Monday, May 8, 2006

Grammar Nazi

I used to be one, probably from grade 8-11. My senior year of high school, I relaxed a lot about it, realizing that people are going to talk the way they talk no matter what I thought about it, so I should just chill. Then I took a linguistics course during my freshman year of college, in which I learned about descriptive and proscriptive grammar. Now I essentially root for descriptive; if everyone in history was all grammar nazi-like, nothing would ever change, and we'd only speak one language, and talking would be boring. Innovation and evolution are part of language, so all you people who visibly cringe when someone uses a word "improperly," you can all just shut up. I hate you. Alright, I really don't hate you, but people who use their so-called superior knowledge to make normal people look up to them, they really annoy me and sometimes make me angry.

That all being said, I still have little bits of my past control-freak that surface now and again. One that really bugs me? When people try to type "Voila," but end up saying "viola." Those two words are not the same. It really shouldn't bother me, since spelling isn't terribly important in the grand scheme of things, and especially since neither of those words is used very frequently. But still. Every time I see "Viola!" in somebody's writing, I think to myself, "Cello! Bassoon! Marimba!," even though I know what they really meant to say.

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