In everyone’s life, there comes a point when you have to make an important decision on who you want to be. And whilst the process of decision will be different for everyone out there, at some point, in this age of information and autocorrect and incorrectly spelt hashtags, you have to pick a side: grammar nazi or no.
I think, finally, I might be ready to make this decision.
The inspiration occurred to me the other day. I was chatting to a friend, who was all sad and miserable looking. Something truly terrible had happened that threatened their reputation and the very essence of who they are.
This friend of mine is an admin of a Facebook page with someone else, and their partner had posted something that day, with, wait for it…
It was awful. They wrote ‘their’ instead of ‘there,’ or maybe it was the other way around. I don’t remember. I do know that we were all quite shocked, as was one gentleman commenter who pointed out this grievous mistake in the most heart wrenching way; by writing the correct ‘there.’ It was a good lesson for us all.
Being the kind-hearted and compassionate person I am, (who has fallen prey to many a grammatical error in her day), I set about showing my friend how to fix this blunder, should it ever happen again. We are hoping it won’t.
Can I just say, how grateful I am for that edit feature? Do you know how many times I have posted something online only to discover not long after that I had spelt it wrong? Or that I had placed an apostrophe in the wrong place? Or that autocorrect changed book to boob, and hello to ‘you suck you horrible beast you!’ (Well the last one is a little dramatic and hasn’t actually happened, but honestly some of the autocorrects I get have me scratching my head.)
It’s happened a lot.
I’ve always been a person who loves good grammar. There are a great many things that have me wishing for a proverbial red pen, or actual permanent marker, but I’ve never been a nazi, and probably because I have made too many mistakes in the past. Honestly, so many mistakes. Not a status update goes by that I don’t find some error in. Usually after I’ve posted it.
Part of it is because I’m in a rush and I just see what I want it to say. I think that happens for a lot of us. You don’t notice the flaw in front of your face, because when you’re reading
“My small child has spent the day treasuring a broken hair tie she calls her ‘worm.’ Why do I ever buy toys?”
That’s what it says to you.
“My small child has spent the day treasuring a brooke hair toe she calls her ‘worm.’ Why do I even boy toys?”
So yes, my flaws are partly my fault, not denying that.
However, I don’t think it’s just me.
You see some days, (particularly with blog posts), I read and re-read, and read again, looking for errors. I read aloud, I read in draft view, I read in preview. I pick up mistakes, I look and check and study as hard as I can, and finally, when I am satisfied that all is perfect I hit post.
And then it happens.
Gremlins. Nasty little grammar gremlins who live in my devices, and are determined to destroy the earth by inciting grammar filled violence at every turn. The trolls on the internet are not the ones to be feared: it’s the grammar gremlins that jump in and move apostrophes and change random letters, completely destroying the readability of sentences and the flow of stories.
They are the true enemy.
They are the ones intent on ending world peace.
There’s no other way to explain it really. (Apart from me not proof-reading properly, and yeah like that would happen 😉 ) How else does a perfectly fine article, suddenly appear error ridden once the post button is pressed? This is the only logical solution.
And thus entered my philosophical quandary of life. Because if the internet is actually ruled by grammar gremlins set to war against us all, I am a sitting duck with nothing to defend myself, except a dodgy spell checker which is probably in cohorts with the gremlins. It’s clearly obvious what my options are here: I keep writing, trying to do it right; filling the pages of my blog and my Facebook wall with beautiful thoughts only to have them littered with errors like ‘supposably,’ and ‘its going to be ok,’ and ‘wear are there shoes?’
Or I can can go to war. Become a Grammar Nazi, inciting terror and violence at every update.
Now it may just be because I’ve read far too much Game of Thrones lately, but the latter sounds so appealing. Oh to sit upon a tower, high and lofty and search out those, whose apostrophes fly willy nilly about the place, and inform them with one word answers. It seems a truly magical role to aspire to.
And don’t get me wrong; this is not about judgement or condemning the innocent; this is a fight about honour. It’s giving the uninformed the information necessary to hit that edit button I’m so fond of. To find the imperfections and make the stories grand. And if I don’t do this, the Gremlins will live to infuse our words another day.
And so I have taken the first step. I have branded my sword, I have donned my armour, and… I’m going back to school. I’m going to study writing until I know all the rules and technicalities with which to slay the enemy. Those grammar gremlins will never know what hit them.
Never fear writers of the world: EssentiallyJess is here to help you fight the bad guys.
So tell me:
Are you a Grammar Nazi?
Have you fallen prey to gremlins?
Would you like to join me in the war?
How many errors did you find in this post?
Did anyone realise this was just a really long way of saying, ‘yay I got accepted into the professional writing course I applied for?” 🙂