Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ok, so I'm a grammar nerd . . .

Very little irritates me as much as misspelled words and misplaced punctuation. In school I was known as "the walking dictionary" by my classmates because I usually knew (or could figure out) the correct spelling of obscure words. It just came naturally -- in my family, you were considered strange if you didn't read the dictionary and encyclopedia for fun.

I have always hated reading things with poor grammar. In college I had classes where we had to read each others' papers. Some of them had so many errors I could only get through by editing as I read. One was so bad that I was convinced the guy turned in his first typed draft without proofreading. Grrrrrr.

Even online, typos (such as "int he") don't bother me nearly as much as misspellings. A lot of people misspell "definite" and "separate" these days, usually as "definate" and "seperate", and it drives me crazy!!! I want to reach into the internet and make those people spell it right!

Signs and publications are the worst offenders. Several years ago I was reading an article about needles, and they misspelled "needle"!! I used to love Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but I finally got fed up when they would print articles with poor grammar.

A few years ago I came across a book which struck a chord with me : "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation", by Lynne Truss. This morning I was introduced to two great blogs on the subject. The first is The Grammar Vandal, whose author carries a sharpie and stick-on commas to fix broken signs. :o) The other is The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Both are good for a giggle, even if you're not an unredeemed grammar nerd.

7 comments:

Krazy Kate Designs said...

To funny! I read an article this evening in Reader's Digest about a guy that has a mission in life to correct all you're talking about. Guess he had to put it on hold for a bit after correcting a historic sign, then paying a huge fine and paying to restore the sign. I think the article said he was banned from National Parks for a year too or something like that.

Chris Stone said...

Oh dear. I must drive you crazy!

jazziesjunque said...

Now I'm going to be afraid to type anything because I know I make mistakes. :) You are so funny.

Right As Rain Creations said...

Hahahah, I love the misplaced quotation mark blog too! I've never seen the other one - thanks for the link! :)

Debs said...

I've read a couple of the books by Lynne Truss, and I was going to suggest the "blog" of unnecessary quotation marks.

JunkDrawer Kathy said...

Oh, same for me. It's a disease! I have trouble with 'separate' and the only way I get it right is to remember it has two a's and two e's.

Kylie said...

To remember the spelling of separate, I just play the Lyrics to Red Hot Chilli Peppers' 'Other Side' through my brain as I'm typing it. They enunciate each syllable clearly: "...Sep-ar-rate my si-i-i-de..."
To remember the spelling of definite, as I'm typing it, I say to myself, "de-finite", pronouncing the word, finite. It works every time. :)