There are some out there who think it’s crazy to get crazy over grammar. There are some pretty great writers and bloggers who I follow who think Grammar Nazis shouldn’t get their panties in a bundle. They even hate the term “Grammar Nazi.” That’s fine. It’s their opinion. It’s cool. I respect that.
I’ve tried to take their words to heart. I’ve mulled it over. Tried to climb on board with their thinking. I’ve tried to not be so uptight about it. But I can’t help it. No, I’m sorry. Every time I see or hear someone misuse this part of the English language, my thoughts take me back to 1986 and dear Mrs. Schneider. Even worse, I hear the proverbial nails on a chalkboard in the recesses of my brain. My fingers itching on my keyboard to correct these grammar deviants. But I don’t. I suffer in my own private grammar hell. And let them go about their lives in their cute little oblivious way.
Every gosh darn day I go onto my Facebook feed, I see the incorrect use of these pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and nouns (yes, nouns). These are great words. We need them. But I’m sorry. Unless you have been living in a cave, raised by wolves or quit school at the age of 10 to work the fields because Pa got The Plague, therefore leaving you to care for your 7 brothers and sisters, there is no reason why you should be using these guys in an incorrect form.
Hey, I didn’t have the best education. Okay, let me rephrase that before my parents get angry with me and start in with the “your education was fine, it was you who made the conscious choice to not care much about it.” They would be correct anyway. I didn’t go to college. But somehow I know that you cannot, absolutely CANNOT go to funny. Unless, funny is a town. In which case, it would be a proper noun and spelled with a capital “F.” So, you would be wrong either way.
I’m sorry if I am offending you. You are people I know and love. Some of you are acquaintances. Some are total and complete strangers. I apologize ahead of time for any hurt I may be bestowing upon you. But I have to get this off my chest yet again (third time’s a charm, no?). If I help even one lost grammar soul, then my job is done.
Here’s my short little lesson on what bugs me most. It will take less than 5 minutes.
Your – Possessive. “Is that your ball I saw at the baseball field?” You wouldn’t say, “is that you are ball I saw at the baseball field,” would you? No. Because that doesn’t make sense.
You’re – Here are two words slammed together into one. YOU and ARE. Making a contraction. “You’re awesome.” You are awesome. If you said “your awesome” that wouldn’t make sense because you don’t own awesome, do you? You can be awesome and “own” it in slang terms, but you can’t have awesome. Understand?
Too – As in also. “She came to the movies with us too.” If you said, “she came to the movies with us to” it leaves the sentence unfinished. To what? To buy popcorn? Did your friend go to the movies with you to buy popcorn? No, she didn’t. How do I know? Because you didn’t say so. Unless you got interrupted by something like a flash flood. Then I forgive you.
To – Aah, here we go. “She came to the movies with us to buy popcorn.” I know, it seems silly that she would just go to the movies to buy popcorn. But damn, where else can you get movie theater popcorn? All that artery clogging, delicious, buttery goodness. Yum. The above sentence would be correctly stated.
Their – Possessive. “It is their television set.” I understand that their, there and they’re can be confusing. You can’t use they’re because this is a contraction. THEY and ARE are mashed together. You wouldn’t say “it is they are television set” because that’s silly. You also wouldn’t say, “it is there television set” because it would sound like you are trying to say something like “That there television set. You know, over there. Over yonder.” No. Just don’t.
They’re – Contraction. THEY ARE. “They’re going to see a play today.” The theme seems to be entertainment, doesn’t it? Yup. This is quite entertaining, that’s for sure.
Look, I’m not perfect and I never said I was. I use run-on sentences (on purpose because I love them), I will start a sentence with but & and. That’s my style and it may not be correct for the purpose of proper form, but it’s not altogether wrong either. I’ve made the occasional typo (insert cringe here). I am kind of bad with commas. Yes, I understand this may be a problem I have. I’m working on it.
You can unfriend me if you want. Just when you do, remember to use your grammar properly. Because I’ll be watching. Somewhere. Somehow. You’re awesome (See that? You are. Got it? Good).