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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Go away grammar police

I received a comment from my “The bigger they are the harder they fall” entry recently. It was from “Anonymous” and he/she said:

“I’d prefer it if you said ‘have to’ instead of ‘hafta’. It’s just childish and hurts credibility.”

I remember grammar and its role in blogs being a topic of debate from other blogs. Here are my thoughts.

First of all, I’m very happy that someone reads this blog and is inspired enough to post a comment on it. I hope this person is a regular reader and gets something out of this blog. But I kinda – sorry kind of – doubt it. This person chooses to pick on grammar instead of commenting on content. This person would have much more credibility in my mind if he/she said “Interesting insights on how small companies can compete with big ones. Oh by the way, I’d prefer it if you said…” The other thing that tells me this person isn’t a real reader is he (I’ll use “he” from now on) almost takes personal offense to it. He uses “I’d prefer it” instead of “The right way to use it is…” And calling it childish is another clue (yes, I know starting a sentence with “and” isn’t grammatically correct either).

I know my grammar. I probably know it better than 90% of the people in the US. I did well in English class. I know my subjects and predicates, pronouns and antecedents, and parallel structure. But there’s another part of English class that people forget: the “arts” side of English, like poems, prose, and different styles that don’t follow grammar rules. Remember Catcher in the Rye? Have at it grammar geeks. My blog, and I bet most blogs out there, don’t aspire to be New York Times articles. There’s more Catcher in the Rye type poetic license. So what do you hafta say about that? 


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