Confessions of a Grammar Nazi

I love precocious children. Especially when they aren’t my children. Mostly, they remind me of me. Which is awesome. I was certainly a precocious child. I’m incredibly proud to admit that when I was 4 years old, I was correcting the grammar of adults. It may not have been socially acceptable, but dammit, I don’t care what the dictionary says these days, “aint” ISN’T a word and “I don’t want no,” means “I want some.”

What I’m less than proud to admit, is my own atrocious grammar mistakes. While my mother may have instilled the rules of proper speaking grammar in me at a young age (and I took it upon myself to attempt instilling those same rules in her friends), my own writing grammar has been less than stellar.

Take my middle school “summer journals.” In these beauties, I documented stuff that I did with some minor internal commentary in my attempt to be the next Anne Frank. No, seriously, I thought really long and hard about what would need to happen for my piddly childhood writings to become a wildly famous novel. Of course, these journals are loaded with awful grammar, poor spelling, and (I really hate to admit this) horrible use of the most commonly misspelled words.

Okay, okay, I was in middle school. The teachings of the delightful Ms. Tanner and the sassy Ms. Klein had yet to grace my brilliant mind. I wasn’t an English major in 1995; I was merely an angsty pre-teen with just a few friends.

But after graduating from Bradley with a degree in English, I started writing a MySpace blog. In a big way. I wrote all the time. I wrote when I was frustrated; I wrote when I was sad; I wrote to tell my story (and I lived many of those stories just to write about them the next day).

I was pretty proud of myself for the length of time that I kept the aforementioned blog up. I was not proud of myself when I recently trolled through those same blog posts. My spelling and grammar were by far worse than most of my student teaching high school freshman. It was that bad. Maybe I didn’t seem to care because it was just MySpace…but wow! I feel like I had absolutely no pride in any of my work.

Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without my all time favorite part: teaching grammar to freshman. Yes, I had to teach grammar to two groups of 14 year olds. Yes, I had to somehow REMEMBER the grammar rules. Yes, I cried. A lot. But before I cried, I spent a whole weekend brushing up on my grammar rules. And boy were there a lot. I still managed to botch things up a bit, but overall I think I did pretty well. I think. Err… I did. I hope…

So I try. Really Really hard to make sure not to have any mistakes in this blog. But I’m sure that you could find some. And this grammar Nazi may need to hang up her uniform….

 

 

Nah.

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Comments

  1. Katie Kelly says:

    My personal favorite grammar sins are use of cliches, passive voice, and unnecessary appositive phrases! I use them all the time. Sigh. Also, I absolutely refuse to give up the oxford comma.

    • Christine Wojdyla says:

      I adore Passive Voice. A-freaking-dore. I always swore that if I ever did teach English, I would reward passive voice, not punish it.

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  1. […] it’s true. My grammar wasn’t always exceptional. It wasn’t until I started my master’s degree program (English teaching) and when I […]

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