Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On literally my own "personal" Pet Peeve's

Okay, so my job involves a whole lot of editing and proofreading, and it can be really hard to leave it at the office at the end of the day. Friends and associates don't even try to conceal their eye-rolling when I, mid-sentence, roll off into a tear about whatever billboard or sign or handbill taped to a lightpost has just offended my grammatical sensibilities. But I just can't freaking help it. We all took freshman English - hell, we all took fourth-grade English - and it shouldn't take significant amounts of headspace and processing power to remember that apostrophes are used for possessives and that quotation marks go around, well, quotations.

It turns out I'm not alone in my pet peevery, that other people are similarly incensed, so suck it, friends and associates.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotes:

That makes me feel safe in trusting them with all of my personal financial information. Doesn't it make you feel safe? And I particularly love this one, which conveniently doubles up on the Fail:


Literally, a Web Log takes on my hatred for the word "literally" (unless it's used in a context where something is, in fact, literal):
Some of the kids crawling onto Santa Joe's lap this year have more than stuffed animals and video games on their most-wanted lists. Several times already this season, Joe Jackson has been asked to get Daddy a job or Mommy money to buy the house back.

"You see things beyond the beard that nobody else will ever see or hear. I've had children just literally tear my heart out," said Jackson, who is pulling on his red suit for a 19th season of playing Santa at private parties and festivals in the northern part of the state.

Sing after me: "It was the year without a Santa Claus..."

It calls to mind Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, except with first-graders. They learn that kind of behavior at home, you know.

The Grammar Vandal actually carries a sheet of comma stickers and a Sharpie with her around Boston, fixing ever mistake she finds. This makes her my hero. She also posts such comedic/tragic errors as this:
This is my new favorite entry on my new favorite Web site,
Today, I was flirting via text with a coworker. Things started getting heated, and I wanted to send her a sexy picture. I asked if she had any suggestions. She said, "Your nuts!" She meant, "YOU'RE nuts." I sent her a photo of my junk. I offended a co-worker with incriminating evidence. FML.

Okay. We know this guy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Anyone knows you don't send naked pictures to someone you barely know. And I'm going to assume that these two people are over the age of 18, because if not, that's a different issue altogether. Assuming they both are above the age of consent,

That girl got exactly what she deserved.

Now, I try not to be a correcter. Most grammatical errors aren't a huge deal, and I'm generally the only person significantly or even marginally distracted by them. I do step in with what I hope is a polite sidenote if someone says something that could cause them embarrassment in the future, but unless it's grievous, I let it slide.

That said, in a professional context, there is no excuse. Like I said, basic grammar is the kind of thing that eight-year-olds are generally able to grasp. As with addition, subtraction, and occasionally long division, grammar is something you'll need to use at least weekly. And if it's a sign or ad or brochure representing your business, you damned well better have it proofread at least a couple of times by people who know. It isn't a matter of internalizing the AP Stylebook, but it does help to have internalized McGraw-Hill Language Arts.

I'm not trying to be a Nazi here. I'm not judging your contributions in the comments section (or not out loud, anyway). I'm not even trying to save the world, one random capitalization at a time. I'm just committed to excellense.

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