We’ve all seen them. Whether commenting on a YouTube video or Entertainment Weekly article, they’re always there. “Well, <grammar offender here>,” they’ll start out, with proper spelling and no text-speak, “I might have held more weight to your argument if you hadn’t…” Little errors like ‘lier’ instead of ‘liar.’ Affect vs. effect. There, their, they’re. The grammar crimes go on and on and the people who feel the need to point out each and every error are just annoying. So, if you find yourself frequently commenting on the aspects of ‘your’ and ‘you’re,’ here are the top five things you should be doing instead.
5) Fill in lexical gaps
Lexical gaps, or lacunas, are those things that should be words, but aren’t. For example, in Romanian, there is no word for ‘shallow,’ so those crazy Romanians are stuck saying “not so deep waters.” So, why not try coming up with some words that don’t exist? This has been done a little bit with Sniglets, a dictionary for made-up words, but there’s always room for new ones. Some suggestions: in other languages, there are words for light blue and huge river. Come up with an English equivalent.
4) Correct Wikipedia grammar
So, if you still find yourself itching to be a nag, help someone who appreciates it. I can promise you that “iluvrbiebs” does not want you commenting on their lack of grammatical prowess. People actually read Wikipedia articles and your editing is more than welcome there. If you want to get really crazy, try editing for concision and awkward-wording, Marla Lindsay style.
3) Read a book
Here’s the weird thing about classic literature: authors break grammatical rules all the time. Seriously. They use fragments, make up words, and ignore punctuation (I’m looking at you, Shakespeare and Faulkner.) Maybe some exposure to this will rid you of your Grammar Nazi ways.
2) Don’t comment on this blog
I’m not perfect: I make grammar mistakes. I am fully expecting a few comments correcting my grammar in the comments below. If you’re considering this, you are either an uber-Grammar Nazi, or you just think you’re humorous. If you’re the former, than refer to Tips 5,4,3, and 1. If you’re the latter, then…really?
1) Get over yourself
As esteemed writer John Green once said, “Grammar was meant to ease communication, but when people are constantly correcting one another, communication is corrupted.” Well, it was something like that, anyway. Still, the sentiment holds true. Commenting boxes are meant for comments about an article’s content, not extra copy-editing. If you’re a Grammar Nazi, why not try forming a thought on something you are passionate about besides grammar? If you can’t do that, well, one day you too will be burned by your brethren. Grammar Nazis live for one thing, and they spare no one.