We’ve all seen the memes that berate people by calling them ” Grammar Nazis “. Presumably there are also ” Grammar Fascists ” and ” Grammar Communists “. Possibly ” Grammar Democrats ” and ” Grammar Monarchists ” as well. I accept them all – the class of mankind that really makes my skin crawl are the ” Grammar Anarchists “. The people who deliberately fracture the language to show off their cleverness.
Or perhaps that should be ‘ there clevrnes ‘. Or was Cleverness where they based the submarines? Must look that up.
Any sentence that you read…or have read out to you by the magistrate…should be easy and merciful. No pained expressions – no miserable contractions – no jargon or acronymical garbage. The CEO of the AIIGRIMAS was adamant about this, as was Stuart Goddard; if anyone had a right to the attitude, it was Stuart.
I’ve just finished washing the taste of a Facebook post out of my mind and wondered if I should ask for three previous convictions to be taken into account. The post was from a very sweet and kindly person who was trying to grapple with ‘their’ and ‘there’. Unsuccessfully, as it happened, though I am grateful that the message did not have to involve the contraction of ‘they are’…I fear it might have been infinitely worse.
If anyone corrects it, I’ll bet they’ll be accused of being overbearing. Yet, a person matured in the use of the English language should know how to use the three words correctly.
” Does it matter? ” I hear you say.
” Yes, it does. “, you hear me reply. We live in our language – wear it as a garment, if you will. There is no need to cut holes in it an then display them. We can clean what we say and mend what we write. Our communication need not be drab or uniform – it can certainly be colourful – but it must be well-tailored to what we need to say.