Confession: I almost, almost put “Ten Signs Your a Grammar Nerd” as the title of this blog post. Intentionally. Just to see how many people came over to decry my atrocious abuse of the English language.
Better counsel prevailed, and instead I want to welcome you to Bethany House’s little corner of the Internet, where you can be surrounded by fellow lovers of proper usage and punctuation, with nary a stray apostrophe or comma in sight.
Not sure if you belong? Here are a few signs. You know you’re a grammar nerd when:
One: You have a favorite punctuation mark. Probably a least favorite one as well. And you are fully equipped to explain why to anyone who wants to know (and quite a few who don’t).
Two: You can spot errors everywhere—Facebook posts, graduation programs, flyers on the bulletin board, lyrics for your church’s worship music—and once you see them, you can never un-see them. Never.
Three: You feel the need to look up every oddly-specific rule before sending an email or posting a Facebook update (“Does the question mark go outside of the quotation marks in this case?” “Is it an en dash or a hyphen?” “Is that the British spelling, or am I just wrong?”).
Four: You have an opinion about the Oxford comma. In fact, you might be willing to challenge someone to a duel over it. (I’m not 100% sure how this duel would proceed, but I picture two people bashing each other with Chicago vs. AP style guides until someone capitulates.)
Five: You physically twitch when spellcheck underlines something that is perfectly correct.
Six: You sometimes have nightmares about sending a text without noticing that autocorrect mangled your message.
Seven: You have corrected errors on printed materials in public, occasionally to the point of defacing private property, without getting caught.
Eight: You own red pens that vary in style and thickness. After all, every occasion demands a different correcting tool!
Nine: You understand the punch lines for all of these jokes:
“Past, present, and future walk into a bar. It was tense.”
“What do you say when comforting a grammar nerd? There, their, they’re.”
“There are three things that I love: the Oxford comma, irony, and missed opportunities.”
“What’s the difference between a cat and a comma? One has claws at the end of its paws and the other is a pause at the end of a clause.”
Ten: You have located a mistake of some sort in this post and feel ridiculously triumphant about it. (I’m sure some exist. That’s why I’m in marketing, not editorial.)
Next week on the blog, I’ll share some grammar nerd stories from our editing and marketing team members here at Bethany House, including their pet peeves and a few rules they don’t think should really be rules.
How would you finish the statement, “You know you’re a grammar nerd when…”?