Calliope Writing


My Inner Self Might Be a Grammar Nazi
June 11, 2015, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Grammar, Language | Tags: , , ,

Update 6/16/15: Taylor Swift is not a fan of grammar Nazis.

Grammar Nazi 2According to Urban Dictionary, a grammar Nazi is “someone who believes it’s their duty to attempt to correct any grammar and/or spelling mistakes they observe.”

While I certainly don’t lurk on blogs and social media, writing snarky comments to show others how dumb they are, I definitely notice when I see a grammar mistake, whether it be on your tweet, her vlog description, or his article in a print magazine. And deep down, I want so badly to call offenders out on their errors (yes, even in public forums). But I don’t.

Not yet, anyway.

History

No one’s exactly sure how the term “grammar Nazi” came about, but it’s speculated that the first time it was used (really the first documentation of its use) was on January 18, 1991, in the Usenet group comp.sys.apple2. So to whom can the phrase be attributed?

Unfortunately, the individual is known as nothing other than “The Unknown User.” After a group member commented “Ok, I posted a message on this subject earlier with sort of a ‘rediculous’…” The Unknown User responded, “ridiculous. I’m a card carrying member of the Spelling and Grammar Nazis of America.”

…And Some Take it a Little Too Seriously

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on an…interesting…situation in Moscow involving Alexei Pavlovsky, local coordinator of Total Dictation, a Russian spelling and grammar contest.

According to Pavlovsky, Russian authorities questioned him about a couple of slightly bizarre topics:

“First they started asking me about Total Dictation and my other social initiatives, then they politely asked me what I know about ‘grammar Nazis’ and if they sponsored my activities. They also asked what feelings I have toward people who make [grammatical] mistakes and whether I have a desire to destroy them.”

Whoa. NSA, if you’re reading, I am not a Nazi of any sort, and I do not encourage fascism.

Grammar Nazi 1

Now on to the Lighter Side

Please enjoy.

Grammar Nazi 3

The video gets bonus points for its Oxford comma joke.

You Can Be a Grammar Nazi, Too!

wikiHow has a handy-dandy guide with only seven steps.

My favorite of the seven? Number three:

Listen carefully to what a speaker says and ask for clarification if you need it.This will ensure that you fully understand what they said and aren’t criticizing them for mistakes they didn’t make. Use your manners, of course, and do not interrupt them while they are talking.

Need more proof that you’re a grammar Nazi? There are plenty of social media pages for that. No joke. Grammar Nazi Party is just one–a Facebook page with the description, “We are overwriting the bad reputation of Grammar Nazis everywhere and making a good name for ourselves as helpers of the Internet!”

You can't convince me that this kitty is evil.

You can’t convince me that this kitty is evil.

What’s your opinion? Devil or angel? Are grammar Nazis just good Samaritans who want to help others achieve grammatical glory, or are they assholes who want to make other people feel stupid?


16 Comments so far
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I write and edit for a living (in addition to doing the novel thing). It’s what I do. Learn to spell and speak your mother tongue, or you will be mocked thusly. 😛

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Comment by sepiastories

Yes. More of this.

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Comment by Katrina Robinson

I tend to fall into the category of grammar tsk-er (more under the breath mutterings than a full in your face onslaught towards people who repeatedly make grammar mistakes). Your post is really fascinating to read. I do have a lot of admiration for folks who have studied and can write English although it may not be their first language. On the internet, it’s really tricky to differentiate, at times, the ones who grew up speaking English from the ones who are still learning it as a second language. So, definitely, politely correcting bad grammar is always the best way to go. Thanks for the great post. My OCD sister would absolutely adore you! (and yeah, you better believe I’ll be scanning your future posts for ANY grammatical inconsistencies and will “politely” correct you). 🙂 Peace, Rose

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Poet Rummager

After I published this post, I thought about that–how I would have to proofread each post just to make sure…because someone like you will certainly call me out on it. 😉

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Katrina Robinson

Be afraid; be very, very afraid 😀 No, I’ll just tsk under my breath and if I do joyously call you out on it, I’d do so via email. God knows, I make mistakes all the time. I’m spellchecking this response as I write. Ha! Carry on…love your blog!!

Liked by 2 people

Comment by Poet Rummager

Thanks so much! Love yours too. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Katrina Robinson

This post was just two funny. I’d like to read stuff like this everyday. (Please stop hitting your head on your desk. I’m joking.)

Liked by 2 people

Comment by BunKaryudo

AAAAGGGHHHHH! Oh–you’re joking. Whew. 😉

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Katrina Robinson

I laughed at the video and appreciated the visual pun on the kitty’s armband.

Personally, I use the Oxford comma but would not dream of hassling those who do not.

Some of my own grammar goofs are typos or much like typos. I may consider two ways to word something and then accidentally use half of one and half of the other. If I read something that looks wrong (and is confusing enough to mention at all), I ask myself whether the mistake might be typo-like. If so, I would rather suggest that a typo may have escaped proofreading than suggest that the writer may have fumbled some grammar.

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Mellow Curmudgeon

I’m glad you liked it! I tend to just keep my mouth shut about it, unless it’s a professional situation, of course. 🙂

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Comment by Katrina Robinson

Heil, Comma! Comma being short for Commander-in-Grammar.

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Karina Pinella

BEST COMMENT EVER.

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Katrina

😀

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Comment by Karina Pinella

I should of read this more careful like

😉

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Comment by Graham Stephen

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Katrina

Haha, yes!

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Graham Stephen




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