Taking Grammar Nazi to a Whole New Level

Don’t sue me, I didn’t make it!

I’ve always wanted to talk about correcting people’s grammar on my blog, because I know how frustrating it can be to have a decently constructed conversation on the Internet. Several people have called me a “Grammar Nazi” in my life, which along with soup and feminists, is a pretty common subject to label “Nazi.”

However, I realize that approaching this topic may lead to my most controversial post to date, given the sensitivity surrounding the Holocaust. Thus, I would like to preface my statements:

By no means am I literally and legitimately comparing the despicable Nazi party to people who complain about comma usage.

As an Armenian-American whose culture has also been ravaged by genocide, I wholeheartedly empathize with the communities affected by the horrors of World War II. Please view this post as intended to be humorous and serve as a reminder that the freedom of speech is one of the many things we fought for 70 years ago.

Okie dokie? We’ll all play nice? Alrighty then, br1ng 0n t43 l0ls!

I actually don’t mind the phrase “Grammar Nazi;” in fact, it bothers me when people of relatively average knowledge of the English language are called it, because the term needs to be revised to discuss the degrees between the occasional hobbyist and the most nit-picky grammarians. Thus, I’ve created a hierarchy of complainers, so you can find out which category you fit into and discover how much better (or worse, depending on your perspective) it can get:

*Insert GIF with subtle use of Nazi salute*

Grammar Schindler

You know English pretty darn well and are considered an “insider,” but you never actually correct anyone and secretly don’t mind casual Internet talk with no capitalization or punctuation. You may even frequently misspell grammar on accident. You believe that aS lOnG aS pEoPlE DoNt TaLk LiKe ThIs, you won’t write them off. (Get it? “Schindler’s List?” Never mind, moving on…)

Only forgivable if you’re a baby!

Grammar SS

You’ve got the makings of a real Grammar Nazi, but you’re still just correcting the basics. You may know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” and “to, too, and two,” but let’s face it: so do 8-year-olds. You still can’t differentiate between “who” and “whom,” and you don’t understand why you shouldn’t (usually) end your sentences with prepositions. But you’re trying, and that’s what counts.

“Superman does good.” Perfect comeback!

Grammar Reichleiter

Now you’re getting somewhere! You not only correct people online, but you also correct people to their faces! No “Can I?,” “I could care less,” and “I’m doing good,” goes unnoticed. (Not even questionable double negatives, as seen in the previous sentence!) Best friend, total stranger, Nigerian princes in need of immediate money orders, there are no exceptions when it comes to making English better, one semi-colon at a time.

Superb grammar: Yet another reason I need to watch Dr. Who!

Grammar Hitler

The Der Führer of Grammar Nazis, you laugh at those who think themselves superior for knowing “fewer” from “less.” You possess supreme understanding of all phrases, clauses, idioms, modifiers, tenses, and voices. You get nauseated when people misuse “nauseous,” and disrespecting the predicative nominative will have you screaming, “Woe is I!” You probably took Latin in school, and if you’re a teacher, you relish in your multiple proofreading utensils of various colors (only amateurs limit themselves to red pens). You’ve corrected everyone so many times that they’re afraid to talk to you. But that’s okay, because you’d rather be feared than loved.

I’d have to say I’m between a Grammar Reichleiter and a Grammar Hitler. I had one classmate of mine unfriend me on Facebook after I pointed out that she was not “lactose and tolerant.” Just this week I replied to a marketing email from Red Robin restaurants, correcting them on their unfortunate subject line of “Being Royalty has it’s perks!”

And my favorite, I took a picture of this monstrosity two years ago:

I'm embarrassed for this valedictorian's friends, who clearly needed a few more semesters of English before graduating.

I’m embarrassed for this valedictorian’s friends, who clearly needed a few more semesters of English before graduating.

Thanks to the my favorite high school English teacher (a true Grammar Hitler) and my two years of studying Latin, my understanding of grammar has greatly improved. However, I understand that grammar is like a second language, and simply speaking English is not a good enough prerequisite. Thus, I try to bite my tongue, because I’ve quickly learned that people don’t like feeling dumb. But boy, do I love when people correct themselves in front of me before I do! Makes me feel like being a Grammar Nazi is worth it when people learn!

So controversial label aside, I love grammatical humor, which the Internet brings in abundance. For more fun, check out these wonderful websites:

And don’t forget to share your own grammatical pet peeves in the comments!

