Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grammar Nazi

I will freely admit that I am a Grammar Natzi. But, honestly, don't the schools teach grammar, any more? Have they taken English out of the curriculum? Does anyone remember how to diagram sentences? Back at the dawn of time, when I was in school, every time we had to write a paper of any sort for any class, points were taken off for spelling and grammar. Not any more, apparently.

I find myself yelling at the television set many times a day, correcting grammar mistakes made by virtually everyone, from newscasts to commercials. I realize that my own grammar is not perfect, by any means, but there are a few basics that everyone should know. Aren't there???

I have several pet peeves concerning grammar usage.

For instance, the people who insist upon "continuing on", when they are actually just "continuing". Of course, they go "on." You can't continue back. By the same token, when you go back, you simply "revert." No one reverts forward, so there's no need to "revert back."

And, how about the use of "went" when you mean "gone." There's nothing correct about a sentence stating that "She has went to town to buy a apple." "A" apple? "A" apple? Noooooo. It's "AN" apple. "She has "gone" to town to buy "an" apple."

Consider the use of "I" and "me," "her" and "she," "me" and "myself". "Her" and me went to town. NO "She" and "I" went to town. They brought back some candy for him and "myself." NONONO. For him and "me." I bought candy for "myself." They bought candy for "me." It's not really that complicated.

Don't get me started on what political correctness has done for grammar. Time was when the word "man," used in certain situations, was a kind of generic word referring to "mankind" or "humankind" in general. In those cases, the word "man" was genderless. Stay with me, here.

Now, look what has happened because of political correctness run amok. Take the sentence, "Everyone knows "their" own name." This is wrong, wrong, wrong. But, it is widely accepted, because the proper form would be, "Everyone knows "his" own name." "Everyone" is singular. "Their" is plural. Consequently, the word "his" in the correct version, refers to "man" in the genderless sense, covering, well, everyone, male or female. If "everyone" refers to a roomful of only men, then "his" would be correct and refer to the gender of the listeners. Conversely, if "everyone" refers to an all-women group, then, "her" would be correct. Get it? Got it? Good.

I have only uncovered the tip of the grammatical iceberg, but I'm getting a migraine, and besides, if I listed all of the grammatical mistakes I hear every day, this blog would be much too long, and dull. So, I'll just assume that I have made my point, and shut up, now.

In another blog post, someday, I'll address my disgust with the total lack of knowledge of Geography among the younger generations. And, History. Or, not. I have a feeling that this way lies madness. I know it causes migraines.

Stay tuned.


Kay Dennison said...

It sounds as if the same bees inhabit our bonnets. Even among my blogging buddies I find those things and have an urge to send corrections.

When my son was in 4th grade his teacher sent a note home over something idiotic and it had a glaring spelling error so I got out my trusty red pen and circled it. I also made a point of seeing the principal (also an idiot).

lucylocket said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucylocket said...

Students are no longer taught to diagram sentences. That exercise taught me more about grammar than any other lessons.

Hearing the phrase, "I seen" drives me nuts. Helping words seem to have fallen by the wayside, too.

I posted a comment but had to delete it because a typo caused a glaring grammatical error, lol.

Darlene said...

It reminds me of a comment by a high school girl when the State was pushing for higher standards. The girl's response went something like this: "It don't matter anyhow. It don't have nothing to do with me." This was published in the paper under comments by the students who would be affected. Sigh!

Much to the surprise of my contemporaries, I never did have a class that taught me how to diagram a sentence. There were English classes that did so, but I was usually in a Journalism class or a literary class and diagramming a sentence wasn't required.

No wonder my sentence construction is so strange and my punctuation so bad. ;-)

Peggy said...

You are NOT alone in this!

"Where do you live at?" AT?! Morons! Do not end sentences with a preposition! It makes you sound THICK!

I hear your pain in these lines. It is my pain as well.

Grammar Nazi Party Member

kenju said...

I hate to see/hear bad grammar too, but I will readily admit that I have forgotten so much that I learned in school and find myself using poor grammar both when typing and orally.

Deanna said...

Students no longer need to know grammar or spelling. They just rely on computer spelling and grammar check.

I cringe when people end their sentences with "you know?"

My aunt, who was a Nun and an English teacher, would correct letters I sent to her and send them back to me! Now that is a grammar Natzi.

Tincanman said...

I share your pain and your headaches.

It wasn't too long ago I saw a sign at a Selma, Alabama fast food burger chain. It read "We Be Open Now".

I spent the remainder of my drive back to Arkansas trying to decide if I should laugh or cry.

Remember back to the dawn of time when correcting a mistake was actually considered a postive thing called teaching? Such corrections in today's world will get you labeled with the pejorative term grammar nazi.

Some days I just know I've lived too long.

Grayquill said...

That her, his, their, lost me. I am amazed you actually come and read my blog. I don't know any of those rules. The diagram sentance thing? Never saw it until my kids started doing it.
Some of us do the best we can and I am sorry our best is pretty lame.
Sorry to cause you so much frustration, it is not intentional.
I think I will now re-read your post a couple more times.

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