Uncategorized | February 19, 2004

Sometimes I feel like I’m a grammar and language freak. I can’t help noticing misuses of words and grammatical errors when people are talking to me. I’m not referring to everyday, conversationally loose grammar, but those glaring errors, such as “Me and her did this,” and other problems along those lines.

I had an English teacher in high school who made a habit of correcting students’ grammar as they spoke. It drove me crazy. I just wanted her to listen to the message, not the language. Now I find myself irked by the same little mistakes. It’s obviously a pet peeve of mine, but I always wonder how important it really is. Generally, even if I notice a mistake in grammar, I know what the person was trying to say. If someone misuses a word, I usually know the word they should have used as well. So if I understand the message they’re communicating, does the mistake matter?

That’s the argument the offending speakers use against me. From a professional standpoint, poor grammar and word usage might suggest a lack of education to employers. Beyond that situation, however, I have difficulty determining what difference it really makes. It will always drive me crazy, but what real significance does it have?