I confess I am a bit of a pedant.
Though technically I suppose that statement is pedantically incorrect as I would assume that pedantry is a bit like pregnancy – you either are or you’re not.
What I mean is that I try my best to be grammatically correct and to make sure my spelling is up to scratch. I know from bitter experience how you lot will pounce on any wee error on my part [which, incidentally, I welcome – it’s fun!].
Yesterday I was caught out and I hang my head in shame, though in my defence I blame Google. I refer of course to my spelling of “diarrhea” which of course should be “diarrhoea”. Ironically, if I had relied on WordPress [which queried my spelling] I would have been corrected but I made the mistake of checking with Google first. The latter of course is unashamedly American and therefore uses the incorrect spelling. My apologies to all. Blame the Americans. I always do and they usually are to blame.
I have come to the conclusion that spelling and grammar are no longer taught in school. I remember being lambasted in English class for the use of such expressions as “fed-up” and starting a sentence with “And”. The use of capitals [not capitols!] was stressed and we learned off the tenses of all the verbs. It was elementary stuff, though I confess to still being somewhat lax in the use of punctuation. I still get very confused over the use of colons and semi-colons.
There is something in my inner ear that screams at me every time I hear such grammatical tortures such as “I done” [“i did“] and “I seen” [“I saw“]. I must be somehow tuned in to these as they scream at me every time I hear them. Sadly I hear them more frequently these days from the mouths of university students who one would assume should know better.
Another that amuses me is the “grocer’s apostrophe” [or should that be the “grocers’ apostrophe”?]. That’s a common error and nowhere more common that in “it’s”. That of course is a weird one as an apostrophe normally signifies ownership except in the case of “its”.
Another great source of fun is in the comments sections of various sites [not this one, of course] where the Great Unwashed are invited to comment. These tend to be liberally peppered with the misuse and confusion with there/their/they’re and various other little traps. The ones that really get me going [slang!] though are the “text-speak” comments. Text speak, in my opinion just displays laziness and a complete lack of appreciation for language. Texting has a lot to answer for!
Am I a snob? Possibly. I would say in my defence that these are all simple rules that were drilled into me in primary school and their misuse instinctively grates. Having said that, I am aware that any language grows over time and for this reason I frequently use words and expressions that would in the past have been termed slang. I also occasionally use words and expressions that are particularly, or even uniquely “Irish”, and make no apology for that.
Sure isn’t it all a bit of craic anyway?