I’ll come out and say it right now. I’m a member of the grammar police. Every time I see someone use an incorrect conjugation of a verb, or someone use your when they should use “you’re” drives me insane. It truly jumps off the page at me like someone highlighted it and bolded it in bright red letters. I know there are others like me, we point out an error on someone’s webpage and nod together in agreement. There’s an instant bond formed, as we are both members of this unique force.
As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve become more and more conflicted on its importance. Is this really the cause after which I should be going? After all, we have grammar checkers and spell checkers on every basic word processor known to man. Even if someone doesn’t know how to use them properly in day to day life, they’ll be able to scan and correct any formal documents before submitting them and no one would be the wiser.
I finally hit the breaking point that strengthened my resolve recently. I heard someone say the phrase, “For all intensive purposes.” Some of you are screaming right now at the horror of that sentence. In fact, the word document that I’m typing on currently is screaming at me in the way of a blue squiggly line. It’s screaming at me to correct this egregious mistake. Some of you may be confused, some of you may be thinking…well yeah, that’s the phrase right? Too those of you saying this now…I’m sorry. I’m not sure we can be friends any longer. The phrase is: for all intents and purposes.
Frequently on the show, Shaun and Chris call me an elitist. They say that I’m rich and sit high and mighty above all others. Full disclosure…I don’t. I’m not rich, I don’t believe that people who have money are better than others, and I’m not judgmental of people in most aspects of life. When it comes to these types of errors, I guess you can call me an elitist. This is one thing I’m not breaking on.
To me, using the proper “there, their or they’re” is a sign of attention to detail. It means that you appreciate a sense of quality in your life; that you take pride in what you do and you’re thorough. If I controlled the hiring of a new employee for a company, and I had two people in front of me, one of them intelligent and well versed in the field, the other just as one equally qualified; I’m picking the guy who knows that there’s a difference between knowing your crap and knowing you’re crap.
I think that fighting for proper grammar is important to our future as well. I’m not calling any doomsday scenarios or anything like that, but as I see reports of elementary school children constantly not being able to properly form a sentence, I know that comes from us as a society relaxing our strictness on grammar. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen stories of young children writing a report for school using text-speak. It’s difficult for me to type this, but: U R STUPID IF U DO THAT. Maybe they’ll understand it if I type it that way. Put me in a teaching position, and the second I get a paper written like that, I’m writing a zero on top and giving it back to them to correct their mistake.
So there you have it, I’m an elitist when it comes to grammar. I know all the intelligent people of the world who happen to forget their grammar will probably get upset with this article, but I feel strongly about this. So grammar police of the world unite! We have a lot of education to deliver to people who don’t think there lack of detail is going to impact they’re life. (Wow that hurts to type, how do people do it?!)