A Whole Nother Blog Post

I feel ashamed and rather reluctant to admit it, but I am indeed what people classify as a Grammar Nazi.  There is an unparalleled joy that I receive from reading a piece of prose with flawless grammar, and also an unparalleled anger that bubbles inside of me when I spot an error in a published novel (I mean come on, these things go through rounds of editing, don’t they?).

That being said, I am not claiming perfection.  I know firsthand how easy it is to miss a typo or to forget a comma in a paper.  But, there are a few grammar flaws for which I show no mercy:

The use of ‘these ones’ and ‘those ones’ instead of ‘these’ or ‘those’

  • I must have inherited my hatred for these two phrases from my mother, seeing as this is her biggest pet peeve.  My skin crawls whenever I hear someone, especially a professional use the phrase because it in unnecessarily wordy and definitely not grammatically correct.  I once came across the phrase in a book and refused to read the rest (yeah, I’m that serious about it).

‘A whole nother’… what the heck is a ‘nother’? Another whole is more like it.

  • Just as I am typing out this blog post, that irritating red squiggly line has made its mark beneath the word that I hesitate to type again.  “Nother” is not, nor should it ever be, accepted by the dictionary.  It is not a quantifiable amount and it is most certainly not a recognized word in the English language.

On the other hand, I could go on and on about aspects of grammar that I love.  For the sake of your time and sanity, though, I will stick to just one. The comma.  I love the comma key more than any other key on the keyboard and more than any other character on the page.  Commas make writing sound like speaking, and that is why I appreciate their presence so much.  They may be small, but their presence is significant.  You, comma, will always hold a special place in my heart.

2 thoughts to “A Whole Nother Blog Post”

  1. Abigail,

    I so relate! That instant in which my flying eyes halt upon an error in a published work catapults me from my engrossment in the story and forces me to remember that behind the typed words are publishers, editors, designers, marketers, distributors, etc. making the book that resides in my hands at the moment. It may just be me, but I hate to be reminded of the publishing industry while I am actively escaping into a piece, unless, of course, it plays a role in the plot of the writing. I would much rather be left to enjoy the writing, which I absentmindedly understand has been edited enough times to avoid such mishaps.

    It is interesting to me that your biggest pet peeves are related to lazy speech that has slipped into writing. Since you love the comma for its ability to make the written word seem like speaking, it makes sense that the elements of improper grammar you most detest are crimes committed against grammar through regular conversation every day.

  2. Abigail,

    I know exactly what you mean – I once spotted a grammatical error in a textbook and adamantly continued through the course without opening it again. Although I think grammatical errors serve some use in certain circumstances, in others they do not. When an author mimics a dialect by writing “Hallo” instead of “hello” in dialogue, I can appreciate it. The error holds some value there in order to make a character more realistic. In textbooks, published non-fiction works, and essays however, there is no place for that stuff because it distracts the reader. Although I might not share the degree of your grammatical vigor, I know that the publishing world needs more people like you!

    Miriam

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