This Grammarian Laughs to Keep from Crying
by Jaki Thomas
I admit that I can be a bit of a grammar snob. I blame years of excellent teaching by phenomenal teachers who equipped me with the knowledge of how words should connect. In fact, I can’t even apologize for it. We live in a world in which our modes of communication have expanded. It stands to reason that you should know how to use one of communication’s basic tools: words.
It never fails to amaze me to see adults use poor grammar in writing. Or worse – misspell basic words. (And, yes, I know that last sentence is a fragment. As I often tell my students, when you know the rules, you can break them in creative ways for emphasis. I digress.) Online, the standard excuse for grammatical ignorance is “it’s only Facebook/Twitter/Instagram”…
That’s true. It’s only social media. But if it’s “only” social media, why can’t you follow the rules? After all, social media isn’t just entertainment anymore. It’s a global, moneymaking marketing machine. Employers are using social media to learn about prospective employees. Advertisers are using it to sell their product. And countless others are using it to disseminate information. Social media is shaping the way people are judged in a multitude of ways. Is it still “just” social media?
I’ve learned to bite my tongue at the sight of my peers’ questionable grammar choices online. You (you in the general sense, that is. I know no one reading this would ever write any of this…) posted “I wish people would use common cents”? Or you suggest that someone you know get some “cooth”? In offering condolences, you tell a friend that you’re sorry for “you’re lost”? Instead of curling into a ball in the corner, quivering like I heard nails on a chalkboard, I add the best of the worst to a list of questionable quotes to offer my students.
What grammar snafus have you seen? Feel free to share in the comments section.by