Dear Journal: Grammar Time

grammarproblemsDear Journal,

My biggest pet peeves are generally about grammar. Is that sad? Too often I find myself reading through my Facebook feed and mentally correcting every single issue I find. The worst is when a meme is making the rounds, everyone is “like”ing it, and I see that it says “to” when it should say “too.” It ruins the whole thing for me, and I’m the one who has to use the new “angry” emoticon. How else can I express my displeasure?

It’s not just spellings, either. It’s when people don’t use apostrophes, when they use big words but they use them incorrectly, when there are run-on sentences, and fragments, and comma splices just because. I can’t stand when people correct other people’s grammar and their corrections are also incorrect. And don’t get me started on the news and how many problems exist at the bottom of that screen.

I guess I’m just fiercely protective of language and its many uses. I know I am absolutely mortified every single time I spell something wrong. Once I posted something on Twitter from my phone and the autocorrect changed what I wanted to say, making it wrong. I didn’t notice by the time I hit enter and it took me forever to figure out how to delete that tweet. It was the worst five minutes of my life, knowing that was out there, that people were seeing it and judging me.

Yes, I’m that English teacher everyone is worried about introducing to their friends. Yes, I’m judging your use of “good” when you mean “well.” Yes, I’m running your words through the strainer of my mind, picking out the good parts and leaving the rest to hang in the air. I can’t help it, but hopefully you can’t tell. Hopefully I’m smiling and nodding along and you have no clue you’ve said anything that rubbed me the wrong way.

Because it’s just words, after all. Right?

Sam

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