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December 09, 2011
Correcting complete strangers in public.
Sending back an e-mail with red type pointing out mistakes.
Acting like they seriously can't understand what you wrote because you made one spelling mistake.
According to an article I read that incidentally confused its with it’s, they're more obsessive than ever.
True, there have always been pedants, but they've morphed into an entire new subculture.
Known as obsessive grammarians, English majors, grammar fascists and buzzkills, the bottom line is that they're protecting the god of grammar from the rest of the populace and making life miserable for those that (who?) try but don’t always succeed.
Before it had grown into an all out movement, even Churchill objected:
He was editing a proof of one of his books and noticed that an editor had butchered a sentence to ensure that it would not end in a preposition.
He is supposed to have scribbled in the margin:
"This is the sort of English up with which I will not put."
But as annoying as some obsessives get, there is the extreme, but growing movement, on the other side that thinks grammatical correction is nothing less than a government conspiracy to control people’s minds.
“It is completely off the wall,” said Patricia T. O’Conner, quoted in The New York Times, and the author of several books on grammar, including Woe Is I.”
So what is it really all about?
Is it a genuine desire to preserve the sanctity of the English language?
Or is it easier to attack flaws in others than addressing flaws in yourself?
One thing I'm never stuck for...
Or...should I say, one thing for which I'm never stuck:
Cogent comments by our villagers.
John William Finn defined a hero on that fateful morning, 70 years ago on this date.