As some of you may know I have a BA degree in English and before that I attended a Grammar School for seven glorious years. Alright, alright let the stereotyping begin!
Contrary to what you might think, I’m not some timid recluse who seeks solace in libraries, who gets high off of sniffing books or who prefers the company of fictional characters as opposed to real human beings. I don’t wear over-sized glasses, a thick woollen cardigan or tie my hair in two plaits. I don’t randomly quote Shakespeare in my everyday speech. And no I don’t carry a pocket-sized dictionary and thesaurus in my bag (I prefer to fill it with crumpled tissues and expired train tickets thank you very much 😊).
However, I will confess that I sometimes find it painful to communicate over instant messaging apps and texting. And that’s because a lot of people (even my closest friends) give me unwanted anxiety through their inability to string a sentence together, void of any errors. Especially when talking to someone new, even if they’re the most pleasant person to speak to in person, constant and recurring grammatical slip-ups over text can be a real turn-off. Since when did proper use of grammar become a rare and desirable trait as opposed to an assumed skill?!
I believe that being able to speak and write eloquently is an attractive sign of intelligence, you’d hardly expect someone who says something like, ‘Hows you bruv? Were you at?’ to be the brightest of sparks. So as you’ve probably guessed I’m a bit of a Grammar Nazi, but I’m proud of it! I’m not saying that I write in proper English all the time; dishing out semi colons and ellipses over Whatsapp is definitely not a good look, but on the whole I do try to keep my grammar and punctuation in check.
So below I’ve listed six common annoyances that I’ve come across all too often and which have the power to really get under my skin:
- Misspelling of words in general is a major no-no.
- Confusing homophones (words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings and/or spellings) like: ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘there, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, ‘too’ and ‘to’.
- Using ‘literally’ in place of ‘figuratively’. I’m pretty sure that your head did not just ‘literally’ explode, there’d be a lot more of a mess on the floor right now if it had.
- Throwing ‘irregardless’ into an argument, sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not a word.
- Saying in frustration, ‘I could care less’ makes no sense, I’m pretty sure you meant ‘I could not care less’
- Now I’m sure that my fellow Brits will appreciate this final one. Incorporating nonsensical slang words into speech and writing like: ‘init’, ‘skanked’, ‘prang’, ‘peak’, ‘wasteman’, ‘tings’, ‘bait’, ‘sket’, ‘peng’, ‘blud’, ‘bare’, ‘piff’, ‘lowe it’, ‘beef’, is not cool. Stop speaking this ‘rudeboy language’ it makes no sense and no one over the age of 21 knows what you are saying! I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve had to resort to using Urban Dictionary to translate some of the things that my younger cousins have come out with, it’s exhausting trying to hold a conversation with you people so just stop it, please!
Ok maybe I’m being overly pedantic, but hey that’s just me. Do you know how to best comfort a Grammar Nazi when they’re feeling a bad-grammar-induced migraine coming on? Pat them on the back whilst repeating there, they’re, their in a soothing tone of voice 😊.