An Issue Of ‘Grammatic’ Proportions

Lately I’ve been stressed. It’s irrational and odd, but stress none the less. It’s something I endure every time I come online. The cause? Bad grammar.

I know, I know- how utterly ridiculous. I can just imagine my friends laughing at me, purposely spelling things incorrectly the next time they message me, just to take the mick. It’s pedantic, and slightly crazy and yet I continue to cringe every time I see a spelling mistake on the internet.

It amazes me that the two random commentators arguing in a comment thread on an election post can tell you all the (mostly useless) information on the differences between Trump and Clinton, but don’t know the difference between ‘you’re’ and ‘your’- you quote Friends on your profile, dude, has Ross Geller not taught you anything?

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Twelve years of school should have been more than sufficient, but I guess no one told me life was gonna be this way.

Now I’m not a huge tight-arse, but I do like language rules. That certain inanimate objects can be ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ is- dare I say it?- exciting to me (I do have a social life, I swear). I like the structure and formality it brings to a piece of writing when rules are adhered to. Especially when everything online is so ‘casj’, and ‘lit af’, it’s a nice change seeing proper sentence structure.

OK, so perhaps I am a little tightly wound. Maybe I should cut the lazy buggers some slack- after all, social media is an environment for millennials to run free (like an Arts degree) so being tenacious about this topic is taking me nowhere. But I won’t excuse mistakes made in so-called journalism. So far I’ve seen big media presences throwing in apostrophes where they don’t belong or basing spelling on the way the writer perceives pronunciation instead of what it actually is. I’ve also witnessed news websites publishing articles full of typos, incorrect syntax, and incomplete sentences. It’s maddening and an insult to the profession. And it’s a growing trend. The sad thing is, it’s not confined to small-time publications; national newspapers and other critically acclaimed publications are suffering from the bad grammar virus too. I tell you, it’s a shame!

So yes, you may think me an auntie who gets her kicks from incredibly boring things (and I’ve been told it’s all downhill from here). But just like a man in a fitted tuxedo, or a woman in red lipstick, there’s something sharp and fierce about a well-written sentence. You don’t have to be the next Oscar Wilde, but just don’t be the next Rachel Green. Maybe you’ll read this and roll your eyes at the over-the-top lament for what I consider to be the decaying of the English language. Maybe you’ll say I should of thought of a better topic (in which case I’d advise you to read this again). And maybe you’re like me, and will be happy to see that the irritation gnawing at you every time you open a Unilad comment thread is finally taken seriously by someone. In the meantime, I’ll happily carry the title of ‘Grammar Nazi’, correcting one Facebook post at a time.

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