To the Opponents of "Grammar Nazis"

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A word of caution to those who vilify correction. And no, I don't bother with grammatical errors.

 

To the Opponents of "Grammar Nazis"

For years, watching the internet and a few other places, I have seen a very strange thing. Maybe it isn't so strange but sad.

Yes, there are typos; we all make them and from time to time fail to catch them. These include bad or missing punctuation (especially resulting in run-on sentences), failure to capitalize (use upper case letters), misspelled words, and incorrect words (such as your for you're which may be more than a typo).

And there are people whose native language is not English. It is likely this problem is international, regardless of specific languages. On the internet, we are very tolerant of people who are doing very well considering English is a second language.

To the point for this post. There are well-meaning people being maligned as "grammar Nazis" who are anything but. Of course, there are people who get a cheap thrill jabbing at someone for errors. They are not the point here. Consider the ones who, even if somewhat misguided, really seek to help. They very much want to see people they admire not persist in common errors and are themselves wounded by flaming charges of "obnoxious" or "bullying," "grammar Nazis."

A particularly egregious offender was a Bible teacher who had a fairly strong following. The gentleman almost never used upper case letters and often failed to properly punctuate. This was a man seen as learned, educated, yet his text screamed highschool dropout. There were occasional followers who would offer a correction such as using the possessive "their" instead of "there." The gentleman making the very basic error often would ask, "Did you come here to learn or to teach?" He posted that to people who were grateful to him for what he taught them; they cared for him. Surely their intentions were to help him improve his appearance, return a favor. But no, he was above correction and was himself the obnoxious one.

"Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. --Proverbs 15:10

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." --Proverbs 12:15

"Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince." --Proverbs 17:7

"A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool." --Proverbs 17:10

"A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself." --Proverbs 18:2

"Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words." --Proverbs 23:9

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." --Proverbs 26:4

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. --Proverbs 26:5

"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him." --Proverbs 26:12

Certainly, the general intent of these verses is in directions larger than language grammar but do not be hasty to reject a principle.

And do not be hasty to be obnoxious to a dear soul who seeks to help you improve your appearance. You should not add a toxic reaction to a general ignorance of an extremely minor matter in which you already don't look good. Even a conceited soul should want to not look stupid. And gratitude for correction should be a virtue. Be thankful to those who seek to improve your image and to those being jerks. You gain from the correction of both.

Don't worry; I don't go around correcting grammatical errors. There is too much danger people who approve their ignorance would turn on me and "rend" me, much as do swine who have pearls cast before them. Yes, the pearls and swine example is extreme, but it serves a purpose here.

One more thing should be considered. From time to time over the years, I have had an exchange with someone who readily avered he or she won't read anything rife with grammatical errors. Typically, these are "upper crusts," educated and successful people. Foolishness might contend if they are going to fall over "a few" grammatical errors, they aren't so (fill in your word). Okay, we get it; you aren't concerned with how you appear beyond getting accolades from others incapable of higher character...at least in this matter.

Again, don't make yourself look like a narcissist fool by calling names and making charges at anyone who only wants you to look good.

Comments
S Hauk 2 yrs

Totalitarianism take many forms. For historical reenactors it can be costuming. Extreme examples would be making participants shuck down to nothing to make sure their underwear "is not" if that was typical of the time, or if it is historically accurate. As for language, please see if you can make sense of this: Cn y ndrstnd ths vwllss sntnce? I think you can if you take a bit of time. Various groups of people at different times in history have made moves to keep their languages "pure". Jews added diacritic marks to their basic letters many centuries ago because dialects varied and the elders wanted no misunderstanding to occur. In France, they have, or used to have, a group of men who approve or disapprove what new words actually go into a French language dictionary. They are trying to prevent slang and vulgarism from destroying the purity of their language. As for English, the language which has borrowed the most of any, how many students today could tell you if fir meant an animals hair of a tree? What we speak around our friends and to communicate with other members of society does not coincide at times with "proper" grammar. That is fine, but we should attempt to learn a basic primary grammar, especially spelling, that bridges the gaps of slang and inner ethnic communication.
For me, the most irritating about computer automatic spell checks is that they often correct me when I am not wrong and will not take that I know that no may not be the answer.

 
 
Michael Deangelo 3 yrs

Fuc'm we all make mistakes - That's why they put erasers on pencils.