Grammar Nazi At Work

Bassenthwaite, where thar be osprey (can you see them?). (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Bassenthwaite, where thar be osprey (can you see them?). (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Yes, I’m a bit of a grammar nazi. But I try not to bandy it about too much as not everyone is as bothered as I am about quality, standard or consistency – or just plain being correct. So with emails, texts and social media, I tend to just ignore mistakes, typos and general bone idleness.

However, when it’s a writing organisation or a writing competition, I’m slightly torn. I’m annoyed too when it’s promotional literature that a client has paid for – surely if they’re paying a professional rate, they should get a professional job. Or maybe I’m just old-fashioned like that.

For example, if I see a poster on, say, Facebook, that has anything to do with a campaign or something else I have a lot of interest in, I tend to share it with everyone on my list. But if that poster has any grammatical errors on, I just like it and move on.

When it’s a writing organisation or a writing competition, I really do want to share it … but if there are grammatical or spelling errors … I tell them.

This happened this morning on FB, and I won’t name the organisation as they fixed it as soon as I sent them a private, friendly (I hope) message. Within minutes there was a new poster available that I felt more able to share.

So, today’s question is this: Would you tell them or would you let it go?

Navel gazing
I’ve had a bit of a navel-gazing week. I wasn’t very well on Monday still, following our little flu epidemic last week, and yesterday I just couldn’t get on with much work beyond mechanical-type stuff. I didn’t know what the problem was until I received a phone call from one of my lovely bosses, as I had plenty of work in. But the problem turned out to be, I didn’t want to do it (for various reasons I won’t go into here); I wanted to work for lovely boss.

So we had a chat and he does have plenty of work for me, and this has given me light at the end of the tunnel, if you like. Now that I know I don’t just have this work in I really don’t want to do, but I have more, more enjoyable work on the horizon, I was able to find my mojo again.

Writing bag
I started by upgrading my writing bag to one I can fit the editing/proofreading folder in as well.

I’ve added my Teeline Shorthand for Journalists course to the bag and intend to work on this for at least an hour a day.

The current novel is in the bag –Ā The Beast Within: A Marcie Craig Mystery.

My Kindle is in there, with a few reference books for writing I have open, a collection of stories from Arthur Conan Doyle, and a novel.

I have a journalism workbook in there too, and all of the current short writing work in progress, plus all of my various notepads and a pencil tin.

Current WiP
Today I’m editing a book and tweaking another. I’ve already updated the gig list for the week. Tomorrow I’m in Birmingham to see to a few things with my parents.

Today’s picture
While we were on holiday in Dentdale, we also ventured over to the Lake District. There are osprey at Bassenthwaite, and from the RSPB viewing platform up on the hillside we had a very good view of the adult male and the two juveniles – one male, one female. The adult female had already migrated about a week or so before we arrived.

In today’s picture, taken by the poet, you can see the lake and a bar of sand where the juveniles’ favourite perch is. We also watched the male juvenile have a go at a spot of fishing.

While there we also saw a jay, some finches and a beautiful red squirrel. I’ve never seen a red squirrel before, so that was a special treat for me.

Enjoy the view. šŸ™‚

12 thoughts on “Grammar Nazi At Work

  1. esmeraldamac 18 September 2013 / 2:14 pm

    I suppose I’d be like you: if I saw an absolute cracker in a poster, I’d either ignore, or, if the originator could be expected to know better, point it out. Nonetheless, I always laugh at the only supermarket in Britain to use ‘fewer’ instead of ‘less’ in its ‘5 items or…’ sign. Demographics at work (oops – watch out for possibly inappropriate emoticon usage) šŸ˜‰ Having said that, I know how much I’ve learned about proper punctuation and grammar since I started copywriting (Oxford comma alert), and I do have sympathy for people who don’t know what they don’t know. And I’m still majorly learning and will probably never feel arrogant about it.
    What hacks me off more than grammar/punctuation errors is the sort of amateurism that leads people to repeat sentences with an ever-increasing variety of adjectives, as they struggle to say precisely what they mean. I want to shout, ‘just PACK IT UP and GO AWAY AND THINK ABOUT IT’. In fact, I may well have said that to some people trying to write press releases, (West Side Story alert) some day, some time.
    Glad you saw a ginger squirrel. They do like a good conifer forest. There are eagles up there, as well, you know. Hopefully not at the same time as the squirrels…


    • Diane 18 September 2013 / 2:20 pm

      I think that’s why I let the majority just go, because they don’t really know any better. But when they really should know better, and are possibly charging money for it, then I think they should be told.

      We considered going to see the eagles too, but it was a bit of a wide circle, taking in Grasmere as well. Maybe we’ll get to see them next time. On our way over we noticed some birding interest just down from Sedbergh. We didn’t find out what they were looking for, but the RSPB folk at Bassenthwaite said it was most likely red kites.


      • esmeraldamac 18 September 2013 / 2:56 pm

        We actually saw a golden eagle on the road by Bassenthwaite, once, but I guess it was just hopping over the border from Scotland for a visit.


    • Diane 18 September 2013 / 3:01 pm

      That was lucky. We were going to head up to Haweswater, but we started out a bit too late to go. I saw one when I was there last time. He escorted me out of the valley. šŸ™‚


  2. carolwarham 18 September 2013 / 2:39 pm

    Glad the mojo is back. We (ahem! who me?) need grammar nazis, some of us have forgotten everything we learnt! Bassenthwaite is a lovely lake, unfortunately most of the land around it is privately owned and you can’t get close to it. I love the little St Bega’s church there.


    • esmeraldamac 18 September 2013 / 2:58 pm

      Yes, Carol – same with Windermere. So much of it is owned by hotels.

      St Bega’s, Bassenthwaite is a bit of a mystery as there’s no quantifiable link with St Bees. I do wonder if the key to Bega’s historicity is right there, but just out of vision. Frustrating šŸ˜¦


      • Diane 18 September 2013 / 3:03 pm

        I don’t think we saw St Bega’s.


    • Diane 18 September 2013 / 3:02 pm

      We managed a nice drive around the lake, but we were heading off to Grasmere right afterwards, so didn’t have a lot of time to stay.


  3. carolwarham 18 September 2013 / 6:00 pm

    It’s a tiny church close to the lake, worth a look it you get there again. As for truth as to whether St Bega was there, who knows, but I like to think she was.


    • esmeraldamac 19 September 2013 / 11:29 am

      I think so, too, Carol, but that’s a whole can of worms. And she was probably a man šŸ˜‰


      • Diane 20 September 2013 / 2:21 pm

        Blimey – a man … And thanks for the info elsewhere. šŸ™‚


    • Diane 20 September 2013 / 2:20 pm

      Sounds lovely.


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