on correcting grammar
When someone says “Amy and me were at the mall the other day”, we all wince. When someone forwards you an email with the subject line “send this to ten people or your doomed”, we turn our noses up and hit delete. When your boss sends out a memo reading “employees are wasting to much lunch time”, we physically recoil/roll our eyes/bang our fists.
Why do you work for someone who doesn’t know the difference between too and to? Or –gasp!– why are you working for someone who wouldn’t care about the difference even if you told him?
The trouble with grammar is, no one cares.
Say my mother were correcting you on how to bake cookies. I bet you would listen to her, because you want cookies. But grammar-correction comes with nothing but embarrassment. I’ve embarrassed you because you were wrong. You’ve embarrassed me because everyone thinks I’m a nerd. No one cares about the difference between who and whom.
My boyfriend’s expertise involves math, computers, sound, engineering. He is a very smart audio/electrical engineer, and he frequently attempts to explain his projects to me, and sometimes I even understand them! I, being the nerd that I am, listen with zeal, excited about another academic challenge. Can I follow? Can I understand a tiny fraction of accoustics, with absolutely no training? I am a genius! I knew I could’ve been anything! I just chose to be an English major because it was my passion!…
Wait, why didn’t I choose something else…?
And there. I’ve really gotten away from the point, but I’ve found it again. The point is, you listen to the plumber so you can unclog your drain. You listen to my mom because you love cookies. You listen to my boyfriend because he can tell you how to hook up your electronics. Why do you listen to me?
So I can berate you on your ignorance of homonyms?
There’s really no reason to listen to me. Just read something funny, stimulating, or intelligent. Words on a page don’t talk back; I do.