My Beloved and I tend to be Grammar Nazis. When our children were young, there was a black and silver bell in the middle of the kitchen table. If one of us (adults included) used “Uh” or “Um” or “You know” or “like” as conversational fillers, these infractions earned a ring of the bell. On occasion, the repeated dinging made coherent conversation difficult, but this was a helpful exercise and we learned from it. (Truthfully, we’ve talked about re-instituting the bell because it’s so easy to become lazy in our speech!)
In recent weeks, Weird Al Yankovic’s Word Crimes video has made the rounds on social media. An amusing video, Word Crimes tackles common errors / blunders / unacceptable shortcuts found in written English. It’s a clever presentation.
Before I go further, please allow a word in my defense. While I readily admit to being a Grammar Nazi, I’m not heartless or cruel (most of the time). When I catch a grammar or spelling faux pas, I usually keep it to myself … unless my Beloved is there and we can share a laugh (discreetly). But I hasten to add, I’ve found errors I myself have committed – and failed to catch in proofreading. Those errors are by far more painful to me than any amusement I receive from the errors of others. Just sayin’.
Today, I noticed the image (from grammarly.com) below that a friend had posted to social media. Reading through the list, I have to admit I heaved a sigh of relief! There are others in this world (besides my Beloved) who share my unfortunate disability! For me, this was good news! Yes, I use standard spelling, capitalization and punctuation when I text! If I’m tempted to use BTW in place of spelling out by the way, I do so only after inwardly cursing my own laziness! Generally, I avoid being an “honorary” proofreader on Facebook posts, but yes (to number 9), I admit my “helpfulness” some years ago when I noticed how poorly a published book had been copy-edited! Once I’d finished the book, I sent the author the list of typos I’d caught. It’s embarrassing to recall how cheeky that must have seemed (and was)!
Since it’s a Monday, and I’ve been playing around (when I should have been working), I came across a Twitter link that brought me to a post titled Do You ACTUALLY know English? This sixteen question survey offers multiple choices for common English errors. (Some of the questions are similar to items on Weird Al’s list.) This survey was short and simple … and I’m happy to report my results … 16 out of 16.
Having achieved Grammar Hammer status thanks to playbuzz.com, I am herewith shedding my Grammar Nazi label. But if you happen to notice an instance of poor usage or misspelling along the way in my blog, please be kind. I hope my trespasses give you a hearty laugh in a pot-calling-the-kettle-black sort of way. For now, I’m working humbly with a tack hammer. I have no illusions sledge hammer status is anywhere on the horizon.