Happy Grammar Day

Three posts in three days. I know, right? Better not make this a habit. But how could I let National (not my nation, but who cares?) Grammar Day pass without a tip of the proverbial hat? Especially after coming across this totally cool grammar quiz on the Grammarly Blog via Grammar Girl’s Twitter feed? (Goodness! I’ll stop typing “grammar” now. Okay, a couple more times: grammar; grammar. I’m done now. Promise.)

Anyway, according to the quiz I’m a Pedant’s Grammarian.

Pedan't Grammarian

You may drive your friends and family nuts, but you would make Strunk and White proud. You love enforcing rules just about as much as you love the rules themselves. For you, grammar truly is one of life’s greatest joys.

Image and description courtesy of Grammarly.com

I actually hold myself back when it comes to friends and family, and even online (except when giving critiques to other writers on writing forums) but I tend to be brutal on my own writing and am usually very embarrassed whenever I discover an error in a post or comment moments after I press “Publish”. (If I’ve ever commented on your blog, chances are I proofread that comment at least thrice.) I wouldn’t necessarily say proper grammar is a source of joy to me, but I do think it is important.

How about you? Do you think grammar matters? Or are you a serial perpetrator of homophone confusion and abuse of the Oxford comma? Take the quiz and let me know your result in the comments.

Grammarly Grammar Nerd Quiz Feature Image

Grammar! 😉

19 thoughts on “Happy Grammar Day

  1. That test was dreadful. I HAD to write rude things about it!
    And … grammar. It’s a good thing, and should be respected. On the other hand, when blogging, I will intentionally allow myself to break common style and grammar rules in order to achieve a … hmmm … hate to call it “voice” because that sounds so friggin’ pretentious, so whatever.
    And no, I am never embarrassed when I spot an error. I have no shame – I just correct it! But feel free to identify bad writing on my blog anytime you find it. I do welcome input!

    1. As I said above, I hold myself back online. Intentionally breaking rules to achieve voice is completely acceptable in my opinion, and I think you do it well. I don’t recall ever having read something on you blog that made me cringe. I think five years of grading high school essays desensitised me somewhat.

    1. Aspiring is good. It means you care. You just lack knowledge. And for a non-first language speaker that’s perfectly fine. Doesn’t German also have very strict grammar rules?

      1. yep, German grammar is quite strict – in theory…but it gets more and more flexible in spoken and written language…or least people don’t care any more about certain rules; sometimes it’s because of English-language influence (e.g. writing the German aquivalent of “you” always without a capital letter)

      2. Ah, yes. I did not take German at school, but had a classmate who did and I found the capitalisation of all the nouns a particularly strange phenomenon. I wonder if there is any other language that does that.

        The influence of English is permeating every language, I think, thanks to the internet and entertainment industry. A particular pet peeve of mine regarding my first language is when people mangle an English word into Afrikaans pronunciation rather than using the perfectly adequate “pure” Afrikaans word. Some of these Anglicisms have already been recognised as official Afrikaans to the chagrin of many.

  2. According to the quiz, I am a Pedant’s Grammarian. I suspect readers of WordPress and your blog will be self selected in this. (Note use of passive voice). Yes, I own a copy of Strunk and White and my business regularly runs copy by my for grammar checks and “language tightening”.

    However, I have no probably with the verbalization of nouns.

    1. Ah, yes. The bane of the grammar nerd’s existence (though we secretly enjoy it) is to be the spell-checker-in-residence at one’s place of work. However do they find us out? (In my case I suppose what gave me away was that I was the English teacher…)

      With the regularity with which I Google stuff I’d be hypocritical to oppose the verbalization of nouns. Everything in moderation, though (and that goes for passive voice as well). I was interested to learn (via Grammar Girl) that one is supposed to still capitalise the verb in this particular case – a trademark issue.

      I’m curious: were the errors in your comment intentional, or should I correct them 😉

      1. That’s why I tend to proofread my comments more thoroughly than I do my posts. I think I’ll leave them up. We all need the occasional mistake to keep us humble lest we become completely insufferable 😉

  3. I’m a recovering copy editor, so I have to think grammar matters. On the other hand, I also love the spoken language, in all its ungrammatical messiness. It’s what drives the changes in the formal language, which should tell us something about where the power lies.

    1. I’m all for the informality of spoken language, but if someone writes or says “could of” instead of “could have” I cringe. And “irregardless”… *shudder*

      As I said in my reply to Matthew below, I believe one should know the rules so one can know when to apply them, and even ignore them when it suits the context. But I also believe there’s such a thing as proper English (which doesn’t mean slavishly following the rules of formal grammar) and then there’s just plain laziness.

      (By the way, I apply the same approach to my home language, Afrikaans. And I abhor it when people mix in English words in their Afrikaans speech when there’s a perfectly adequate Afrikaans word to say the same thing. But I might be getting off-topic now.)

    1. Are the rules really rules, though? Most of them have so many exceptions. One needs to know the “rules” but also when to apply which one. The Oxford comma is a case in point.

      I also own a copy of Strunk and White, though I refer to my Oxford English Dicitonary and New Hart’s Rules much more often. Grammar Nerd indeed 😀

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