I didn’t choose the Grammar Nazi life – the Grammar Nazi life chose me.

The title of this post was originally meant to be ‘Lessuns in Grammer, Speling and Puncshuashun’. That didn’t work out because I was afraid that, had I clicked the ‘publish’ button, I would have to walk around with that disturbingly flawed title on my conscience for the rest of my life. I would probably get a big black X beside my name in my Life Book.  So I decided to stick with the clichéd but grammatically accurate ‘I didn’t choose the Grammar Nazi life – the Grammar Nazi life chose me.’

Please forgive my OCD.

I’m very ashamed to admit that I am a Grammar Nazi. I’d like to blame it on my genes, but I can’t. Alarmingly, my mother has no qualms about using ‘who’ in place of ‘whom’. It shocks me that my mother, my mother, would let her grammar fall into such a state of disarray. It’s having an impact on me as well. I’ve fallen into the bad habit of using semi-colons when colons will suffice. I have to do something about this before I end up being entirely gangsta. Just imagine – I may start scribbling ‘Mushroomsup rox!’ in library books.

I digress.

I’m not proud of being a grammar Nazi. It’s a disease. When somebody says “What is the time in your watch?” my immediate response is “by your watch.” I like to think that I’ve taught the inquirer something new, but in fact, all they’ve learnt is that they should never ask me for the time. It’s quite sad, actually. The inquirer has left to ask someone else for the time, while I’m sitting there all alone, telling myself, “It is half past three by my watch.” The same thing happens when someone says, “[Insert Name] and me will grab a bite on the way out.” I can barely stop myself from shaking them by the shoulders and weeping, “It’s [Insert name] and I, for heaven’s sakes! [Insert name] and I!

The average Grammar Nazi has no friends. When someone says, “I’m headed for the movie theatre, would you like to come?” the grammar Nazi is busy wondering whether it is ‘headed for’ or ‘headed to’. It’s a lonely life in Grammar-ny (If that didn’t make you think of Germany, I apologize – making terrible puns is another characteristic of a Grammar Nazi).

Every time I write a post for this blog, I spend most of my time rushing to check grammar forums to see if I have used a certain word correctly and in the right grammatical context. If I can’t find the answer on grammar forums, I’m forced to resort to asking my mother. I get on her nerves. Sometimes I get on my own nerves.

Spoken grammar is nothing when it comes to comparing it with written grammar – social networking is enough to propel a Grammar Nazi to suicide. I know I’m being a prick when I comment ‘*You’re, not your’ on injudiciously titled photographs, but I just can’t help it. I feel compelled to educate the world, no matter how unwilling my pupils are. The Grammar Nazi’s job is the most underappreciated job in the world.

One of my pet peeves is people using more than one exclamation mark or question mark at the end of a sentence. Why would they do that? Do they want to convey a level of surprise or inquisitiveness that one single exclamation/ question mark cannot handle? Is there a set of rules I haven’t heard about? Perhaps one exclamation mark indicates mild surprise, two indicate shock and horror, three indicate eye-popping disbelief, and so on. Still, I haven’t heard of these rules, and this trend shall continue to annoy me until someone draws my attention to such a set of rules. As a rule, all Grammar Nazis love rules.

I like the fact that Microsoft Word and most word processors have an ability to check spelling and grammar. I do have a bit of an ego when it comes to spelling and grammar check, though. I’m glad when Word corrects others, but I’m not so happy when it corrects me.  I hate those little red and green lines under the words and the ominous command ‘Fragment – consider revising.’ I’ll have you know, Microsoft Word, that I’m extremely partial to sentence fragments. They’re my favourite kind of grammatical error. If there’s one grammatical mistake I’ll tolerate, it’s a sentence fragment. Also, don’t try to correct my spelling errors. Seriously; you don’t want to mess with me.

I’ll conclude with some advice: Never ask a Grammar Nazi to proof read anything you’ve written. You WILL regret it. By the time the Grammar Nazi’s done, you’ll be weeping in despair. The Grammar Nazi will then comfort you by saying, “There, they’re, their.”

