Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not your normal grammar rant

Although I have to admit, that's one of my favorites. I get just as annoyed by the improper use of their/there/they're and your/you're as the next person. Unless, of course, the "next person" is the person using it incorrectly. Then the "next person" is my mortal enemy forever and ever amen. Unless they make me cookies, in which case I will possibly reconsider.

But no...this post is about a different kind of annoyance. I have come to the conclusion that I wouldn't get nearly so annoyed at statuses and tweets and even the occasional newspaper article if people didn't try to write phonetically. Once in a while, spelling phonetically works, but exclusively writing that way isn't the best plan of action, considering we the people of this great language tend to not enunciate quite as clearly as we should. Hence the reason I frequently see things like "could of" and "alot" and "are" in the place of "our" (maybe it's just my twisted little brain, but those actually sound different to me), and am then pressured (by the little grammar guy in my head) to write a little diatribe on the subject.

I'm of the opinion that if more than one person is going to see what you're writing, it needs to be as grammatically (and phonetically) correct as possible. You may as well flaunt that eighth grade diploma, right? Granted, even I am guilty of the occasional (okay, frequent) shortcut when I'm texting (confession: I added "gonna" and "shoulda" into my autocorrect dictionary), but that's where my "audience of one" rule comes into play. Reason being, I know the people I text extremely well, and each of them can personally attest to my having attended all my mandatory schooling.

Then everyone's heard the comma tirade, with the classic "Let's eat Gramma!" and "Let's eat, Gramma!" as an example of how important punctuation can be. But...there comes a point when you actually can have too much punctuation. For example, not everything, needs, commas after it. There actually are, rules about when, to use them, such as, on either side of a word or phrase, that could be removed, without changing the meaning of the sentence. A good rule of thumb, though, (<---see the rule I just mentioned and apply here) is to use a comma where there's a slight pause in the sentence. Not, every, other, word. Also; semicolons have a purpose. That was not it. When in doubt, reword your sentence so you don't have to use punctuation marks you don't know how to.

Also, when in doubt, look up the meaning of the four-syllable word you're about to use to try to impress someone. Describing someone as "very pervaporating" will probably not prove your wisdom.

P.S.
1t's n0t cut3 t0 int3nt!0n411y m!ssp33l w0rd5 by r3p1ac!ng l3tt3rs with numb3rs and punctuat!on mark5.

This post brought to you in part by a language so confusing no one can use it completely correctly and the waffle I ate for breakfast. 

11 comments :

  1. Huh, I woulda guessed Kirstyn wrote that one lol

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    1. Nope, totally Kara's rant. But I fully supported her in it. :-)

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  2. Something's funny about this sentence: "When in doubt, reword your sentence so you don't have to use punctuation marks you don't know how to." Maybe that it ends with the word "to." Isn't that a preposition or something, of which a sentence is never supposed to end? I'm just trying to be helpful here :)

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    1. Hahaha, I knew something would get picked on! Yes, we should all take a lesson from Winston Churchill: "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."

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    2. Haha! Yeah, I figured it would happen too! I suppose that's what I get for climbing up on my high horse =D

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  3. I excelled in English and received A's in AP English but I still am guilty of misspelling words and using 'your' for 'you're' when I am in a hurry. I feel it is important to use proper grammar but I also feel some of the most annoying people are those that play the role of 'grammar police' too often. I want to ask, does it really matter in the whole scheme of things?

    Having said this, I almost went back onto FB the other day to correct my misspelled word 'thilth' which I later realized should have been 'filth'. I really thought I had it correct until I checked the dictionary and couldn't find 'thilth' anywhere.

    Now I'll be wondering all afternoon how many errors you'll find in this post. Please be kind. It's been 20+ years since I attended an AP English class.

    Betty Fig

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    1. I agree with the sentiment that it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things...but on the flip side, it's hard to respect people who are constantly using texting English, or using the improper version of words all over the place. Obviously a typo here and there happens to everyone, and we're all guilty of more complex English mistakes such as run on sentences, of fragments, and who knows what else...but man, it really is hard to take someone seriously when they use "ur" or the wrong your! Or- my favorite peeve- using an apostrophe in a plural word. I suppose what underlies my (and I expect others', if they thought about it) strong dislike of it is that to me it's indicative of their overall competency, and the fact that society as a whole makes these mistakes worries me a little! Fortunately what I think doesn't matter much, but that's kind of my take on why it bothers grammar nazis so much.

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    2. "OR fragments". My typo for the day. :-)

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    3. Kirstyn, I highly doubt that either you or Kara are such 'grammar nazis' that you are annoying. Mainly those are people I see on on-line news websites and the comment boards. I feel certain the two of you will know will enough is enough so you don't come across as annoying.

      My pet peave along this line is when you see people that have terrible grammar and yet they are home schooling their kids. That is sad. Thankfully that also won't apply to the two of you. When/if you home school, at least your kids will have good teachers

      Betty Fig

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    4. Aw, thanks...We'll have to bookmark this and re-read it on a day eight years down the road on a bad day when we're feeling like our children will be ruined by us. :-D

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  4. Definitely a "Kara" rant :) my most recently despised grammar mistake: HIM and I... or HER and I... I was hearing it so much I started to question if I was the one saying it wrong! I love perfect grammar, though, I am not always perfect. :)

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