I want this badge. It would be perfect for those days when I can’t wear my t-shirt that says “I’m silently correcting your grammar.”
Just kidding. I don’t have a t-shirt like that.
Following a link posted in a comment on someone else’s blog, I happened upon an entertaining post about “grammar police” catching a bunch of people in a “chat room sting.”
(For the record, I don’t think it’s usually appropriate to correct the bad grammar of people in chat rooms. Laugh at it privately? Hell, yes. Laughing is healthier than beating your head against your desk in despair or frustration, after all.)
Lately, I’ve read so much bad fiction — and by bad, I mean something that desperately needs basic proofreading and spell checking, not something that simply isn’t to my personal taste because of narrative voice or subject matter — that even finding a book that is readable makes me want to do a happy dance. So far, it’s more than just readable; it’s a good story with interesting characters and premise, and the stringing-together-of-words is pretty darn good, too. And yet, the commas. *sigh* Look, I understand that there are a few differences between UK English and US English, but comma usage isn’t one of them. When one character directly addresses another, be it by name or title/rank or whatever, the address must be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma.
Remember the meme about “Let’s eat, Grandma!” versus “Let’s eat Grandma!”? Punctuation saves lives, etc. Well, I’ve got another one for you: “Let’s go, mate!” (one Brit saying to a friend that they ought to depart now) versus “Let’s go mate!” (one Brit propositioning another). Could be embarrassing if misinterpreted…