Grammar geek

I’m a proper grammar geek and I like to see words written properly and punctuation used properly. This is useful at work where I’m the go-to-girl for proof-reading. In a team full of grammar geeks aka ‘communications professionals’ I am Queen Grammar Geek.

I don’t like it when commas are in the wrong place. Or when they’re not used. But that is just a minor thing compared to some of my really big niggles.

When I was 8 I was the only kid in my class allowed to use apostrophes – and that was a mixed class of my year and the year above. Apostrophes upset me when they’re used incorrectly. There’s a couple of examples of apostrophes used correctly. And here’s an example of apostrophe’s used incorrectly. Aaagh! Aaagh! It hurts! Make the nasty incorrectly used apostrophe go away!

I hate apostrophes used for plurals. Because it’s wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Onion’s 10p

Where? Where? Where is the 10p that belongs to the onion?

I like the correct use of the possessive apostrophe – in its singular (before the s) and plural (after the s) forms. And, by the way, there’s no possessive apostrophe in its singular form. There’s an apostrophe in it’s a sunny day, because there it’s used for something missed out – it’s short for it is.

I feel actual physical pain when I read your for you’re. One means belonging to you. The other is short for you are. Hence the apostrophe – it means there’s something missed out. But far too many people write your going to like this. No, I’m not, I’m really not. I’m actually going to hate it. Because of your incorrect use of grammar.

I know not everyone is super intelligent or highly educated, but this is basic primary school stuff and if I read it too often, I’m not coming back.

Only a true grammar geek can understand the pain of reading these crimes against the English language. They grate. They don’t make sense. To someone who really cares about perfect English, they jump out and hit you in the face. I can’t just pretend that your says you’re because it sounds the same. Because it’s different! It doesn’t mean the same.

Then There’s Capital Letters.

Does that hurt you? Does it shout at you and make your brain hurt? It does mine.

I hate to see School and Social Worker (you can tell where I work, can’t you?). These are not proper nouns. Proper nouns are names of things like Kevin or London or Church Road. They’re not words that you think are important because you’re a teacher or a social worker.

Regular readers will know that I’m a school governor and also that I sometimes make a fool of myself in governors’ meetings. One of the ways I do this is through my extreme grammar geekery. Give me a policy to pass a critical, strategic eye over and I can’t do it. I can’t see things strategically. I can only see typos.

And things I don’t agree with. Grammatical grey areas. Like The Over-Use of Capital Letters.

I explain that School and Teacher shouldn’t have capital letters, but others don’t agree. English doesn’t talk to them in the same way it does to me. I tell them the Capital Letters Are Shouting in my Head. That the Words Sound Different. I Even Read Out Loud to Demonstrate the Difference.

They look at me as though I am mental. I am all alone in my little grammar geek world.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I feel your pain. I’ve always tried to be careful with grammar and spelling, although typos can sometimes creep in, much to my annoyance.

    One of my bugbears is the use of the word ‘of’ instead of ‘have’. For example, ‘I would of enjoyed going to the beach’ instead of ‘I would’ve enjoyed…’.

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  2. One of the reasons I started my blog was to try and jog my memory on stuff like this. After staying at home for a while with my son I just felt I was forgetting everything and needed to bring it back to the fore!

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  3. I’m so with you on this. I’ve had someone comment on my Facebook page asking me to like theirs. However the grammar was so horrendous, there’s no way I’d want to read their blog.

    I have to admit I don’t recall being taught proper sentence construction or much about grammar at school, but luckily my mum made sure I was correct, and reading a lot does help. I shall be drumming it into my son, as I won’t be able to bear it if he’s all text speak and rubbish grammar/spelling.

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  4. Ok I have to use capital letters here for emphasis “NO! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!”

    The its /it’s one is my bugbear. My other one is the over-use of naff Americanisms creeping in to our lingo, “can I get” instead of “please may I have” is my biggest cringe!!

    All that said, I know I make mistakes, I often read posts back weeks after having proof read them and spot a glaring error. Oh the horror!!

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  5. Thank you all so much. I’M GLAD I’M NOT ALONE!!
    The ‘have’ and ‘of’ irks me too, Trish. I could write a book… But someone already has – Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I’ve read it, Lesley. For a while it was a really big deal, but now it’s all forgotten. Maybe it’s time to bring it back?
    I think the grammar I was taught at school was pretty good, Emma, particularly the grammar I learned at primary school. I also read a lot, which helps. So do my kids, thank goodness! My daughter is 6 but can already use a possessive apostrophe.
    Oooh, yes, Luci. Americanisms! The one I dislike is ‘gotten’. IT’S NOT AN ACTUAL WORD IN THIS COUNTRY! DO NOT USE IT!

