Thursday, December 02, 2010

Grammar

On Monday, Andrew chatted to me over IM to let me know he'd be later than usual. He tried to use his code-word but since he was typing with auto-correct on it came out all wrong.

3:45 PM

Andrew: Eel.

Me: Eel? Now, that is a new one. I wonder if it means anything like "eek" or if it means something entirely different.

Andrew: That should have been eek.

3:46 PM

Andrew: I'm waiting to metr.

Me: ?

Andrew: Meet with a professor.

Me: Wow. You just condensed "meet with a professor" into "metr?" Impressive.

Sometimes I have to suppress my urges to correct people. I'm not a grammar nazi by any means but there are certain things that make me wonder how anyone escaped elementary school, let alone college, without learning. Facebook is a treasure trove of atrocities.

For example, one of my friends recently took a hiatus from facebook. He disappeared at the end of September and just came back last week. One of his friends wrote on his wall:


"YOUR BACK!?...gasp"



I was absolutely itching to fill in the blank. Your back...what?

Your back...is broken.
Your back...is hairy.
Your back...is purple.
Your back...is funny.
Your back...is what?

What they meant was "You're back!?"

When I told Andrew that I was having a hard time restraining myself from commenting on this post he said, "Oh! I saw that, too, and almost wrote something but didn't."

Sometimes when you correct people's grammar they find it intimidating. I, myself, don't like being corrected if people only comment to correct my mistake—because people make mistakes...and it's facebook...not an English paper. I don't purposefully edit my blog or facebook stati and I'm sure they're riddled with errors, try as I might to incorporate everything I ever learned in grammar class (and, yes, I took one of those in college). If you comment with a funny story, though, in addition to a correction, I think that's acceptable.

For example, the other day my husband's cousin's facebook status was:

"what a morning...having a cooky neighbor had finally impacted us in some form."


And thought, "Awesome. Someone delivered some cookies to her. I love it when that happens."

Not that I necessarily love it when people deliver cookies specifically to her but I simply love the idea of someone dropping off a steaming plate of cookies to someone having a bad morning in general. It's such a sweet gesture.

Imagine my confusion then when one of her friends said:

"Yeah, we were wondering what the heck was going on....still not sure...."

And she answered:

"well, our neighbor next door shot a gun twice this morning and nearly scared us to death. not sure why she did it..or who/what she was shooting at...but there have been police here all morning with drug dogs and the investigators and the like. oh and of course we have to give statements. bleh."

And so I said:

"That's insane! Though I think you mean kooky. Because at first I thought your neighbour had brought you some baked goods and was like, "What's so terrible about that?" :)"


And then I related to her the tale of the time our downstairs neighbour's brother tried to kill them


Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I purposefully go about my day trying hard not to correct other people's grammar but sometimes I just can't help myself. 


And, in case you're wondering, my biggest grammar pet peeves are mistaking words that everyone should know. your/you're, its/it's, they're/there/their, then/than that kind of a thing. If you need help learning the differences between these words there are a lot of great references online (specifically this, this, this, and this. And this. Who said learning couldn't be fun?).

1 comment:

  1. I like to be appalled at things like this, and then I read some idiot comment I made and realize that I'm just as stupid as I think these people are. *sigh* I'm always embarrassed when I get corrected, because I DO know better....I'm just plain flaky. (flakie?) :D

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