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31 comments on “I didn’t choose the Grammar Nazi life – the Grammar Nazi life chose me.

  1. A.J. Goode says:

    I think you and I may be related.

    Do you also cringe when you hear, “on accident” instead of “by accident”?

  2. Akshita says:

    There, they’re, their! This completely cracked me up! Now I’m worried about the grammar in my comments. 😀

  3. technophile9 says:

    This was so funny! I may be guilty of indulging in the who/whom fiasco. I will try and learn the difference (no, I am not asking you to explain the difference to me; I have been warned).

    I am also partial to the sentence fragment. 😛

  4. mynuttydubai says:

    Love this! (!!!!) 😉
    I, too, am a bit of a Grammar Nazi – and yes, some of my friends hate me for it… But then some of them use my abilities to proof read their dissertations (and they get distinctions for it!)
    I’m terrible when going into a restaurant; I proof read the darn menu 😳

    But you know what? I wouldn’t change it for anything – I love that I can spell correctly, and put a grammatically correct sentence together.

    Great post, thanks Mushroomsup 🙂

  5. […] I didn’t choose the Grammar Nazi life – the Grammar Nazi life chose me. (funnyfornothingblog.wordpress.com) […]

  6. I loved this. It took me a while, but I finally found the way to avoid becoming a social outcast: I get people to pay me to put red pen all over their documents.

  7. Charlotte M says:

    I’ve just nominated you for an award or two. Feel free to take it or leave it. You can find all the instructions here: http://itdoesnotdotodwellondreamsandforgettolive.com/2013/09/10/you-wait-a-year-for-an-award-and-four-come-along-at-once/

  8. Personally I think the sentence fragment should really be underlined in a different color. Kind of like, “Ok, you probably know this is a fragment and you’re cool with it and making a point or something, but we thought we’d highlight it for you just in case.” MS Word would be so much more helpful if it highlighted crap like things not cited correctly, or overuse of the same noun/verb. Anyway, I’m with you.

  9. michd74 says:

    You should never read my texts, you would cringe!! I have the fastest finger habit of sitting send before I proofread. I do however have a friend that you would get along well with. Please don’t read my blog. I am all heart but I am sure you will be appalled by my errors!

  10. lauren+emma says:

    Ugh I wish the grammar nazi life chose me, I gotta work on that stuff!

  11. Melisa says:

    Please don’t hand me a ticket should you ever catch me during one of your patrol duties. 😉

    English is not my mother tongue. You see, when I write in English it’s like lifting heavy weights. In Tagalog, we call this struggle “Nosebleed.”

    But I appreciate your job because I believe you’re a nice Nazi. 🙂

  12. dansortino says:

    I’m a grammar Nazi. I always have been. I love it!
    However, like you, I love the guilty pleasure of fragmented sentences. Having said that, I have another guilty pleasure; double question and exclamation marks.

    Yes, I know what you’re going to say, but I love the emphasis they portray. If a sentence or question can be read with or without the ferocity I intended, then a double exclamation or question mark goes in.

    Ok? Ok?? (See?)

    The question here though is this; do you double space after a full stop (or ‘period’), or not?

    • mushroomsup says:

      Glad to meet you, fellow Grammar Nazi!
      You know, you have a point there. The two question marks just bring an entirely new layer of meaning to the word ‘ok’ 😀 I suppose double question and exclamation marks are acceptable when used judiciously. There should be a rule forbidding everyone except Grammar Nazis from using them. 🙂
      Double space after a full stop? That’s blasphemy!

  13. […] I didn’t choose the Grammar Nazi life – the Grammar Nazi life chose me. […]

  14. It is a tough world out there for the Grammar Nazis. But they will prevail. They are the heroes the world needs, but not the heroes they want. Ha ha

  15. […] Then again, he was a bit of a grammar Nazi. […]

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