Category Archives: Discussions

Epic Grammar Feud

Wow.  I just discovered an intense feud over grammar between members of the “Good Grammar Is Hot” group on Facebook.

It started with the posting of this picture:

As you can guess, it got a lot of jeers from the members of the group.

Well, it didn’t end there.

Davin joined the conversation.  You can read the whole thing here if you’re on Facebook, but if you’re not, here are some of the highlights:

From Davin:

just because i dont feel as if i need to use perfect grammar in a facebook status u people decide to roast me wow you guys seriously are a bunch of uptight fags but if it makes u feel any better imma english major with perfect grades i just chose to perfect english for class and would rather use slang and or inappropriate use of terms for more social occasions like facebook oh yeah Imma so stab you in your fucking face with a spork for posting this shit u know that right and yes bitches i used u instead of you so bite me on my caramel colored ass

From Luke:

Is there such a thing as a descriptionary? If so I would very much like to get my hands on one, if not it’s a fantastic idea that someone should make millions out of it and give me a copy for my birthday :)

A few quick notes for the angry Davin:

1) The only difference between American English and British English is a few spelling differences, the grammatical structures are identical, otherwise they’d be different languages rather than dialects. The reason we internationals perceive you as speaking (or typing in this case) incorrectly is because you are.

2) Confusing “there’s” for “theirs” and other similar errors are not “slang” as you called it. Colloquialisms are quite different to spelling errors, although one could argue that spellings like “ur” for “you’re” could be counted as textual slang.

3) Gay (or fag in this case) is not a synonym for stupid (or any other derogative term).

4) I get laid regularly, and I still think you’re a dick.

From Davin:

Honestly, thats not my real communication mode i just conform to fit the needs of my surroundings. if im in school or with my friends then i talk like that status. If im in a interview or need to get something done to my liking then i take another tone that many people arent familiar with i just dont see the need to spell out you on facebook when many people if not everyone understands that u is the same thing as you and the people that dont understand that seriously need to get a social life and stop having theirs revolve around people choosing to use slang instead of correct english cause well if u realise that to the english almost all american english is slang

But I think it was David who had the most interesting statement:

My suggestion would be to find a major you really LIKE. It’s inconceivable to me that anyone who really loves English could ever bring himself to write like this, in a social occasion or otherwise, just as I can’t imagine a philosophy major ignoring a specious argument just because he’s at a party or a math major pretending not to notice a mistake on a restaurant check just because he’s out to dinner with friends.

Personally, I don’t believe that Davin is an English major.

If he is, though, then I can’t believe that Davin is an English major, yet takes pride in the fact that he writes so badly.  WHY would anyone DO THAT?

You know me — you know that this blog is about going after the people who make errors in professional writing.  But I thought that this was worth posting.

What do you think?

Punctuation Contest — SEXY CAN I

I enjoyed your corrections to “Everything is super when you don’t you think I look cute in this hat?” so much that I’ve got a new one for you.

Let’s try this sentence, a gem of a lyric from singer and amateur porn star Ray-J’s hit song and McCulley favorite, “Sexy Can I”:

Sexy can I just pardon my manners girl how you shake it got a player like oh

Man, I love that song.

How would you punctuate it?

There seem to be a lot of possibilities…

The winner will get a chance to plug his or her favorite thing on this blog, whether it be the winner’s own blog or anything else!

Let’s see what we’ve got!

All I wanna know is — SEXY CAN I?

Which languages do you speak?

I’ve been wondering about foreign languages and how speaking them impacts your native language.  For now, if you have a minute, I would love if you could answer this survey:

  1. What is your native language?
  2. Which foreign languages do you speak?  How well do you speak them?
  3. How did you learn your foreign languages?
  4. How often do you use your foreign language skills today?

Here are my answers:

  1. English is my only native language.
  2. I speak French, Italian and very bad Spanish.  Last time I was tested in French, I was rated “advanced high” by my professor.  Nowadays, I speak Italian conversationally at best, though I’m best in restaurants.  My Spanish is terrible and pretty much restricted to reading only.  Also, after receiving a Brazilian assignment at work last year, I learned that I can read Portuguese.
  3. Though my dad’s family is proudly French Canadian, I learned French from studying it in high school and college.  I also did a two-week homestay in Normandy in high school and I’ve been to France several times.  I didn’t speak a word of Italian when I arrived in Florence for my semester abroad, but I learned quite a bit after four months there.  I taught myself Spanish I over a summer and took one year of Spanish II in high school.
  4. At work, I’m the designated French speaker, so I get to speak French pretty often.  I use Italian at work occasionally, and Spanish rarely.  Besides conversing in basic Spanish with the guys at Anna’s Taqueria, I don’t use any of my languages outside of work (though my sister and I speak quite a bit of “franglais” to each other).

I’m glad that the state of Massachusetts and areas throughout the U.S. place such a high emphasis on foreign languages, even though English is the language of business these days.  It can make a big difference when it comes to your grammar.

Learning a foreign language strengthens one’s knowledge of his or her native language.  Suddenly, words are organized.  Everything is a reason.  Am, is and are mean the same thing — and boy, is our language confusing!

I’ve always loved books and writing, but my love of language didn’t come along until later.  I think it was the act of learning foreign languages and falling in love with them that taught me to love language itself.

Do you agree?

The First Year Teacher’s Thoughts on Grammar

One of my best friends, Lisa, is in her first year of teaching both high school and college, with the occasional kindergarten class. She’s started a great blog detailing some of her experiences called First Year Teacher Resources. The other day, she wrote about outdated grammar rules and why she considers them to be that way.

Here’s a selection:

6. “He’s taller than me.” This is something I OVERHEAR all the time, and it’s starting to become a case of the who vs. whom debate. The “grammatically correct” term is “He’s taller than I” or “She’s smarter than I.” However, if someone is on the phone and a person asks, “Who is it?” The correct response would be “It is I”, when it’s really more socially acceptable (and much less haughty) to say, “It’s me.” Another issue of our language evolving, perhaps.

Click here to read the rest of them.

This is one subject on which I’m torn.  I don’t think that people are wrong when they say, “It’s me.”  To put it simply, there just following language as it has evolved.  There is only one time when I think I’ll do so — when I say “This is she” when answering the phone.

How about you?

A someecard for all of us

I’m a big fan of someecards.com, a Web site with some of the funniest e-cards I’ve ever seen.  My friends and my co-workers are big fans.  Check it out!

This one is perfect for all of us:

Now, I have a question for you:

Has poor grammar, syntax, spelling or word choice damaged a friendship or relationship of yours?

For me, I wouldn’t say that it outright damaged a relationship, but I do have friends who use “your” and “you’re” interchangeably in emails and it drives me insane.  I will go so far to say that I don’t email them as often as I do my friends who write well.