We’ve all been there. In a rush, we type a status update into our MyTwitFace app and within a minute, someone corrects a basic grammar mistake. And what do we call that person. All together now class: A Grammar Nazi.
I don’t think that’s a term that we should be throwing around like that. And I’m convinced after a little thought, you’ll agree.
We have rules for driving. When you violate the rules, you don’t turn to the officer who pulled you over and call them a traffic Nazi, do you? Gosh, I hope not.
The obvious difference is the officer has authority to punish you if you disobey. Your audience does not. Nobody has authority to make you obey the rules of the language you’re choosing to speak. But it’s not the kind of thing that requires it either.
When people correct your grammar, they may be pompous jerks out to demonstrate their staggering command of the Americanized version of the English language at your expense. More often than not, they’re simply trying to help.
They don’t want you to say something stupid in the future. They don’t want you making that same mistake on your resume. On your next blog post. On your MyTwitFace status (which people will check and judge you by, and rightly so).
How do you repay people who take time out of their day to help you, knowing it will cause scorn and frustration upon them like no other act? You call them a Nazi. Think about that a minute. A Nazi. Really?
A Nazi is a person belonging to a political group that is responsible for some of history’s most notorious atrocities. The systematic extermination of entire people groups, in the most inhumane manners imaginable. Yep, someone who corrects your grammar is certainly on par with that.
The next time someone corrects your grammar, please realize not only how offensive it is to liken them to a Nazi, but realize they’re probably not doing it to upset you. In fact, they may just deserve a heart-felt thank you.