Grammar police

So it’s happened to me again. I’ve been unnecessarily and rudely corrected in public.

I’m a an occasional commenter on a very popular LGBTQ blog that has a rather large amount of commenters on mostly news and political posts. The comment section gets rather lively and is often hilarious. Having been participating for many years, I feel as I’m part of a family over there. I probably spend too much time in that comment section when I should be putting that time and energy writing blog posts here.

There is one annoying thing I run into over there and that is the self appointed grammar police. They seem to feel it their job to seek and find grammatical errors and then just blatantly correct another commenter just right there in the open on a public forum. I guess their superior ego needs to make them feel good pointing out the error of another. They are obviously better at English than I am so why not show it? Of corse at the cost of making people like me look stupid and uneducated.

It’s just fucking rude.

It is one thing if my grammatical error actually changes the meaning of what I, or other poor unsuspecting commenters, intend to convey which can and does occur. In that case a caring individual might make a gentle comment simply saying “Maybe you could say such and such like this, rather than that as it can be confusing the way you have stated it as to your intended meaning.” However it’s another thing to just interject an abrupt correction that in no way changes the intended message, but does make the person writing the comment look bad.

To give you an example, earlier today I made this comment on a post: “Oh well that’s three less votes for …”  And within a few minutes I had the single word response “fewer.”

I found this quite rude and it’s far from the first time it has happened. Before writing this post I decided to Google the usage to make sure that my use of “less” rather than “fewer” didn’t change the intended meaning and it doesn’t. It apparently is proper to use “fewer” rather than “less” in this instance, but it didn’t change the meaning. So why would someone bother to make such a correction other than to boost their own ego by pointing out my error?

To these grammar police I’d like to say it’s not your business to correct me or anyone else who makes a simple grammatical error, especially in a public forum in front of other people. You aren’t being superior, you’re just being rude showing your “assumed”superiority. Not all of us had the means to go to college and get degrees in English. Some of us struggled in high school and then did the best we could to get training in a field afterward to go out and make a living. I, and many others like me, have worked hard and made a good life for ourselves and our families without the advantages of a higher university education, nor were we the type who excelled in the underfunded public schools we grew up in on the poor side of town.

There I’ve said my peace here on my own blog without getting into an argument in another bloggers comment section nor downvoting the rude comment from a self appointed grammar police troll.

Having said my peace on my little soapbox, I try my best on the few blog posts I write and the comments I make to use the best grammar I know how and to spell to the best of my ability. I do and will make mistakes. I do welcome corrections as long as they are in a kind courteous manner. Corrections help me to learn and grow. Some corrections are actually very necessary as some errors can change the intended meaning of a well intended thought. So what I’m saying is don’t ever not correct me, but correct myself and others only when it is needed, and please do so in a kind and courteous way.