Grammar Nerd

Grammar NerdRoger posted about this grammar nerd sign that his sister had sent to him via Facebook saying: ‘This is you dear brother.’

Like him, my immediate thought was that there should be a comma between the words ‘you’ and ‘brother’, which I guess must mark me down as a grammar nerd, but I thought I should take the test anyway.

  1. A big tick here. I don’t text often, but when I do I write in standard English, mainly because it often takes me longer to read text-speak than it does the real thing and I’m polite enough to assume that others are the same.
  2. Not really. I doubt if my grammarly interventions would be appreciated and in any case, I’m more interested in what people have to say and not how they say it in an informal setting.
  3. I definitely know the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ and other pairs of often confused words. Like ‘appraise’ and ‘apprise’. It used to annoy the hell out of me when people at work would use the former when all they were doing was telling someone something.
  4. I may feel compelled to correct poorly written public signs, but it isn’t an urge I’ve ever given in to. I’m happy to point them out though, as I did on Table Mountain.
  5. My online writing errors annoy me, rather than mortify. It happens a lot because I write too fast and post before properly proof-reading.
  6. I don’t usually use the Oxford comma, but there are times when it is necessary (see Grammarly). Punctuation is an aid to understanding and I tend to use commas for the same brief pause you hear in speech.
  7. The above scores me at least half a mark, although I don’t follow Grammarly on Facebook or Twitter. But then I don’t follow anyone on social media!
  8. Nope. See answer seven.
  9. A double negative doesn’t make me cringe, more a sigh of exasperation.
  10. Definitely. Not only do I mentally edit books and magazines, I do the same for the spoken word on news programmes and the like.

By my reckoning, that gives me a score of 7½ which may go up or down depending on my mood and how you interpret my answers. So I’m just a three-quarter nerd, not the whole OCD, and I’m aware of my own failings when it comes to the written word. On that note, thank you everyone who has used the Mistape function below to let me know about my mistakes. I don’t know who you are unless you tell me, but it is appreciated.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 26th April 2016

    As I have never sent a text message in my life, question one means little to me. However, I find that question’s sweeping assumption quite infuriating. I wonder why “Grammarly” chose to present its “signs” in block capitals. As for the so-called Oxford or serial comma, my view is that there are times when it is right and times when it is an unnecessary irritation. I prefer to use the Yorkshire comma which is directed by common sense… or should that read comma sense?

    • Mr Parrot 26th April 2016

      You don’t use text messaging, but you understand ‘shouting’? (I nearly prefixed that sentence with ‘meh’ which is about the limit of my comprehension.

      But I agree about the Oxford comma. I meant to include this link which demonstrates when it might be necessary. For both of us, punctuation is an aid to understanding, not a rigid rulebook.

  • Mr Parrot 26th April 2016

    Thank you Roger for using the Mistape option. A perfect example of my imperfect proof-reading.

  • Roger Green 27th April 2016

    And I used the ” for ‘ in don’t in the piece, which I fixed. And 2 stops instead of 1 (or 3). Meh.


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