I izz Grammar Nazzzi!! Arr!!!
This may be a tad rant-y. Sorry. But I hope it’s maybe slightly funny as well.
How can you not like this little swashbuckling fella? So, you like him, yes? Well then, can you tell me why Grammar Nazis get so much hate? We’re just as swashbuckling as that little guy! Seriously, however…
Things that bug me about bad grammar is neither the occasional slip-up nor an honest mistake by someone communicating in an acquired language. No, it is when a native English speaker communicates in English, but is too lazy to either learn correct grammar, or to use correct grammar. When you try to argue with me using the old clichéd argument “Ugh, grammar is silly and unnecessary!”, you are only strengthening my low opinion of you. When a person with all the advantages in the world tells me that “I can’t be bothered to learn correct grammar”, it grinds across my raw nerves. Why? Because grammar is neither silly nor unnecessary. If there were no language rules – grammar – any attempts at communication would be mutually incomprehensible. If your grammar is incorrect, you will not be taken seriously within any mature circles.
But actually I cannot care whether you will wonder for the rest of your life why nobody takes you seriously. Why I actually get angry about people who cannot be bothered to get even the basics of English grammar correct is because… GUESS WHAT?! I am not a native English speaker!!! So if I can go to such an amount of trouble with my grammar in my acquired language that I have reached the point where am I bothered by the mistakes native speakers make in their language, why can’t you? Yes, you, you advantaged native English speaker who could have learnt English grammar with far less trouble than I had to through, if only you could be bothered.
Of course, I am human too, and I too make occasional mistakes in my grammar. But following below are a few basic grammar/spelling pointers, and I can guarantee you that I never make mistakes with these anymore. So, if you want to do me a favour, and you haven’t yet thrown your hands up into the air screaming “Oh, get a life! Why do you make it your business to be nit-picky over my grammar?”, learn the differences between these words. There is plenty of help for that on the internet – if your computer is too precious to leave and happens to be the reason why your language is suffering.
But there is not one English grammar mistake in this world that bothers me as much as… *drum roll here please*
The titanic battle between:
Yes, there is a difference. A big one:
“your” = possessive. It is used as an indicator that something belongs to you or someone else.
“you’re” = a contraction for “you are”. If you are not sure, try fitting “you are” in its full version into the sentence. If it fits ! If it doesn’t, you know you’re wrong, and because you are not stupid you will then think whether your sentence has something possessive in it, and turn to “your” if so.
If all else fails, get a good grammar checker. Purr-lease?