I pit people who have to constantly correct your grammar

Not to sound too harsh here…but seriously, why the hell do some people feel that it is their solemn duty to always correct other peoples grammar or spelling? I know they usually open with “not to be nitpicky”, or “sorry for my English teacher type actions”, but what exactly do you get from doing this? I have a friend who does this to me all the damn time and I hardly ever talk to him anymore. “It’s whom, not who”, shit like that. Let’s just decide that not everyone in the known universe has a masters degree in English Language Studies and move on like freaking adults mmkay? It’s even worse when you have a board like this and you have people from different parts of the world all using it. Some people use English as a second or third language, and nitpicking on their grammar constantly can’t be helping their self esteem any. Seriously, why do people always insist on nitpicking on other peoples grammar and spelling?
ETA: I know I’m gonna probably get flamed to hell and back for posting this, but I would really like to know what the hell people get out of doing this.

I read your entire post and I don’t see one thing in there I would nitpick in a casual conversation, so I agree with you that this is a rude habit of people. The only time I do nitpick is really egregious examples. For a while around here people were saying their car had “breaks”. This annoyed me so much I finally had to say something.

But yes, I agree, correcting people all the time is rude. Did I ask you to proof my language?

[linguo the grammar robot]

I do not wish to sound too harsh here.


Now see, the breaks/brakes thing I can understand needing to correct after it’s been misused a number of times. But the constant is/are, its/it’s, minor spelling and crap like that just drives me bonkers.

And for the record, I’ve gotten in the habit of always running my posts through a spellchecker before submitting them in case of minor spelling mistakes. This board has made me paranoid about my use/butchering of the English language.

I agree.
Leave off the “I don’t want to be picky.” comment too. They very well mean to be picky. It bugs them,

when they see you leave a sentence dangling. :stuck_out_tongue:

shakes his whoopin stick at BrainGlutton “don’t make me come over there”

**I pit people who have to constantly correct your grammar **

You mean "I pit people who have constantly to correct your grammar’. Don’t split your infinitives.

Winston Churchill once characterized this kind of nitpicking as “nonsense up with which I will not put”.


You mean “I pit people who constantly have to correct your grammar.” Don’t split your verb phrase. And in “have to correct”, “to correct” is not an infinitive.
ETA: Checking post carefully for grammatical errors . . .

Simple. I am better than you. Neener.

There is no real rule in English about not splitting infinitives. There’s an imaginary one, derived from Latin grammar, where infinitives couldn’t be split because they were one word. But in English it often makes sense to calmly, carefully, and comprehensively split infinitives.

You see all manner of correction here, some are from well-meaning folks and others, like one I observed recently, are just from pretentious asses. I really don’t mind the former and certainly am pleased to see that the health care professionals, historians, attorneys, scientists and the like here who also offer advice and correction have rarely seen fit to emulate the latter.

See…this kind of stuff is why I keep coming back to the SD message board. I freaking LOVE this place.

(seriously, not being sarcastic or anything, I really do love this place)

Now, carry on, please.

Yes, and they should loose the attitude!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. That one shows up all the time and peeves me.

As a teacher of English as a foreign language, it’s my job to correct people’s grammar. However, this has had the (strange?) effect of making me LOATHE to do it outside of the classroom. I guess I need a break. :slight_smile:

The only thing I will ever correct native speakers on (because it REALLY annoys me) is: “I could care less.” That damn sentence just doesn’t make sense!!



PS - My favorite nitpick - a tech writer of my acquaintance once returned a document with the notation “anal-retentive should be hyphenated”.

My favorite correction, probably apocryphal:

A student turns in a paper on Amy Robsart that declares “She was lying prostitute at the foot of the staircase.” The teacher returns it with the comment, “You must learn to distinguish a fallen woman from one who has merely slipped.”

Stephen Pinker offers up an explanation: it’s sarcasm. As in, “As if there were anything else I could care less about.” I’m a little skeptical of that explanation, but otherwise it’s no different to me than any other rote phrase people use that make no sense when thought about.

Myself, I make a distinction between spelling and grammar. Grammar ain’t always so cut and dry, but spelling generally is, and I don’t really have any patience for negligence, particularly when text is the chosen medium of communication. That said, I don’t correct spelling outside of my job unless it’s directly related to the point being made. It leads to nothing but defensiveness and wasted time. Course, my job is proofreader, and if I see egregious misuse of apostrophes, I will let the writer know about it. (“Look at the Applebee’s of the world”? What the hell, people?)

I will admit to doing this IRL.
The Kid always asks “Can I” rather than “May I” and it drives me bonkers.

I also twitch when I hear people say “liberry” versus library and “liddle” versus little.

However, I am aware that I abuse apostrophes and that I overuse (). I’m too old to be learned new stuff.

I guess I should get at least an honorable mention:

Well…it should be! :slight_smile:

I am the least anal-retentive person in the world, but that one bugs me because no one seems to know the rule anymore!

(And let’s not get started on using “I” as a direct object, as in “give that ball to Joe and I” ACK!)