Calling all grammar sticklers! How good is your grammar? If you meet at least 13 of the following 16 qualifications, you’re well on your way to being a licensed, registered grammarian!
1. The title of this article makes you want to stick pins in your eyes.
2. You’ve read Lynn Truss’s Eats, Shoots and Leaves for fun on vacation and have memorized her hilarious soliloquy on the its versus it’s debacle.*
3. There are three kinds of torture: water boarding, forced nudity, and someone pronouncing the word especially as expecially.
4. You refuse to succumb to societal pressures to use text as a verb, as in the doltish statement, “I texted him last night.” You prefer instead to say, “I sent him a text message last night.”
5. You notice that people who use text as a verb are more commonly disposed to use objective case pronouns in the subjective case, as in, “Me and him texted last night.” Inwardly, you correct this nitwit: “He and I were sending each other text messages last night.”
6. You know the difference between prescriptivism and descriptivism (you weren’t born in a proverbial linguistic Dark Age), but you still prefer to have a little class.
7. This little class meets every day at 10 a.m., and it’s called Language and Composition.
8. To you, the grandest anomaly of the misused possessive apostrophe has to be the inimitable possessive I’s, as in, “You can come to Jordan and I’s house.” You know that there is no English textbook under heaven in which that word appears.
9. You rarely tout your grammarian philosophies in public lest you start appearing a sexless prude. Instead, you privately (but voraciously) read articles like this one online, and if you’re feeling especially brave, you click, “Like.” (Though, when you’ve simply had enough, you muster up the courage and click, “Share,” later mentioning to Mom that she can say goodbye to the idea of grandchildren.)
10. You would like to introduce a few of your acquaintances to a new vocabulary word: doesn’t. As in, “He doesn’t know that it is incorrect to say ‘He don’t know.’”
11. At the same time, you would like to remove a certain four-letter word from the mouths of your acquaintances; the word is seen. As in, “I saw that she does not know how to use the word seen correctly.”
12. You need to use both hands to count how many times Calvary has been misspelled cavalry on those church praise and worship PowerPoints.
13. In fact, there are a couple of words that come to mind regarding the grammar and spelling on church praise and worship PowerPoints: extreme discomfort, embarrassment, anxiety, bodily aches, high blood pressure, nervous twitching, and general foaming at the mouth.
14. Despite the fact that society labels you a disagreeable prig, you do enjoy the occasional social mixer. In fact, you find that the two most attractive traits in the opposite gender are (1) eyes like pools in the ocean, and (2) the ability to use the pronoun each as a singular subject. As in, “Each of us is weak at the knees for blue eyes and verbs that agree in number.”
15. You’ve given up on foreign words like espresso and en pointe, which people can’t pronounce or spell, respectively, to save their lives. It strikes you that their dignity ceases to be in shreds; it is now burnt ashes.
16. You know that someone with bad grammar is going to read this article, feel bad about themselves, and then curl up into a ball to whimper ceaselessly. Ironically, you find that this is the exact reaction that you have to most instances mentioned in #1-13…