Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The perils of the grammatical mind

Undoubtedly, you've seen that meme called, "Grammar saves lives," right?
It juxtaposes two phrases -- like: "Let's eat, grandma!" and "Let's eat grandma!" -- to demonstrate the value of punctuation, usage or grammar to a clear understanding of a sentence. Well....

Reading Facebook posts is a nightmare for people like me. And by "people like me," I mean those of us whose moms were English teachers, so we have been indoctrinated so deeply in grammar, usage and punctuation from a young age that its proper form isn't just a matter of rules -- because I don't really believe in mindless adherence to rules for rules' sake; rather, it's a matter of: "Quite possibly, I don't know what the fuck you are talking about."

And I am talking about basic stuff, not some semi-archaic/rarely-observed rule about the proper use of "due to." No, I mean things like correctly using apostrophes, or maybe using punctuation at all.

At one point recently, I actually had to change a FB friend's status from seeing the person's posts all the time to "just seeing important shit," or however the ol' FB designates a mere occasional viewing of the splendor of someone else's life. Why? Because she just stopped using *any* punctuation. She is a sweet person, but come on now.

Yes, really. And if you aren't horrified by that, and don't understand why I couldn't afford to spend that much mental energy reading her updates that HAD NO PUNCTUATION AT ALL, NOT EVEN PERIODS, then move on now, because you aren't going to "get" the next bit at all. (Yes, I was yelling there for a moment, and I apologize).

Yesterday, a (completely different) friend ranted about her "neighbors fucking dogs." Other friends of hers suggested calling the police. I was about to agree. I mean... The poor dogs, right?

No. The poor absence of an apostrophe.

Hers was not a post about her neighbors' (or perhaps neighbor's) penchant for man/dog love.

The dogs were simply barking a lot.

Grammar doesn't just save lives; it saves reputations.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Love it! I can see why you're such a fan of Liz Wolfe. Paleo *and* a stickler for good grammar and punctuation. :)

  2. A splendid post, and one on which I could not agree more. You may join my club.

  3. Excellent. I imagine that's an exclusive list, so I am honored. Nice to have you back, by the way. Perhaps a blog post of your own soon?