Saturday, 19 September 2015

Pedantic Idol

I am not a grammar Nazi.
Nor am I one of those language Luddites who think the 'rules' they parroted at school ... the ones their parents had their knuckles rapped over ... the same rules the nuns used to pull their grandfather's ear for forgetting...  I don't believe those rules should never change. 
I believe language is organic.
And while I'll confess to being a complete and hopeless David Crystal groupie, I'll shout from the rooftops that I have zero-tolerance for Lynn Truss and her stick-up-her-arse zero-tolerance approach to English grammar and punctuation. Nobody else would get a look in if she entered Pedantic Idol.

I'm also willing to testify that I'm just a bit fond of Constance Hale, who...shriek ugh omagod... is American.  Worse yet... She's Californian... 
Surely this zee-saying interloper can have nothing valuable to offer on the sanctity of the grammar of the Queen's English..
I mean...
American English?
Is that even a thing?

Well... cop this. I totally love the smell of this quotation from Ms Hale's Sin and Syntax in the morning:

The flesh of prose gets its shape and strength from the bones of grammar.

Amen to that!



  1. Oh dear I must admit to being a little bit of a grammar fiend. I do accept that language will change, you only have to look at all the modern words in the dictionary to see that. Punctuation can make a big difference to interpretation so I'm a bit hot on that and I text in full words. Can't help it, it's a bad habit of mine according to my kids! Poor literacy skills in job applications don't impress me either. I once had an application where the personal statement contained lowercase i right through it. I don't know how you'd even get your pc/laptop to do that! The applicant did admit to having prepared it in a hurry but really? No time for proof reading or a simple spelling and grammar check? Needless to say they were unsuccessful in their application. Now hubby takes the whole thing to another level. He really is a grammar nazi! lol

    1. Grammarphile is good.
      Grammar Nazi not so much.
      My teritiary students used to say that I was probably the only person on the planet who got excited teaching about The difference between an en and an em dash.
      Job applications with errors.... Eeek
      How not to impress!

  2. I have a grammar fetish. Or at least irritation over carelessly put together sentences with scant regard for meaning, sometimes.

    I put my palm up, then bring my forefinger and thumb together and say wow! Love your choice of quote today, Wendy!

  3. Grammar is my thing. I love it. And I'm a firm believer that you have to know the "rules" before you can break them.
    I am currently editing a PhD in the history/sociology field field and the writer does not know how to use commas, semi-colons, or ellipses... Grrrrrrr

  4. Ha ha I typed errors in both those responses! Some editor I am!

  5. What a great quote.there are some grammatical errors that I find very hard to ignore! :-)

    1. I love that quote. It's one of those things I wish I'd said first.