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Broken Chains


Confessions of a Twenty-Something Grammar Snob

I confess...I am a grammar snob. I scrutinize and judge and disparage others' grammar to an almost-distracting degree. Very often I can't concentrate on the content of a piece of writing because I can't get over the grammatical mistakes. Things like unnecessary apostrophes or quotation marks, misplaced commas, incomplete sentences and poor word choices tempt me to question the writer's intelligence, and thus, whether I can trust the content of his/her writing. Horrible, I know. Just because English and grammar weren't an author's forte doesn't mean he/she doesn't have something truly worthwhile to say. However. Kids! Pay attention in during English class, please! It will serve you WELL in the future, when you have your own blog, or want to apply for a job, or have to write up (not writeup, see below) an event for your church newletter.

My current pet peeve in the grammar arena? The use of particular, common words as VERBS when they are NOT verbs. For example, the word "pickup." I consider this a NOUN, to be used in such sentences as, "Pickup starts at noon," or "Your pickup is blocking my car." NOT to be used as "pickup your donuts here." No, folks, that would be properly written as "pick up your donuts here." See the difference? There's an all-important space there that signifies a verb. What does "pickup your donuts here" mean, exactly?


I'm not sure what this apparent downward spiral in proper grammar usage signifies...lack of attention, laziness, poor teaching...any ideas?

How about a deal? I'll promise to keep my Disparaging Grammar Snob Remarks to myself if you promise to be a little more thoughtful when you write. Deal?

Next grammarian topic: misplaced commas.


  • Confession of a kindred spirit: I copy edit bulletins sometimes during church! And I still occasionally correct James, though he claims that you stopped correcting him after he gave you one of his "looks." Is that true?

    My grandpa gave me for Christmas the book "Eats Shoots and Leaves," which is supposed to be a kind of parody on common grammar mistakes. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Another pet peeve of mine: the new text messaging/instant messaging grammar. Instead of, "Hi, how are you?" you get: "how r u?" Not only is correct grammar proper; it's also polite!

    Well, I'll stop my rampage. I must say, though, that God keeps me humble because occasionally when I'm reading something I've written at 3a.m., I find that I've used "their" instead of "there" (gasp!) or "to" instead of "too." I can't fathom what my mind was doing when I made those mistakes, but it does remind me that I'm fallible, even in the world of grammar!

    By Blogger Molly, at 10:39 AM  

  • Hey, did you scrolldown to see the comment I left about your personality profile?

    You know, James actually claimed that his grammar was better than yours...for a split second...and then he recanted, saying, "What was I thinking?"

    By Blogger goodnight moon, at 1:53 AM  

  • What a snarky little admission. My owner is just such a twenty-something grammar snob as well. She can't even DATE a guy with poor grammar; she says it makes her question his intelligence. A particular problem with the attractive recent immigrants.

    By Blogger Fiona T. Cat, at 2:22 PM  

  • RM: Hmmm...after one of his looks? Perhaps his "look" coincided with the Holy Spirit's working in my heart to make me realize I was just being rude. I will never admit that it was his "look"!! :)

    GM: Um, ok, what WAS James THINKING??!! His Korean/Queens-produced grammar just doesn't make the cut. Sorry, James! :)

    By Blogger american girl, at 12:10 PM  

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