Grammar: a love/hate relationship.

Grammar: a love/hate relationship.


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Grammar: it’s not for everybody. Even though I like to think (and argue) that it is.

But I’m not blind. When I talk about grammar or my love for editing, the conversation goes a little like this:

No, I’m not a genius. And just because I love grammar and editing, it doesn’t mean you need to be a.) passive aggressive, or b.) afraid.

Whenever I’m asked about my feelings pertaining to grammar, I make sure to stress that I neither want you to be intimidated by grammar nor thinking that you can’t understand grammar. No one should feel intimidated by grammarians or grammar lovers; not all of us want to shove good grammar in your face, or look down upon you for your lack of grammatical knowledge.

But what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Of course, the mean ol’ scary Grammar Nazis. Beware! They’ll tear your text apart and leave you bathing in your own, pitiful tears!

Let’s settle this: Are there such peoples as Grammar Nazis? Unfortunately, yes. I’ve seen them with my own eyes. But here’s the difference between them and myself: they’re not true grammar lovers. A lover of grammar would want to help others with their poor grammar skills, would want to teach, would want people to feel good about grammar. Grammar Nazis make people think they’re inadequate and unintelligent, and that’s downright shameful.

But let’s also look at the other side of the coin: some people just have a total disregard for grammar – intentionally. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who’ve flat out told me they hate grammar and don’t think it’s important. It doesn’t matter what I do, think, or say; they can’t be convinced otherwise. Does this depress me? Absolutely. But am I going to try and convert them to be Grammar Lovers? No.

It may seem silly, but you can’t force someone to use and practice good grammar.

I’m a self-proclaimed grammarian. I’m the nerd you see reading grammar books, like Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. I’m the one running up to misspelled banners and signs, whipping out a Sharpie and making corrections to save any group, business, what-have-you from unneeded embarrassment. I can’t help it. I love grammar, but I hate that it receives so much flak.

When I started The Grammarian’s Reviews, I never intended to lecture anyone about grammar. I don’t personally think it’s an effective method. So I tweaked the teaching aspect to provide Grammar Bits, which I like to think are fun, quick ways of getting little bursts of grammatical knowledge. No, I can’t force anyone to implement my help in their own writing. And no, I don’t go around correcting everyone’s grammar. Sure, you’ll see the occasional tweet about a grammatical slaughter I’ve come across, but I will never specifically call someone out on their grammatical errors.

I just love grammar, and I love sharing my love of grammar with all of you.

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12 Responses to “Grammar: a love/hate relationship.”

  1. Alissa! It’s like you shook my brain and these words tumbled out. I completely agree about Grammar Nazis. I’m not one, even though I love grammar. And honestly, if I tried to correct everyone’s grammar, I’d be doing that most of the day on Twitter and blogs and that’s just exhausting . The only time I actually correct someone’s grammar is when they ask me. Er. Well, I may correct their grammar in my head. But that’s it! And I can’t really stop myself from doing that.

    *huggles you*

  2. Amnette says:

    My hubby is a grammar snob. I’m trying to correct his Attitude, and I think ive made some progress but it’s slow. I, on the other hand, am am educator. I really want people to learn what they don’t know, so they can improve. I must say, though, that I’ve made mor typos this eek than ever, since I’ve been doing lots of commenting, I’m on vacation, and all I have it my iPad, which sometimes won’t let me correct, so I just leave the errors. So please forgive me….I’m embarrassed, but pressed for time.

    • Alissa says:

      Oh, I’ve tried working on an iPad before; I understand! It’s far too annoying to type on those things.

  3. Liz. R says:

    I love learning about grammar! I admit that I’m not an expert, so I actually don’t mind when people correct me, as long as they’re not mean about it :P. You always do get those people who correct you to appear superior, and that’s just stupid. I do jokingly correct my family members sometimes, because they do it to me and you have to fight back! Mostly we all just laugh at each other :P.

  4. We Heart YA says:

    We like the distinction you make between being a grammar lover and a grammar nazi — it’s so true! We definitely see a decline in grammar (and spelling) probably because of technology. People text or type and expect autocorrect to help them, or purposely misspell so that they can fit in the number of characters. That’s part of why reading is so important for our future!!

    • Alissa says:

      I agree! I was considering making this post focus on the technological influences, actually. But it took another route.

  5. Anne says:

    I love this! I hate the people who are snobs about it, but at the same time I can’t stand the people who use bad grammar even when they know better. I like it when everyone just gets along though, so I rarely correct people. I don’t want to get into arguments.

    • Alissa says:

      That’s a good point, about those who use it even when they know they’re incorrect. That’s just as infuriating/frustrating.

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