…of Language Snobs and Grammar Nazis…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic is more fortunate than many, inasmuch as I’ve been exposed to the opportunity to learn more than one language in a career spanning three continents and five decades… along the way, the knack of picking up the local lingo wherever possible has proved a great boon, not so much to assist in pure communication, but more for demonstrating my desire to come someway ‘across the bridge’ to meet the local populace in their own linguistic backyard… dropping a few phrases into conversation in Cantonese, French, Gaelic, Tagalog and Arabic has often gone a long way to ‘breaking the social ice’… indeed, when I first arrived in London as a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe, ‘a-hem’ years ago, my Scottish brogue marked me out immediately as a foreigner in a strange land… adapting to the Queen’s English in deepest Sassenach country was mandatory for everyday survival… it has been a perpetual irk to me, however, when I hear Language Snobs, supposedly fluent in their English mother tongue, berating people from another country for lacking the depth of English in their conversation…aaaa…I recall once in Hong Kong taking one pin-striped ‘Hooray Henry’ to task when he railed against the local Chinese personnel’s lack of English, by asking him how much Cantonese he could speak… none, of course, but uttered with that air of despicable colonial righteousness that demanded that the locals, who comprised 99% of the populace, should understand his tongue, whilst he completely ignored theirs... when I hear someone speaking in broken English, I applaud them for the attempt to converse in a different language to their own… which brings me on to a parallel matter… the prevalence of Grammar Nazis on the web… Facebook is full of it…

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…people nit-picking for sumb’dy else’s use of WURDS, as if the listener is the sole arbiter of use of grammar and phraseology… no matter how clear or otherwise a man’s verbal expression, if I can understand what he’s trying to say, that’s plenty good enuff for me… so, let’s kick into touch the Language Snobs and Grammar Nazis… or better still, lock ’em up together with a bucketload of English primers and foreign language dictionaries, and let them bore the hell out of one another… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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20 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

20 responses to “…of Language Snobs and Grammar Nazis…

  1. Pingback: …of Language Snobs and Grammar Nazis… | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

  2. Well, yes, but too often, although one might understand what is meant, the errors – like erroneous apostrophes, become the norm and I don’t agree with that because eventually none of us will be able to understand each other. My tuppenny-ha’penny!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. rohini99

    Seumas, my dear! I hate to tell you, but I am a bit of a grammar nazi! I can’t help it. It’s not that I deride those who don’t know or have a good command of a language, it’s just that all around, there’s a tendency to sloppiness, not so much from ignorance of a language as from a lazy approach to communication. And that I can’t abide. I only know two languages but I see this sloppiness of expression as a trend in both. Your opinion or a blog post on that would be interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • …I think this blog post kinda hits it okay… my point being that those whom one may not expect to have the opportunities to have been exposed to learning either the language or the grammar should not be assailed… by all means, sloppiness is UNACCEPTABLE ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Editors are for unintended sloppiness – I achieve frequent corrections which support improvement. Therefore as a writer my final product is less sloppy. I recently had a review in the USA where I was given a better rating because my book wasn’t sloppy – even if violent action put the reader off.

    However, on another tack, there’s an issue of “gunboat diplomacy” (or faux-moral superiority) where a we-are-better-than-them because their English is poor … poor dears.

    At this point I could ramble off to the Brexit world where the learning of English is widely distributed amongst our European neighbours … but I’ll spare you that.

    Seumas, I like your principled thoughts.

    “The rank is but a guinea stamp
    The man’s (women’s, LBGT’s… all humans basically) the goud (gold) for a’ that …

    Well said Jurassic

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Check out Seumas Gallacher’s take on language and grammar from his blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, how I envy your talent with languages. Sure wish I had the knack!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always learned enough of the local language to get myself in some very hot water.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not adept at learning other languages so when someone here apologizes for not speaking English well I always tell them they speak more English than I can speak Marathi or Hindi. It’s rather lazy of me because so many people in the city can speak at least some English. It’s doubly hard here to pick up a language here because there are also different scripts. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree that “assailing” is cruel, ineffective and needs to be out of bounds in polite society (and forgive me, but I include FaceBook as well). I join you in the admiration of the attempts of ESL speakers. My own Spanish grammar might as well be non-existent, and I hope that native Spanish speakers will understand my meaning anyway and regard me with kindness for my attempt.

    However, I also believe that speaking your mother tongue correctly is an important element of communication (plus, the effort is good for the longevity of brain health).

    The younger generation already believes so much is “irrelevant,” in their tweeting/googling world, it would be a shame to see presenting oneself intelligently by writing and speaking relatively correctly go the way of cursive writing. BOTH result in neuro-effects that propagate in an unfortunate manner as these skills are no longer taught and stressed.

    That said, I’ve blanched after hitting “send” when I noticed my own typos and times my fingers typed one form of a word when I KNOW the other is correct – so we ALL need to cut each other some slack here.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

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