Recently, I’ve gotten an influx of grammar-correcting comments, which I’d like to address. I believe grammar is expressly important, but it’s not the most important thing in writing.
You spelled ______ wrong! Don’t you understand how important grammar is?
Being a grammar nazi is a poor way to assert your intelligence because it merely expresses emotional immaturity. A grammar nazi is a person who lacks the self-control necessary to restrain themselves from voicing their inner-critic at inappropriate times and places. He misses the big picture in order to focus on minute details.
Correcting other people’s grammar does not make anyone think of you as a genius. A person may be academically intelligent, but that does them no good if they lack emotional maturity. On a larger scale, this is why Ender Wiggin was chosen to fight the bugger war over his brother Peter. Both were incredibly intelligent, but one of them lacked emotional maturity.
I completely understand the urge to correct other people’s grammar –believe me. However, self-control is far more important. If you can’t control the things you chose to say, then who are you? Because you’re not your own person. You’re simply being swayed one way and another by your emotional responses to things that aren’t important.
“Recognise is spelled with a Z.”
Yeah, maybe in America, but in the UK, we spell it with an S. My earlier attempts to cater all my spellings toward Americans (who comprise the largest percentage of my readership) were a flop, and I’ve gone back to UK spellings.
Consider this. Which is more important? Somebody else’s correctness, or your maturity? Are you simply going to react to everything you see, rather than assertively making a decision as to how you will respond? Are you going to sacrifice your own maturity for the sake of something you probably can’t change?
I am an English Major. I knew the risks of deciding not to spend an extra ten minutes editing per post on this website. It’s for this very reason that I specifically avoid connecting this blog to the books/stories that I’ve published.
I apologise for any grammatical errors you may find on this blog. I’m sorry if they offend you, but they don’t offend me enough that I’m going to spend my entire day off trying to fix all of them.
3 thoughts on “To my Grammar Nazis”
Personally, I think that grammar nazis are… okay (even a bit cute), IF it’s not the only thing that has come out of their mouth as a comment – and it doesn’t involve anything ad personam.
I would agree that grammar nazis are okay, but only until a large number of them all congregate in one place and discuss grammatical mechanics when there are far more intriguing content-related ideas at hand.
Then it just feels like I’m giving a speech and people are yelling at me to act more professional while ignoring everything that I’m saying.
I’m less bothered by people caring about grammar than by people who think it’s more important than content. I’d rather somebody correct my logic than my English mechanics because correcting a concept is more constructive than to digging at rules. When I hand a novel manuscript to a beta reader, I specifically ask them to ignore grammar and give me specific content-related advice.
That went longer than I intended, but that always happens, so it’s hardly serendipitous.
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Everybody has some limits.
Such behavior is like moaning about the wrapping, after receiving a gift. It’s a limited view. And I think it’s ungrateful.
Sadly “We elevate those who say right but mean wrong, and mock those who say wrong but mean right” (LvT). From what I know Hitler’s form of speech, (along with the grammar) was just perfect.
(It might seem ridiculous that I brought this up, but to discuss only grammar instead of the idea is ridiculous in the first place).
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