Readersforum's Blog

February 23, 2013

How the Superheroes of Literature can save you from the Grammar Nazis

superman-vs-hitlerBy Cath Murphy

We’ve all met a Grammar Nazi: those people who think it is their iron-clad duty not to comment on the rhythm of your prose or the strength of your arguments, but on the fact that you missed an apostrophe in the second line of paragraph three. I’m not going to delve into the psychology of those who misguidedly think that language has rules and they alone know how to apply them, except to remark that I’ve always been persuaded that there’s a strong correlation between a person’s propensity to correct the grammar and spelling of others and the likelihood that this same person is into weird sex.

The problem with the Grammar Nazis is not only that having a scornful virtual finger pointed at your mistakes is about as pleasant as non-anaesthetized toenail extraction, it’s that even when they’re wrong, they’re right. Even if the ‘rule’ the Grammar Nazi is attempting to enforce is so dead the only examples are found stuffed in museums, all you will get for your attempts to persuade them is carpal tunnel syndrome and a tension headache. It’s at times like these you need a secret weapon: none other than the Superheroes of Literature, authors so mighty and famous that a mere mention of them will, like a well aimed laser beam, reduce a Grammar Nazi to a heap of ash.

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