Grammar Police?

“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.” Author Unknown

I was once asked why I am such a “Grammar Police.” There is something about butchered grammar that simply bothers me. Every time I see a spelling error I mentally hit the delete key and retype the word correctly. Wrong word placement makes my skin itch and so does adding unnecessary words. For example, “He didn’t buy us drinks to drink.” What else do people typically do with drinks? Is there a need to explicitly state what your intentions with the drinks are?

I am not an English expert but I do try as much as possible to use the language correctly. I think this has something to do with the fact that we (many a Kenyan children) were forced to master English in school. Spelling errors and incorrect usage of the language often resulted in our hands getting acquainted with the teacher’s wooden ruler or bamboo stick. Oh, we were also forbidden from using our mother tongues while in school. That kind of thing was a sure ticket to detention. As for Swahili, our national language, well, that was only to be used in the confines of a Kiswahili lesson. Yes, school administrators that forbade us from freely speaking Swahili – I blame you for the fact that my Swahili is oceans away from where it should be (but I digress…)

From those somewhat traumatic experiences arose an individual (a phoenix of sorts perhaps…ha) who wields the grammar baton energetically ( so dramatic I almost turned that into a poem…ha).

If you are going to use a language at least make an effort to do so correctly. There is really no excuse for spelling errors in the auto correct era that we live in. In case your gadgets for some reason lack such features, remember that Google is and will always be your best friend. Trust your knowledge but verify with Google (or Bing…whatever makes your toes curl).

Please know that whenever this or any other so called grammar police waves their baton at you, they are simply trying to prevent you from a cameo on this list.


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