My Grammer is better than yer Grammer

hlghdaySo today, Agategal posted a link to an article about grammar nazis on Twitter. And I had been thinking about the whole grammar nazi thing today because, once again, my otherwise wonderful iPhone was autocorrecting words that I didn’t WANT to be autocorrected. You guys, I *know* I can change the settings but sometimes I *want* the autocorrect to work. But yaknow, USB instead of EST (Eastern Standard Time) is a bit crazy.

In the linked article, people are apparently getting stressed out and correcting everybody and his brother for every little teensy error and the author is [apparently but go read it for yourself] trying to tie that to stress about the, you know, the financial meltdown. I dunno. I grew up with a grammar nazi right there in my house. The Commander not only corrected my grammar, she corrected any kid who happened to be within about five blocks of our house. If I felt the need to say something like, “I ain’t got none”, I had to make sure I was over in the schoolyard or some other place that was out of earshot. But yaknow, a lot of kids I grew up with in Yooperland (not all) had *terrible* grammar and I was just trying to fit in! Kee-reist.

I grew up and went to college down south and here I am in southeast Michigan, if you want to call southeast Michigan “south” ’cause it shore don’t feel like that right now with 15 degree temperatures. I encounter signs with inappropriately placed apostrophes and people who confuse lay and lie and occasionally I even run into someone who says “whaddya youse guys want?” Those are the things that bother me the most. But the people who make those grammar mistakes are not bad people, so who am I to call them on it.

A large part of my job these days is writing. I have to explain explicitly and clearly what each web page in our application does and how it is laid out, etc., etc. I don’t have to deal with lay/lie and I can manage apostrophes on a good day (but that’s a whole ‘nother story) and nobody there ever bugs me about the blasted subjunctive.

What’re y’alls grammer bugaboos? What drives you nuts? What do you have trouble remembering?

10 Responses to “My Grammer is better than yer Grammer”

  1. Margaret Says:

    My father was a Grammar Nazi; I wasn’t allowed to say um or you know, thus I am a way better speaker than I would have been. It wasn’t fun at the time though! I am a grammarian who is able to let things go, like my good friend who says “I have went…” and “I have tooken” It DOES make me wince, although I don’t say a word. I do have trouble with all the inappropriate apostrophes and the use of less instead of fewer. LESS CALORIES–ugh!!

  2. grandmothertrucker Says:

    Grandma Sally ( my mom ), was a History and English teacher. I think Great Grandma Myrtle Courtois ( my Grandma ), was too. Anyway, they corrected everybody. So, when you first wrote about the Grammarian Nazi, ( The Commander, aka your mom), I always thought it was my mom, but I understand it’s your mom you were writing about. The 10 Courtois kids went to Private Catholic Elementary Schools where the nuns had a fit if you made mistakes.

    * notice that I punctuate whenever I feel like it? lol ; p Since the invention of puters and texting, grammar and punctuation rules are changing.

    * notice that I refer to my own mom as grandma, and my grandma as great grandma for the benefit of the next generation so ‘they’ know who I am talking about? Is that a Courtois thing? No, I think a lot of parents/people do that. But Ann can explain generations to everybody better than anybody, and make up cute names for everything better than anything. Heh heh ehehhe… correct THAT!

    So, anyway, after MY MOM passed away, Kathy Farnell corrects my English at Christmas and says that since mom is gone, it’s her job now to correct anybody who doesn’t speak properly. ( so watch yer mouth around her, she’ll get ya. )

    There is a t-shirt in the catalog. It reads : ” I am the Grammarian about whom your mother warned you. ” Perfect for the Commander. ; )

  3. Jay Says:

    We were also corrected (a spanish teacher – maybe this is a teacher thing). I know sometimes we used to say things incorrectly just for the response. That backfired on me because sometimes now I am not sure what is correct. The correcting is apparently a trait that may be inherited. My roommate at CSU drove home with me once and spent a few days in A2. After the visit she commented that she now understood why I always corrected her, and it would no longer bug her. [I had not realized I was correcting her.]

