When Grammar Nazis Attack!

Image via Jezebel

If there’s one type of story that makes waves in the literary world, it’s one about someone who has done J.K. Rowling wrong. The beloved author of the Harry Potter series is like Beyoncé: everybody just bows down in her presence.

Or should I say, almost everybody. There have been a few misguided souls who have attempted sticking it to Rowling, like that writer who was just jealous her spotlight was being ‘stolen.’

This week it was James Cook, contributing editor of The Daily Dot, an online publication. When Rowling asked her Twitter followers to “re-tweet” her support for Scotland’s rugby team in exchange for Pottermore content, Cook took the opportunity to tell her, “It’s ‘retweet’.”

Cue the outrage of Dumbledore’s Army! Due that unnecessary comment, Cook was harassed by many fans and felt obligated to offer a half-assed apology on The Daily Dot. Because it was categorized under “LOL” and featured condescending comments like, “For some unknown reason, Harry Potter is still a very big deal in France,” it’s obvious that Cook enjoyed his temporary infamy and seemed smug that he could gain his 15 minutes over a hyphen.

It’s jerks like Cook who give grammarians a bad name. I joke about being a ‘Grammar Nazi,’ but I would never in a million years correct a stranger over something as insignificant as hyphen usage. We all knew what Rowling meant, and if we’re getting technical here, either form can be correct.

Who cares if it’s e-mail or email? Cybersecurity or cyber-security? Sure, there are rules when the prefix affects meaning (release versus re-lease, for example), but I’m not about to get my panties in a twist over a personal punctuation preference.

Would Cook have been justified if Rowling used ‘your’ when she meant ‘you’re?’ I guess, but when his victim is a famous billionaire, then he better decide whether the backlash is worth the effort.

So while I’ve never attempted to take on someone of that scale, I have corrected people’s grammar on social media. Most notably, several years ago I told an acquaintance on Facebook that she was ‘lactose intolerant,’ not ‘lactose and tolerant,’ like she stated. Turns out her friends were just as clueless and commented their surprise. After what probably felt like humiliation to her, she promptly unfriended me.

Probably not what she meant 😉

Was I wrong to correct her? My tone was definitely lighthearted rather than vicious, but one could certainly argue that it wasn’t my place. It’s pretty clear that she wasn’t a close friend due to her response, so maybe I should have let it slide. But honestly, if you’re going to start deleting online relationships over silly mistakes like that, then maybe you should develop a thicker skin.

I’m not perfect, and my loved ones revel when they can catch me making grammatical mistakes during a conversation. Do I get butt-hurt? Nope, I brush it off and learn from it. Trust me, I bet that girl never labeled herself as ‘lactose and tolerant’ ever again, but if nobody pointed it out to her, she–and her friends–would sound like idiots for the rest of their lives.

But let me get your opinion: at what point does correcting someone’s grammar go from educational to annoying? Have you ever been the corrector or the corrected, and what happened? Do you stay silent in front of superiors or is nobody off-limits?

Share your stories in the comments!


Welcome to the new Book Club Babe! (And why my brother is better than yours)

Book Club Babe is back and better than ever! Take a look around! I’ve got a new logo and look, as well as an official Terms & Conditions and an updated About Me page. I’ve also purchased the domain bookclubbabe.net, so remember to add it to your bookmarks! A few tweaks are still in the works in regards to expanding on social media (like my new Facebook fan page!), but I was too excited to wait any longer!

Another way I’m working to effectively and cohesively professionalize my personal brand is to “come out” and reveal my identity. I’m obviously not off the grid or anything, so goodness knows I’m no secret agent, but I’ve never directly gone by my real name.

It’s Alyssa Jarrett, by the way, and it’s a pleasure to re-make your acquaintance! As someone just out of grad school and adjusting to the working world, I don’t have a huge online presence, but I encourage you to check out my About.Me website and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

I owe all these awesome blog changes to my only, and therefore, favorite sibling Nick Jarrett. Before I jump back into book blogging, I thought I would repay the favor by sharing just a few of the reasons why my brother is the best!

Looking like the pro he is!

Looking like the pro he is!

1. My brother is a kick-ass artist.

This one’s a given, considering the wonders he’s done for Book Club Babe. But just like I’ve always had literary inclinations, Nick’s been the artistic one in the family. He’s currently a graphic design student at Fresno State who does freelance work in his free time. With tattoos, gauges, and a morbid sense of humor, “creative” is a total understatement for this hardcore kid.

Nick with his friend Erik and girlfriend Bri.

Nick with his friend Erik and girlfriend Bri.

2. My brother created his own clothing company.

Over two years ago, Nick founded his clothing line I Scream Clothing, which specializes in colorful T-shirts for the hardcore scene. If you’re looking to wear fun, energetic, unique designs, look no further!

Nick in action!

Nick in action!

3. My brother is an awesome paintballer.

Nick’s also the captain of a paintball team called Genesis, which he formed in 2009 with his friends. He’s a snake player who’s helped Genesis win 1st place in their RPL division at Fresno in 2010 and at Oceanside in 2011. They’ve currently advanced to Division 3 in WCPPL. With my father as coach, paintball is a huge part of my family.

4. My brother will always be a geeky kid at heart.

Between his addiction to Pokemon and the latest tech gadgets, Nick’s a self-professed geek. His most recent hobby is live-streaming video games, so it’s only a matter of time before he’s a YouTube sensation! We’ve bonded over horror games like Slender and Amnesia, so check out us above, where he gives me a  Book Club Babe shout-out!

So that’s why my brother is better than yours! You can get a hold of him on his Facebook and Twitter, but please let him know what you think of the blog redesign in the comments! And even though you know my real name now, I’ll always be Book Club Babe!

Calling all bloggers! I need homework help!

So my first week of school has finished, and my professor loved the idea that my friend/colleague  and I had for our independent study. We want to create a print magazine about social media, but we’re still in the brainstorming stage. We need to narrow down the topic a bit, by having a certain theme for this debut issue.

I’d like to structure it like any other women’s magazine, possibly with an upside-down structure, one side covering the good aspects of social media, and the other side covering the evil. Social media includes social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, as well as blogging/micro-blogging sites like WordPress, Blogger, and Twitter.

Here’s some possible ideas:


  1. Connecting with friends and family
  2. Long distance relationships
  3. 24 hour news access
  4. Networking and job searching
  5. Expanding start-up businesses
  6. Sharing niche interests
  1. Social networking narcissism
  2. Cyber-bullying
  3. Stress and depression over upkeeping profile and friends lists
  4. Lack of interpersonal communication
  5. Intruding advertisements
  6. Stalking and addiction

Throw out ideas if you have them, as well as topics you’d like to be covered in a social media magazine, because I’m sure I left a lot out! We’ll also be conducting interviews, so if you’d like to volunteer and get the word out about your blog or business, let me know!