Monday, May 24, 2010

Being a Grammar Nerd has Unexpected Side Effects

Hi, my name is Allison, and I'm a grammar nerd.

Hi, Allison!

Whew.  I feel so much better now.

I like grammar.  I actually enjoyed diagramming sentences in English class.  There was a certain satisfaction in being able to break a sentence down and put all its parts away in their own little space.  I pretty much always aced my spelling tests (I came in 4th in the school-wide spelling bee when I was in 4th grade - I will never, ever forget how to spell "heirloom".)  One of my favorite books is Eats, Shoots, & Leaves.  I can't text "properly" because it kills me to leave out punctuation and shorten words to "L8R" or "GR8".  Apostrophes make me cry sometimes.  I try not to judge other people for their grammar errors (I do understand the fact that not everyone is as big a nerd as I am), but I'm terrified of people judging me for mine.

But my own insecurities have nothing to do with this story.  Except that I'm pretty particular about the way my kids speak.  From the time they were little I made sure that I was speaking to them properly so they'd learn how to speak properly themselves.  It's become a game with the older two.  They try to make me crazy by speaking as grammatically incorrectly as they can, and I get all pretend angry with them and correct them over and over.  It's all fun and games until Mom starts to cry because they won't stop saying "ain't".

I had no idea, though, that my obsession was rubbing off on the littlest one.

Tonight Ellie came to me and announced, "Hey Mom, I know the right way to sing this song.  Because this isn't the right way: 'Girls rule the planet!  Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider!'  The right way is this: 'Girls rule the planet!  Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupid!'"


  1. That song always drove me absolutely NUTS, even as a little girl. There is no such word as "stupider". Same with "funner". Urgh. I hate it when people say something if funner than something else. It is NOT funner. It is more fun.

    The previous paragraph hurts my eyes.

    I also can't text stupid abbreviations, by the way. I specifically got a phone with a QWERTY keypad so I could text complete words and sentences. Which I do most of the time.

    I'm not the grammar nerd you are, but I certainly appreciate good grammar. Does that mean I can attend your support group? Or am I not nerdy enough?

  2. You're kids are great! Their getting smrter every day!

  3. Sariah, I'm pretty sure a stipulation for my next phone will be a QWERTY keyboard, for that very reason.

    And Robbie, I think it's spelled "grate".

  4. You make me smilier.

    Sorry I like to mess with your head.

  5. I had a fone with a QWERTY keybored and I luvd it... But, I had too send it back... Long story... I miss that fone so much and I cant weight 2 get a new 1...

    Ha, that was actually kind of fun and liberating! Also, it was a lot of work.

    By the way, what is the deal with people using ellipses instead of proper punctuation? Does it mean that they can't finish a thought? I honestly don't know where this started and why it continues, but it drives me crazy.

  6. That was a lot of work just reading Pamela's entry. It actually made me feel uneasy. Does that make me weird? Anyway, living in LA we heard a LOT of poor grammar. My biggest pet peeve was when people said "ax" instead of "ask". Reading your posts is refreshing because of the proper grammar. It drives me crazy when I'm reading a book or I see an ad and I find mistakes.

  7. Something that has bothered me for a long time is the rule on split infinitives. As far as I know, we're never supposed to use them, yet it just sounds correct to split the infinitive most of the time.

    Can anyone enlighten me on this? Avoiding them, or using them properly? Help.

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  9. I guess I could have just Googled it in the first place. Wikipedia.

    And I just used 'Google' as a verb, what do you think of that? Calvin and Hobbes.

    And I used apostrophes instead of double quotes around Google in the above sentence, how about that?

    Please please please always feel free to edit my comments for proper spelling, by the way. I want to join your club and learn your ways.

  10. Rob, I love using certain words as verbs that aren't supposed to be verbs. For example, scrapbook, tivo, and casserole.

    Amy, that was exactly the feeling I was going for.

  11. I am the worst grammar offender of all time. I can't spell, use way too many unneccesary semi-colons; and I always end with this... I think it comes from reading too many romance novels as a child. They were all dramatic pauses...and excessive emotional outbursts!!!

  12. You guys crack me up! There's nothing like good grammar humor to start the day off right!

    Well, I'm off to casserole me some leftovers.

    CU L8R! LOL!

  13. Oh, this post made me laugh! I'm sure you would cringe at my use of "y'all".

    Ain't is not a word in our vocabulary even though we are from the South!

    I'm big on speaking properly and passing good grammar on to the kids. I am far from perfect but we do try!

  14. Shelby, "y'all" is in a class all its own. In my opinion, if you have a Southern accent it's perfectly acceptable to say y'all. If you were born and raised in, say, North Dakota, not so much. I understand there are even grammatical rules that apply: "y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural, right? So, no, you wouldn't make me cringe!


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