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  6. I wrote a piece on omission and possession when I was 7 years old lol. You probably hate my blog as I put random capitals in the title because it looks weird without them.

    Are you linking this up with ranty Friday ?

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  7. You’re most definitely not alone in your grammar geek world. I’m right there with you!
    I know what you mean about physically feeling pain when spotting mistakes.
    If I saw onion’s 10p while out I would have to fight down an urge to point it out to the shopkeeper or rub the offending eyesore out.
    As for capital letters all the time. IS THERE ANY NEED FOR ALL THE SHOUTING?! Drives me mad.
    Don’t even get me started on your and you’re, there and their, and should of instead of should have.
    That last one actually has me shouting it’s have! HAVE!” at the laptop. 🙂
    And breathe….. 😀

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  8. Haha we all have our bug bears, and actually I nano myself with my lack of punctuational care. I find it really hard to proof read my own writing, and it is often only a few days later that I can spot the glaring errors! The other way I annoy myself is excessive usage of exclamation marks!! I think I have forgotten commas and full stops completely!! !!!! !! !!!! Grrrrrr!!! Haha! Will stop now!! Or can I?!?! help! I am stuck in an exclaiming loop!!!!!!

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  9. See. And there is proof of my inability to proof read. Nano should read annoy! Lol

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  10. Lol, and there was me actually trying to wonder what the heck nano meant before noticing your next comment, lol!
    *Outs myself as an even bigger geek* 😀

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  11. Oh I so hear you on this!

    When we were in town last week I saw a sign outside a pub saying “No horse burger’s sold here” and I rubbed the apostrophe out! Yes, it hurt writing that.

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  12. I’m fairly easy with apostrophes….it bugs me when people say should of though!

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  13. Should of/have.
    There, their and they’re.
    Your and you’re.

    These all annoy me to the point that I will stop reading a blog if they happen often enough. Oh and ‘i’ non capitalised, no, just no!!!

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  14. I totally agree. A misplaced apostrophe can cause actual pain and, certainly, the urge to take direct action.

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  15. I would love to be better with grammar, if I knew what was right I would sure as hell get annoyed with those who didn’t. Sadly I am probably an offender!

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  16. You’re not alone, I am a stickler for it too. But must admit to rushing my posts on occasion and making an error….and I’m not entirely sure of the use of capital letters in a title – I even googled that yesterday! Enlighten me please oh Grammar Geek! I do admit to being totally put off my a blog which is full of grammar errors and mis-spellings though…am I a grammar snob?!

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  17. Thank you very much for your comments, everybody! I really appreciate them.
    PinkOddy – I decided many years ago (partly because of influence of people I work with) that capitals in titles were wrong. But it is a matter for personal taste. I’m definitely linking up with ranty Friday! Haven’t had a good rant in ages.
    There’s a lot of support here for getting the ‘should have’ right. And I’m with you all the way on that one, everybody!
    MummyGlitzer I am in awe at you rubbing out the greengrocer’s apostrophe. There should be more of this in the world!
    Suzanne – you’re not a grammar snob. I’m put off by bad grammar too. I can let the odd thing go (I can delude myself they’re typos), but I will give up reading blogs which are repeatedly filled with bad grammar.
    Those of you who are worrying about your own grammar – your not on my secret offenders’ list in my head!

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  18. Sarah do not read my blog Haha…. I am so bad at spelling!! I wish was better but know hope for me now…so thankful for spell check and my husband 🙂 thanks for joining us at welcome to the weekend hop…..

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  19. Bless you, Claire! You need Eats Shoots and Leaves! Always a pleasure to join you for the weekend hop 🙂

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  20. Am reading your blog backwards having only just looked at it on a proper screen (not a mobile!).
    Is the last sentence of your second last post supposed to be ironic?!

    “…your not on my secret offenders’ list….”


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  21. Did I seriously write that?! If I did I can only apologise and you have permission to shoot me. What can I say, I’m only human… *hangs head in shame*

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  22. Haha I’m glad I popped back to this post – that is so ironically funny, but something we all do all the time isn’t it.

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  23. Yep! I never proofread my comments, but I always proofread my posts. I’d better start reading my comments too. At least I was honest and admitted my failure!

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