    My personal peeve is more hearing than spelling, Realtor not Relator. I even have voiced this to some of my workmates because it is a word that is frequently used around here, and I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  4. Kathy Farnell Says:

    Yes. It has become my job to correct the Grandmothertrucker, but only because I’m her big sister and it is my job to pick on her. Besides, it gives her something to blog about. However, Grandmothertrucker is probably saying things to bug me. It is HER job as my little sister to do that. I know that she knows the correct grammar. She had the same mom as I did. It does drive me crazy when someone says, “Them guys” or, “I don’t (or ain’t) got no more money” or, “I seen that!” for example. I just have to say something, but I suppose she expects me to. At least we can smile about it. Thank you for not saying, “I have went” or “I have tooken”. That would be so much worser!

  5. Dog Mom Says:

    I had developed a habit of using “um” and “you know” as fillers when speaking – apparently to the extent that Mom and my *little* brother (and Dad, too, when he wasn’t out bringing home the bacon) repeated each and every one of those fillers as I said them! Talk about bringing it to my attention (read “how annoying!”), but it did make me aware of what & how I was speaking. My writing? Oh, very definitely scrutinized. Both of my parents wrote very well. Mom had been a medical secretary and could type SO fast it blew my mind (this was on a manual typewriter!!); Dad was a surgeon; while in public school, I could go to either (and often, to both) to have papers reviewed before turning them in – and would get live reviews of sentence structure, spelling, flow, the whole bit. Kind of blows the theory of “guess it’s part and parcel of having teachers for parents”, because neither of mine were!!

    I’m not a teacher, neither was Jim; yet we held our kids to the same high standards for speaking & writing (including spelling đŸ˜‰ ) skills. I’ve read some of their recent writings for college and am very impressed with not just their grammar, spelling, structure, etc., but also with their ability to put together complex ideas and make perfect sense! High expectations, gentle correction and guidance from the start, and now they write beautifully! Hopefully, their public speaking is more like their writing than their casual!

    Bugaboos? Oh. My. Gosh. Reading emails written by managers and other people supposedly in possession of college degrees, where apparently these same people in visible & responsible positions (at GM, for example) have never cracked a dictionary or had a grammar lesson in their lives. HOW CAN ONE GET THROUGH ALL THAT SCHOOLING and NOT be able to spell and put together a sentence that makes sense??

  6. Dog Mom Says:

    correction (albeit minor):
    * … their public speaking is more like their serious writing than their casual speaking/writing

    Nothing like commenting at Oh-Dark-Thirty in the AM… probably while KW is out power-walking!

  7. kayak woman Says:

    Er, yup! Walking, that is. Zeeeeerooo degrees!

  8. mouse Says:

    –”I seen”
    –”’em” instead of “them”
    –”spose/sposed” instead of “suppose/supposed”
    –”where’s it at”
    –sentences that don’t properly reflect their plurals

  9. Kathy Farnell Says:

    I think I better let everyone know that “worser” is not a word.

  10. Pooh Says:

    I still have trouble with “lay” and “lie”, just ask Bubs! I have learned “well” vs. “good,” because my parents were good teachers and taught me well. It took a long time for Mom to break me of the habit of asking, “What time do you want me to be home AT?” I know enough to say in jest, “A preposition is something you should never end a sentence with. That is a practice up with we will not put!” I know that “sucks syntax” shows why syntax is indeed useful, and not just as a fine on cigarettes to pay for health care. (Get it, syntax/sin tax?) I love word play and puns, even though two thirds of every pun is “P-U”.

    When I’m trying to remind poor spellers of the rules for adding suffixs to long and short vowels, I’m apt to use something like this:
    We were HOPING that the new restaurant would not be crowded, but the place was HOPPING. So we had DINNER at the DINER instead, and our SUPPER was SUPER! Afterwards, we met with DENNIS and DENISE and got a PLANER at the hardware store and a PLANNER at the software store.

    Some things I know, but they still don’t sound right to me. E.g. “data” as a plural noun.