No matter how refined your writing may be, there is one thing you as a citizen journalists should fear more than anything – the grammar and spelling police. You could literally be the only reporter to take note of a huge asteroid about to strike Earth, and one dangling participle would throw these linguistic sharks into a feeding frenzy of appropriateness, making them oblivious to any other circumstance. You have all fallen victim to them at one time or another. But, now there is hope. New studies indicate that their maladjusted enthusiasm for correctness may have a cure.
For my part, I have little trouble with the “core constituency” of grammar storm troopers out there. My contingent of textual terrorists have aligned themselves to irradiate spelling and typographical wrong doers, for which I am certainly the poster child. It seems unforgivable I know, for anyone who has been so prolific in writing for the Web, but I somehow cannot bring myself to either type from the “home keys”, or spend too long editing my own verbiage. I am sorry, I write for those who can look past the handwriting into heart of matters. I know too that other journalists, with a proclivity to greater grammar malfeasance, are likely gladder :) than I to see a remedy to this situation.
The grammar police actually have a website too. Did you know that? Well, actually several websites. I was not aware until today that the “organization” was anything more than a random school of barracudas swimming beneath the surfed Web. Ah well, there is merit to their chastizement of us all in all honesty. Where would any of us be without our English 101 professors any way? I think the problem with “grammar gods” is the way they put things really. Ever notice how blunt and rude they can often be? Well this is an indicator of just how important the rules of writing are to them. The video above is really the most appropriate and well thought out multi-media revelation about these people I have yet seen. The suggested tolerance and new methodologies therein being great ways to have a “meeting of the minds” between writers and, Uh, readers?
Any way, I would also like to suggest the following methods/remedies for grammar patrolmen in need of release, and or, therapy.
- Stop Reading Other People’s Work – Yes, one remedy for you and the unsuspecting victim of your paranoia is to stop reading those who cannot type or otherwise infringe upon your tender “grammatical sensibilities.”
- Enter The Fray – I suggest grammar policemen write articles and then send them to other “brown shirts” in order that they might be chopped to pieces.
- Soften The Blow – No, I do not mean to chop your cocaine into smaller bits, I mean; “Make it easier to tolerate you.” I suggest adding some kind words about the effort and time an author took to relay information, no matter how trivial. You know, tell them thanks for the effort, but you spelled tipo wrong.
- Have Bad Linguistic Sex – Find someone who can barely speak your language correctly, who is dynamite under the sheets. I know this sounds crude, but identifying with people who are good at one thing, and bad at another is good therapy.
- Extreme Measures – Finally, if you just cannot mediate your own self aggrandized grammatical superiority, try smashing your thumb with a hammer every time you feel the need to overly criticize others.
Failing all other measures, or feeling needful of more therapy, watch the video again and try to mediate your fervor at least a little more. We are human beings too, and we do understand. But, if I can answer idiotic comments all day long, and tolerate an indifferent world, then the “grammar gods” out there can certainly deal with mistyped words. I know, a piece of written work with errors is akin to serving and New York strip steak no a dirty plate. But then, rude and unfriendly behavior is like someone throwing the plate and the steak at you.
We understand though, we really do. When the indescribable stench of all those misguided segues rises to choke your perfectionist sentimentality, you find yourself grasping and clutching at your keyboard, trying to hold back the rage. That little something, tugging tremulously at your inner peace, propelling you longingly for some release, finally to post that cutting and seemingly appropriate comment. Take that Mister Anderson! All the while wishing you had Agent Smith’s power to control the Matrix and to silence Neo once and for all. But then, from a linguists point of view, who is Neo?