Are you familiar with that killjoy who never fails to inflict shame on you when you slip up on your grammar?
Hi. I’m Andrea, and I’m a grammar asshole. You either know one or are one, and oddly enough, we come in handy every once in a while. The time has come to give us our due credit.
I often think of myself as a disgruntled 40-something high school English teacher trapped in a 19-year-old’s body. I find myself unable to refrain from passing judgment on educated people who still write poorly — not because I don’t have a heart but because I do have one, and incompetent writers are breaking it with their flagrant disregard for proper English.
If I’m being frank, it’s a miracle I even have friends, what with the relentless torture I put them through by vehemently correcting their text messages. Yes, their text messages — electronic communications designed for brevity. I know what I said. In my admittedly pompous opinion, the shorthand nature of a text message is no excuse for substituting “your” for “you’re” or “whos” for “whose.” Come on, iPhone users: Aren’t we past the dark age of character limits? And don’t even get me started on the rage that surges through me when people use “who” in place of “whom” or “they” when referring to a singular pronoun.
I know underneath their facade of vexation, my friends actually do appreciate my irrepressible compulsions to whip out the metaphorical red pen, especially when I proofread their essays. In fact, one of them recently tweeted, “First essay in which Andrea isn’t editing for me!” along with a crying emoji. Instead of feeling flattered, I felt nauseated. Editing “in” an essay? Ugh. I took the liberty of smashing my head against the keyboard.
Catastrophes such as the Twitter incident prove that grammar assholes, irksome as we may be, are rather useful to have around. And if you aren’t grateful for us, that’s perfectly fine — Microsoft Word’s impeccable grammar checker will always be there for you.