I’m a bit of a language nerd. While other people may be like, “Is it ‘laying on the bed’ or ‘lying on the bed’? Ah, eff it,” I’m like intransitive verb! Let me explain!*
I try to keep this part of me a little dormant because I really don’t want to come across as a grammar snob and I know people can be sensitive to correction. I’m hardly flawless myself. I make mistakes on this blog all the time and truly appreciate people letting me know. I know it comes from a “Hey, just trying to help” place.
So anyway, some thoughts on grammar correction:
As a rule, I don’t correct people whose English isn’t native unless they’ve specifically asked me to do so. When I was studying abroad, people always asked me to correct their English (as they corrected my French) and I’m more than happy to oblige.
If the point of language is communication – which I believe it is – I’m not going to be all “don’t end a sentence with a preposition!” In fact, I’m unlikely to tell anyone not to end a sentence with a preposition because I think that rule is stupid (and more of a guideline than a rule, really).
Spoken vs Written
I see more grammar issues in written language, but I suppose there’s a reason for that. If you are speaking we don’t really know if you just mixed “your” and “you’re” whereas in print this is glaring.
We also have to acknowledge that grammar has styles. While other people live and die by the AP Style Guide, they can pry my Oxford commas from my cold, dead keyboard. Also, I was writing “website” long before they said it was OK because, really? Web site? No.
Our quibbles notwithstanding, I understand and appreciate grammar guidelines. I recognize the need for, say, a newspaper to uniformly decide how they are going to address common language issues.
Do you correct grammar? Does it irritate you when you are corrected? Discuss!
*It’s most likely lying on the bed. Unless you are, you know, laying on the bed. Like in a wink, wink way.