I'm being infected by you people! or: Inappropriate Grammar Nazism

I was playing this computer game (free, I might add… aw heck, it’s www.gunbound.net, a worms clone that’s, well, fun. :)), and it’s got this in game chat function. Now, it’s a team game, and according to “social norms”, 2 people should’t gang up on one. (Leaving aside what’ll actually win you the game, of course). Then comes the mindboggling phrase.
<Grammar, 733t 5p34k and capital letters edited to save the eyes of readers>
13yo kiddie (I hope): You cynical bastard!

Me: ?? You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means. Do you?

13yo: It means disregarding social norms, of course

Me: … (at this point I alt tab out to get the dictionary.com definition)

Me: Hey dude, check your dictionary. Cynical means “Expressing jaded or scornful skepticism or negativity”

13yo: Oh yeah? I’ve got one right here! It says disregarding social norms!

Me: … No.

13yo: Well, didn’t you know there are different meanings to words, and that different dictionaries give different meanings for the same words?

Me: … (Speechless)

Me: DUDE! What would be the point of dictionaries then?!

<Crickets chirping>

Me: You know, I think the word you’re looking for is psychopathic.

If you can teach a person to understand a new word, or disabuse them of some incorrect notion they have regarding it, you have done them a favor, whether they will admit it or not. You will have done something that the schools can’t, or won’t. So, in my humble opinion, you have neither been inappropriate nor a grammar Nazi.

Yup, you did well. No inappropriateness there. Just keep on fighting that ignorance. 'Sides, it’s not grammar Nazism – more like word usage Nazism. :slight_smile: