Sponsored by the Grammar Nerd

Thank you to those of you who traveled through the Internet with me this week! I don’t know when I told you last and I know I don’t say it enough, but I really do appreciate each one of you who takes the time to stop by and read what I’ve written here….and  occasionally elsewhere.

Speaking of writing, I thought I’d bring a little discussion a few of us were having on my friend Tanya’s Facebook page over to Snoodlings. In case you’ve forgotten, my daughter and Tanya’s youngest daughter are BFFs. They even have the shirts to prove it.

Unfortunately, the girls have outgrown those shirts so I’ve been looking for replacements. We were shopping in Target the other day and I saw a shirt that I thought might fit the bill:


Then I looked a little closer. Class, can any of you tell me why I refused to purchase this shirt?

I could not in good conscience purchase this shirt because it has an unnecessary apostrophe.  Why is it B-F-F-apostrophe-S? This would seem to indicate that something belongs to the BFF. Snoopy’s dog house, perhaps?  My comment on Tanya’s page turned into a round table discussion about the improper use of apostrophes to form the plural form of words. I actually felt a little giddy that other friends felt as passionately about the apostrophe as I do.

Now, look. I know that I make grammatical errors daily when I talk and when I speak. In fact, I’ll probably make many more in this post than I usually do simply because I’m being such a grammar snob.

That said, I am always on the lookout for needed edits. Like on grammatically incorrect t-shirts. Just in case you think Target is the only offender, look at this t-shirt from Old Navy:


Online article on http://www.latimes.com

Old Navy is reprinting thousands of collegiate t-shirts because instead of saying, “Let us go!” their t-shirts seem to imply a defeatist team spirit. This team won’t persevere because it “lets go.”

Punctuation and other grammatical mistakes can be funny. One of my favorite books, Eats, Shoots and Leaves is all about punctuation errors that convey meanings that the writer did not intend.

Some blunders cross over from the amusing category into one that makes me feel the way I do whenever I hear someone scrape a fork across a dinner plate.

I’m looking at you, America’s Got Talent.

And you, Miranda Cosgrove.  I like iCarly as much as the next forty-one-year-old mom, but Miranda’s song “Dancing Crazy” drove me crazy.  Especially the part where she sings “I don’t know where I’m at.”

You don’t know where you are, dear.

My kids laugh at my “Grammar Geek” ways. They also find it amusing that I don’t like certain words that are part of everyday vocabulary. I’m not talking the “bad” words like S.U. (“shut up”) or words that rhyme with “trap” and “smart,” for some reason, I cringe whenever I hear the word “moist.” I just don’t like the way it sounds. I don’t think I’m the only one with word issues. If I remember correctly, my childhood friend Alison didn’t like to hear anyone say the word “toe.”

On the other hand, I have a list of words that I love to say. I have always loved the word “sprocket.” I’m not even sure what it means, I just like the way it feels in my mouth.

Ah, words. They’re fun.

So, I need to know. Do I have any fellow grammar nerds out there? Do any of you have words you love or hate?  Come on! Crazy loves company!



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17 responses to “Sponsored by the Grammar Nerd

  1. Jen

    I am not a grammar geek. I call typos artistic liscence 🙂 Like not putting a period there at the end of the sentence. I’m not sure when emoticons will find “punctuation”status but I hope for it. My personal quirk is that I do love words! I pick a word and play with it and use it profusely for weeks at a time. My current word would be: powerless. I enjoy its length and meaning. You’ll understand why more than most 🙂 See? Did it again! No pronoun there either… That’s my other quirk, taunting grammar geeks 🙂 I wish I were better at grammar. My only defense is that when these concepts were introduced in the 4th grade the space shuttle exploded and I seem to remember nothing from that year after that.

    • whimzie

      You’re a poet! You have poetic license! The rules don’t apply to you!

      I don’t write in complete sentence or use proper sentence structure when I blog. I write like I talk. True grammar geeks would cringe, I know.

      So, you pick words with special meaning attached. I just pick words that I like the way they sound and try to force them into everyday conversation.
      I like the phrase “spontaneous combustion” for awhile. That’s hard to work into daily talk.

  2. Once upon a time, an accounting firm in town put up their new sign, “So and So CPA’s”. I totally called them out on it…even though they were my competition.

    Also, I hate the word ‘womb’. I can’t even explain why.

  3. My first year teaching, I had a student who would perform his grooming at the end of class. Aside from the obvious breaking of a rule: “no personal grooming in Chemistry lab,” he would also inform me that it was important for him to “moisturize.” I hate that word.

    • whimzie

      See, this is weird because although I don’t like the word “moist,” I have no issues with “moisture” or “moisturize.” How is that possible?

  4. Text-speak in a written conversation bothers me. Our students text quite a bit and I refuse to respond to “C u na few”. I just pretend that I don’t understand. 🙂

    • whimzie

      My friend Jeff and I thought we were the only ones! The other day A was watching me send a text and she said, “Mom, you know you don’t have to spell out all the words. You could put ‘C’ instead of ‘see’ and stuff like that.” I looked at her and said sadly, “No, baby, I couldn’t.” I don’t think I physically could do it. I hate it when I have to abbreviate stuff to make it fit into a Tweet! I will break my own rule then so I can keep it within 140 characters.

  5. I love the word “idiosyncrasy.” Did I spell that right? And my Jessica cracks up when she hears “Charles”. (Of course, she IS 13.)
    Did you notice I put one period inside the quotation marks and one outside? I read in the paper that they’re revising that rule, so I did it both ways, just in case.
    (As the daughter of an editor, I have been a grammar geek all my life. I’m constantly proof-reading and correcting the TV, Sunday School material, etc. Is that a blessing or a curse?)

    • whimzie

      I do like that word.

      You should read _Eats, Shoots & Leaves_! It talks about the whole punctuation within quotes thing. Apparently in the UK, they put their marks outside the quotation marks while we’ve always favored the reverse in the US. I like my quotation marks inside the quotes.

      But did you see what I did to the title of the book? It drives me crazy that I can’t underline or italicize in quotes. I thought about putting it in all caps but I understand that’s like screaming which would be rude and unnecessary.

  6. I am a card-carrying member of Grammar Geeks Never Anonymous. My husband loves to push my buttons just because I get so passionate about it. I loved “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.” It made me want to picket several movies. Do you have any of Mignon Fogarty’s books? She has some great titles, all of which I happily hand to my husband to study. My favorite for me, though, is her “Grammar Devotional.” Too fun.

    Oh, to answer your question, I abhor the word irregardless. Ack!!! It hurts just to type it!!!! My husband uses it all the time simply because it is, in fact, in the dictionary. (Can you hear me grinding my teeth while I admit this?) Words I love … that’s a tougher question because more than specific words, I love the creative and proper use of words. A beautiful string of accurately employed morsels, it makes me giddy. 🙂 Lately, however, my favorite single word is Quetzalcoatlus. It’s some kind of giant flying dinosaur; that’s all I know about it, but it’s just so fun to say.

    • whimzie

      I follow her on Twitter but I’ve never read any of her books. They should go on my list!

      Quetzalcoatlus, huh? That’s a tough one to work into conversations.

  7. I am a grammer geek: it bugs me to hear or see improper language anywhere. The funny thing is that I was a science major (nursing), and I’ve only noticed this bugging me the last few years (maybe because there is so much more of it.) A double negative is probably the one that drives me over the edge the most!

    • whimzie

      Did I know you were a nursing major? Me, too! I was a nurse once upon a time.

      Double negatives set my teeth on edge as well!

      • I think we started to “touch” on that subject @ CPQ’s, then were interrupted. I mostly worked L&D, but also did a little bit of most everything, until we had our kids. I loved it but have never missed it since I always wanted to be a SAHM. (There, I did it! I used initials!!!)

  8. "me"

    I think the word “indubitably” was one of the reasons I fell in love with Bing Crosby!!!

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