Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grammar Nazis Anonymous

Hi. My name is Kelley and I'm a Grammar Nazi.

I don't mean to be difficult, it's just that the butchering of language affects me corporally. Think of the reaction you'd get from rearranging the stuff of someone suffering from OCD. Yeah, it's like that. This can make my job difficult. Here are some recent examples:
  • Last week I got a call about two dogs running around a neighborhood. The caller said that the dogs were emancipated. I assume she meant emaciated but I spent the rest of the day pondering the morality of capturing an animal that was freed from bondage by its master.
  • The same woman called back later to tell me the dogs were "pedigrees." What?! Did she mean purebred? Which brings me to another pet peeve: referring to an animal full-blooded. They're all full of blood; anything less and they die! Purebred is the correct term (not pure-bread, which I actually saw on a sign for cocker spaniel puppies).
  • I'm always conflicted when people tell that they spaded their dogs. If they mean spayed that's good. However, if they literally mean spaded -- as in "used a garden tool upon" -- then I need to start a cruelty case right away!
  • I get notices of lost Chiwawas and Rockwilers and Shit Zoos all the time. If you can't spell the breed maybe you shouldn't own one. On the same note, there is no such thing as a miniature Doberman (it's a miniature pinscher).
  • I have a hard time containing myself when people tell me that they "could care less" what their neighbor says. I want to ask them if we should wait then, maybe until they no longer care at all. I don't. They wouldn't get it. By the way, these are the same people that make the "Are you too stupid to get a real job?" comments as I write them tickets.
  • I hate getting emails like "make sure 2 take care of the k9 in the kennel B4 U leave." I cringe. By the way, these are people with college degrees!
  • I can't stand it when people use the word "they" in place of he or she. Facebook does this. I'll get a message that says "It's Bob Smith's birthday. Leave Bob a message on their wall." (Thanks for dumbing down America even more Mr. Zuckerberg!) What happened to pronouns? Why does Elmo speaking in third person? This is as excruciating as  fingernails on a chalkboard. 
Look at it again. Slowly.
Is this nitpicking? Yes. I try to ignore things. It's not easy. I blame my mother. She was (is?) a grammar Nazi too. I can still hear her: "Pictures are hung; people are hanged." Her voice has come out of my mouth as I yell to my children: "Snuck is not a word. The past tense of sneak is sneaked." Don't even get me started on conversate.

I wonder, is it better or worse that I'm just as hard on myself? I read -- and reread -- my posts constantly looking for errors. I have actually fixed a post six months later, even though only ten people have looked at it. (And I wonder if someone caught that typo.) I obsess over comma placement. I've Googled "lie or lay" more than once just to make sure I get it right. Who and whom keep me awake at night. I've got issues! I'd take drugs but some of those made up names stress me out even more. Abilify, Seroquel, Xanex, Zoloft -- it's like a Scrabble game gone amok!

Along with being a Grammar Nazi, I am also a huge fan of puns and parodies. This video had me laughing so hard that I had to watch it several times to catch everything. Hope you enjoy it too.
 True confessions time: Are you a Grammar Nazi too? Do you live with one? Let me know. -- K