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My 1st Blogging Anniversary!

All my blogging anniversary needs is a baby panda!

So I’ve decided to forego this week’s Masterpiece Monday, because tomorrow will be my first blogging anniversary! When I became “Book Club Babe” a year ago, I would never have guessed how fun and rewarding it would be. In the grand scheme of things, my blog may not make that much of an impact, but I’m proud to say that I’ve gained over 14,000 views from all over the world. My readers are the best a blogger could ask for, and I’ve decided to make a better effort this year to engage in more conversations with them.

To celebrate this important milestone, I’m recapping my three most popular posts. Feel free to follow the links to read them in their entirety.

Fifty Shades of Grey: My Rant on Crappy Books and the People Who Buy Them. It looks like I’ve caught the Fifty Shades bandwagon and shook things up a bit with my criticisms. Luckily, my readers have awesome taste in literature and shared their own complaints of the crappy series. It felt so good to preach to the choir! (Originally posted 4/18/12)

Most Hated Words in the English Language? I had discussed The Huffington Post’s list of disgusting-sounding words. You agreed with the grossness of “moist,” “hubby,” and “fetus.” It seemed that anything too medical was also bad on the ears. However, it was nice to end on a good note with our favorite words. (Originally posted 8/2/11)

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This was a popular read among my readers, who enjoyed the unique photographs. I’m so glad that I read this novel, which I borrowed from a friend after she recommended it, because it was a good experience to read outside my comfort zone. I rated it 4 out of 5, so make sure to put it on your to-read lists! (Originally posted 4/5/12)

So has anyone else reached the first blogging anniversary? Let me know how it felt, and we can virtually toast to another year of books and blogging!

Food for Thought While I’m Gone

Hey everybody!

I’m going out of town this weekend, so I won’t be blogging until Masterpiece Monday. I’ll leave you with an interesting picture I found on I-Am-Bored.com about the phrases we say today because of Shakespeare. Obviously, we owe A LOT to the Bard, and it’s nice to appreciate his influence on the English language every now and then!

In the meantime, I’ll be reading 1984, eating great food, and dancing like Big Brother’s not watching me! Hahaha!!!

Have a fabulous weekend! Love, Book Club Babe

Most Hated Words in the English Language?

Last week, The Huffington Post released a list of words that readers find disgusting or hard to hear. I’ve always thought about words that drive me nuts, as well as ones I could say all day. Here’s their best of the worst:

  1. Maggots
  2. Sexy
  3. Pants
  4. Adipocere
  5. Fetus
  6. Viscous
  7. Roaches
  8. Hockey
  9. Moist
  10. Hillbilly
  11. Wolverine
  12. Slurp
  13. Hubby
  14. Panties
  15. Tender
          Now I have no problems with pants/panties, other than they’re singular words that sound plural. “Sexy” doesn’t bother me either, unless you use “sex” to describe genitalia instead of the act. Of course, any words about bugs like “maggots” and “roaches” are horrible–but I think “cockroach” is even worse. I also can’t stand “hubby,” simply because too many women use it when referring to their boyfriends–it’s short for “husband” people!!! “Fetus” also sounds gross, and I’ve wondered: what’s the plural form? Fetuses? Feti? Ugh.
          Personally, though, I have to give it to “moist.” It’s like nails on a chalkboard! It’s too versatile; I shouldn’t be able to use the same word for a delicious chocolate cake and a sweaty old man in the sauna…or worse, using “moist” in the bedroom, which should just be straight-up illegal!
          Other words that I would add to this list include “pus,” “crusty,” “mucus,” and “phelgm”–really anything to describe repulsive bodily functions or fluids. One of the many reasons why I want to be a writer, not a doctor.
          Thus, in order to cleanse my ears, here’s some of my favorite-sounding words:
  1. Loquacious
  2. Assassinate
  3. Annihilate
  4. Audacity
  5. Debacle
  6. Ethereal
  7. Prestidigitation
  8. Eclectic
  9. Adversary
  10. Lament
  11. Malevolent
  12. Pernicious
  13. Archaic
  14. Capricious
  15. Melody
          And yes, I realize that I have a lot of words dealing with destruction and evil. I’m not condoning the content, but what can I say? These words just roll off the tongue!
          What words do you love and hate? Any that need to be banned immediately? (But for the sake of my “G” rating, let’s avoid slang and slurs, alright? That’s a whole different level of ugly!)