Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Obsessively Grammatical Correctness Can Kill

For as long as I can remember I've been obsessively grammatically correct. I strive for this perfection and abuse the power of spell-check. Others, however, not so much.
Granted, I've been taught APA, AP, BS, CRAP, and all sorts of interesting ways that are the "correct" way to write a paper. I've conformed to the instructors' wishes, reluctantly, trudging and counting each space, word, alphanumeric capitalization, you name it.
My biggest and most obvious pet peeve is how certain things are spoken/typed/portrayed in an incredibly inaccurate manner.
Take my mother. Love her, don't get me wrong, but her linguistic skills are severely lacking in some areas. And she's a teacher. (K-2, special education, but still) Her favorite word is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Unrelentlessly. It simply does not exist. No spell-check on Earth recognizes it. You have the choice of: unrelenting(ly), relentlessness, relentlessly. You get the idea. If you break down the word, it's really a double negative (also a pet peeve of mine)... I've corrected her for at least the last 20 years to no avail. *Sigh*
She also enjoys butchering medical terms... Like Urologist. It magically transforms to Urinologist. I correct her on this too, also to no avail. *Double sigh*
But enough on my mom. Let's pick on some others...
Thanks to the new digital age, evry1 (<--- this friggin' word PASSED spell-check by the way) compacts their words to conserve their 140 character limits. And it's showing up everywhere.
I get emails (they have become a very lazy means of communication) constantly from relatives with gross errors. Substituting know for no, now for no, tho for though, thru for threw or through, are for our, their for they're. You get the idea.
My husband is supremely guilty of this. As are some members of his family... I find myself spell-checking all his out-going mail for him, hovering like a vulture over his shoulder, pointing out each error... I'm a nag, what can I say.
Then there's those individuals that abuse the power of the Shift key. Like TYPING IN ALL CAPS, or adding an exclamation point to the end of! each! sentence
Can't stand it, I tell you, can't stand it.
It's like the ALL CAPS person in chronically yelling at me. I shrink in my seat and avert my eyes whilst reading it. Or the exclamation! person! is! overtly! ecstatic! over! everything!
It gets overwhelming. Very.
There was just recently an article articulating the geographical differences between people that tweet. "Sumtin" versus "Summthin" etc. Of course, there have always been geographical markers for certain parts of the English-speaking world. Theatre versus theater. Color versus colour.
I've also have had certain ways to spell or speak drilled in my brain. Take spelling together. Break it down to to-get-her. Or you always say zero for the number, not oh. That little diddy would literally cost me money each time I slipped up. My former boss got rich, quick.
However, I've succeeded this far with typing the way I speak, thankyouverymuch. Accomplishing all this with two collegiate degrees under my Belt of Invisibility.


  1. You ARE SO RIGHT!! I can't stand all of this! So annoying!

    Sorry for my smugness. I am an idiot. I actually do agree with everything you said, but I hope I don't fit into any of your annoyance categories.

  2. I definitely know what you mean. I have a lot of family members that are extremely guilty of all of the errors above. ALL OF THEM.