduct of regicide instead of harrowing tales of guilt, suffering and bitter triumph.
Of course proper grammar IS appropriate for many occasions, but when applied to a text based casual conversation… it’s just absurd. It makes no sense to use proper grammar, because this is representing my speaking voice, and that just ain’t the way I talk… you know? We’ve all taken proper grammar in school, but once you’ve finished the lesson it’s time to put the text book down and think for yourself.
Yeh, I made it up. but it sounds good if you don’t know what the terms mean. I so wanted there to be error in his post, but I couldn’t find one. I also think Boz rocks – the name “anti-Boz” is a homage to a comment he made a week or so ago.
@ Malnu and Djinn. I find it just a little ironic that Malnu makes intelligent points and writes very well in attacking grammar nazism, where as Djinn has weak arguments and puts them them across in a very mediocre way in defense of using proper grammar. Although I have always taken the same side as Djinn on this issue, I feel alienated by his arguments.
1. I’m interested in facts not opinions.
Well you should read a grammar guide then, not a funny/lame website. This is a very poor approach when you want to make a point, particularly in writing.
2. Spelling and grammar are the cornerstone of the English language.
I disagree. While important, flexibility, richness and a relaince on ubiquity are conerstones of the English language.
3. If we let the little things slide, the big things follow, then one day we’ll all be barking and chirping at each other.
You had me right up to the ridiculous barking and chirping bit.
4. The English language is a beautiful thing.
The English language is an ugly mongrel dog of a thing; a collision of latin, greek, german, old english, french and dozens of other languages. It is riddled with complexities and inconsistencies that made it very difficult to learn and almost imposible to master, even for native speakers.
My arguments, Malnu, are substantially different.
It is true that English has changed and continues to change, only a fool would deny this. However, the fact that a pattern is historic does not mean it should be contemporary. I consider that point a red herring. Change, or opposition to change, must be justified on its inherent merits. English in the past changed more rapidly because there was less eduaction and less access to written reference sources. Change was inevitable. But continued change in grammar ensures that historical texts, like Shakespeare and Chaucer, will become less and less accessible to modern readers. I fear a day when people stuggle to read 1984 or Catch 22 because it is written in an archaic style. Stronger adherence to grammatical standards will never stop the drift completely, but it will keep us in touch with our cultural heritage for longer. I agree that language should enable, not prohibit, but this should not be an excuse for linguistic laziness.
And whilst I generally accept that here is a time and place for “proper grammar” and a time and place where we don’t need to worry so much, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to worry at all. A context based justification for poor writing and speech is all well and good if you actually know the rules and can apply them. But if you turn up to a job interview talking and writing like a retard, your prospective employer is hardly going to think “Well, it’s okay on Facebook so its okay with me”. Yes, it’s okay to take shortcuts in casual speech, but it’s not okay to try and justify ignorance based on online culture.
People do and will continue to judge people as poorly educated if they can’t speak and write well. This is made worse when people don’t even realise that they can’t speak well and their children and friends learn poor grammar from them, thinking it is legitimate. The majority of people now seems to believe that “It belongs to Dave and I” is more correct than “It belongs to Dave and me”. I find this frustrating and sad. And sadly, we haven’t ALL taken proper grammar in school, and many people that have, have since forgotten.
I had prepared a spirited defence before I read the subsequent entries. Thanks for your posts, though.
In other news, I generally find that the more someone knows about linguistics, the more forgiving they are of the irrelevant errors of others. I correct ONLY: when the error interferes substantially with meaning; when it’s funny (and it would have to be fucking hilarious); or when the target is correcting someone else. In all other cases, err away.
TO BE PERFECTLY FUCKING HONEST, YOU GUYS ARE ALL LAME AS SHIT. ALTHOUGH THE PERSON WHO POSTED THIS IS AN IDIOT, HE IS COMPLETELY RIGHT ABOUT FAIL BEING USED IMPROPERLY. SHIT LIKE “FAIL” “FTW” AND “FML” ARE STUPID FUCKING EXPRESSIONS THAT HAVE CAUGHT ON FOR WHO-KNOWS-WHAT REASON. YOU GUYS ARE A BUNCH OF FUCKING FAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just pointing out that Gabe’s post of saying “…without fail,” using fail as a noun, is wrong. It’s in some sort of a clause or something (I’m not an English major, and am too lazy to look it up-sue me, it doesn’t mean my point is wrong), and is simply not conjugated.
The usage of “…without fail” is an idiomatic usage. For instance, “He will finish the race without fail.” Given that it is an idiomatic expression, it is not “proper English” per se. The phrase “raining cats and dogs” is unintelligible and physically impossible unless understood in an idiomatic manner. Likewise, the phrase “without fail” where fail is used as a quasi-noun in context of the idiom cannot be extended to the normative and standard use of the word fail proper writing.
Let this be a lesson to all you Grammar Nazi’s out there.
When telling people how to write/spell, you make damn fucking sure everything in your sentence(s) is 100% correct, or you fucking WILL be torn apart and we WILL have a good laugh at your expense.