Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Okay, Grammar Ranger!

I just read this blog article and man did it step all over my grammatically correct toes. The entire content essentially says that judging a person for their incorrect grammar usage (which, in this ever developing e-world we live in where much of our communication is done in writing - facebook, text, twitter, email, IM, etc. - I almost involuntarily judge all the time) is antiquated and an unnecessary hang up.

She says this:

"So a lot of grammar does not clarify meaning, it just serves to show you are good at grammar."

Ouch. Do I really just cling so desperately to my knowledge of grammar out of sheer snobbery? Am I just secretly delighted that I generally use fairly decent grammar, and get irritated that others can't be bothered to know the differences between your and you're or their, there and they're, because come on, how could you not know?

An excerpt...

"What good grammar reveals is what sort of education you had. The more conventional and well-funded your education was, the better your grammar will be. And this is largely how people use grammar—to make snobbish judgments...It’s snobbish because it’s a set of rules that are not actually that useful. Yes, there are some grammar rules that, should you violate them, completely change the meaning of your sentence. However these situations are so rare that they are actually interesting, and even created a bestselling book: Eats, Shoots & Leaves...

Most grammar rules don’t matter, though. That is, if you get them wrong, the reader still can find the meaning. For example, few people know when to use effect and when to use affect. But it doesn’t matter because the first is a noun and the second is a verb so the likelihood you'll mistake the meaning of a sentence because of a grammar error in this case is extremely low...People get hired and fired for getting along with people. Not for knowing when to use lay and when to use lie."

Okay, I get it! I'm a judgmental jerk!! I'll try to stop being a Judgy Judgerson.

p.s. I'm sorry if grammar is a boring subject about which to write, but I'm trying to blog more and Mrs. M tells me that I just have to write something. Anything. Every day. So here it is.



Jenni said...

I disagree with this person. It has nothing to do with how well educated you were/are or that you’re a snob.

Good grammar has to do with the fact that when you use poor grammar, you more than likely are changing the meaning of your sentence. Proper grammar means that you are being clear and concise with your message, instead of muddled and potentially off-topic.

Be an advocate for to-the-point, concise meaning to your content!!!

And then shameless plug. Visit! Hahaha.

r_is_moody said...

Ok, I think that everything she said is just a big bunch of BS. Grammar is extrememly important. That is the problem with this world, we have gotten lazy. It is easier to not have to learn when to use affect or effect, their or there.

I don't think it is being snobbish at all to judge someone by their grammar. And it has nothing to do with well educated you are. I never went to college and I can speak good!!!! :P

kerri said...

oh my dear lord in heaven! it's important! though capitalization is not! ha!

Lolly said...

Hahahahaha! I love this so much because I am the original Judgy McJudgerson when it comes to grammar and spelling. I want to communicate as precisely as I possibly can so grammar and spelling are important! This blog makes me feel better because sometimes when I find bad grammar and misspelled words in places like, oh I don't know, NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES I feel so alone!

LOL, the word verification is unsin!

Annie said...

I agree with everyone. The article is crap. Proper grammar for internet-ing can be achieved with a fourth grade education, so it has nothing to do with education level, as most people have a fourth grade education.

becki said...

Woohoo! I now feel emboldened to continue judging people (however silently) about their improper use of grammer! Thanks gang!

brownbird brownbird said...

What a idiot. She don't know nothing.

Erin said...

I just went back and re-read the org. blog and the 1st comment on the page rings true. She is equating a Style Guide for Grammar. As an English Major (and teacher) we never touch the Style Guide--that is in the world of journalism. While related to the rules of grammar, they are not interchangable. Her definition is wrong, making the whole article void, No? Grammar says soooooo much about who you are and how people perceive you. I'm going to agree with the rest of your friends that the org. author is CRAZY. (& not in the "Keep Austin Weird" way.)

LIZZY said...

looks like i agree with most of your other peeps on this one. if someone has poor grammer (ie. using "loose" when they really mean "lose") i tend to assume they aren't very educated. it's involuntary on my part, but i mean, come on - it's not THAT hard to get it right! right?

ps. in my judgemental-ness, i will admit that i struggle with the "its" - it's vs its... i never get that right.

pps. and while we are on confessions, this is more punctuation related - but I DO tend to "over elipse". I'm just sayin...we all have faults. :)

John said...

While reading the original post and subsequent responses I did notice several punctuation errors.

Am I a snob?

jb said...

well, i think she's right about this: 'We should judge people by their ideas, their creativity, their enthusiasm...'

i think there are certain contexts in which it's perfectly ok to judge someone on their grammar, though.

that said, she says nothing about how just-plain-annoying it can be to see affect/effect, or its/it's, mis-used... but, then again, it's probably annoying because i'm being a snob... oops