Wednesday, August 21, 2013

5 Signs You May Be The Grammar Police

We, like many others, are somewhat fond of being correct when it comes language. We also thrive on correcting people and that sense of smug self-satisfaction that comes with telling someone they're not only wrong, but that you have taught them something.

The Grammar Police don't get cool hats or horses, sadly.
Today we're looking at a few tell-tale signs that you are part of the most obnoxious level of grammatical prescriptivism, known as the grammar police. Below we have listed the most commonly found symptoms in those who have an acute case of headuparsium, which is a word we just made up.

1: Did you find our made-up terminology offensive?

If you winced or your body convulsed at the sound of headuparsium, then the odds are that you're the worst kind of grammar police. W're talking about those who are incapable of realising that language is a tool for communicating messages and ideas and instead dwell on tiny details, effectively killing any conversation they are involved in.

2: Do you stop people mid-sentence to correct their grammar or word usage?

You're such an obnoxious follower of the rules that you won't even let somebody finish speaking before you need to inflate your own ego by correcting them.

3: Do you continue to correct their grammar after the conversation has ended?

As if spotting their mistakes and correcting them wasn't enough, you feel the need to chastise the culprit long after they've made their grammatical error and the conversation has already been ended by your input.

4: Do you correct pronunciation even if the speaker is pronouncing it correctly in their dialect?

Perhaps one of the rudest and most obnoxious ways to correct somebody is to indicate that their pronunciation, due to their regional or international dialect, is wrong. 

It's that there thing for digging!
5: Do you correct or ignore regional lexicon and word usage?

Not everyone calls a spade a "spade", some call it a "shovel" and others may call it "that there thing for digging". If the word is mutually intelligible, why waste your breath telling them that's not what it's called?

How many of these questions did you answer "yes" to? Add up the numbers and check your results below.

0: Well done! - You are as liberal as can be when it comes to linguistic diversity. This doesn't mean you don't know grammar, just that you are happy to accept that everybody may not master it as well as you.

1: Not bad! - A few things still annoy you linguistically, but you manage to get on with your life.

2: Acceptable. - It's good to make sure things are done right, but you don't dwell too much on it.

3: Welcome to the dark side! - You are on your way to joining the cause of the grammar police. Tread carefully.

4: Terrible! - You make people feel awkward and ruin conversations with your observation and snobbery.

5: Disgusting! - Your obnoxious behaviour and strictness when it comes to grammatical rules make people wish they never met you.