Let’s be honest, people who are passionate about correcting someone’s grammar in everyday life are basically considered jerks. It is annoying when a person pays attention to how you speak rather than to what you say. Even psychologists got interested in this topic, and their research revealed that ardent grammar checkers (aka grammar Nazis) are less open and frank than other, regular people. The question is: why being so obsessed with mistakes? He is lifeless that is faultless, is he not?
Why people get annoyed
There are several reasons why people tend to get annoyed when somebody points out their grammatical mistakes. Maybe, here you will find things that drive you crazy, too.
- It is annoying when people do not pay attention to WHAT exactly you say.
- It is annoying when grammar Nazis correct your mistakes in the public eye.
- It is annoying when somebody judges you for the texts you wrote in a hurry. Because you know all these grammar rules, you simply did not have time to apply them!
- It is annoying when people try to appear know-it-alls by correcting your mistakes. It describes them as mere nerds.
- It is annoying when someone corrects an alternative spelling variant.
Who becomes grammar Nazis
Recently scientists for the first time established a connection between personality traits and ways people react to mistakes and typos. The experiment was the following. 83 participants had to read messages from their potential roommates. The texts were divided into 3 categories:
- without any mistakes;
- with several typos;
- with serious grammatical mix-ups.
Then the participants had to judge the authors of these messages and describe their feelings about the mistakes. Introverts reacted more harshly to all kinds of mistakes and mainly gave negative feedback to the authors. Extraverts, on the contrary, were more tolerant to other people’s writing errors.
The conclusion is that only specific types of people would judge you because of your mistakes. It is them we refer to as grammar Nazis and consider real jerks. But maybe all they are after is just the pure language? Because another conclusion states that people whose texts are grammatically correct are more likely to seem attractive to others. That is why Royal Editing suggests taking a step towards finer writing.
Avoiding popular mistakes
This paragraph will help you organize your writing and avoid the rage of a grammar Nazi. But keep in mind that making all these checkers shut up is not your ultimate goal. You are the only person who will benefit from learning a bit more. Polishing up your language skills is always a great habit.
- Keep an eye on misplaced apostrophes. Apostrophes are used in two cases: to indicate an owner (artist’s brush, assistants’ clothes, children’s toys) and to form contractions (he isn’t, I haven’t, we don’t). But they never make a word plural.
- Avoid problem with homophones. This issue sometimes coincides with the previous one. Many people still confuse such words as their/they’re, its/it’s, your/you’re. What makes us happy is that in most cases people make such mistakes in a rush, not because they lack knowledge.
- Distinguish quantifiers used with countable and uncountable nouns. It is considered mauvais ton to say I need fewer sugar and I hoped to see here less people.
- Pay attention to the agreement between a subject and a predicate. People often violate this rule when it comes to subjects expressed by several words: The use of cutting-edge technologies is still under consideration. As you can see, the verb form agrees with the word use, not with the word technologies.
- Do not overlook commas in both senses: you should not miss them when they are required, and you should not place them where they do not belong. Always put a comma after an adverbial clause that introduces the sentence: When spring comes, citizens look happier. As for adjectival clauses, separate them by a comma only when you can omit these clauses without ruining the sentence structure: I spoke to my doctor, who is 53, about the potential risk of toxins in my body.
There is a lot of other useful information on popular English mistakes on our blog. We hope it will help you to win your fight with grammar Nazis.
Editing grammar as a service
However, people with perfect grammar knowledge can bring good to society. We bet everyone has found themselves in a situation when they needed to check their text but were not confident in themselves. It is especially true about important works – theses, dissertation editing, and so on. Such papers are unwilling to forgive your mistakes (or maybe it is all about the supervisors, who are undercover grammar Nazis?). Anyway, this is where professional editing and proofreading services come in handy.
Editors from Royal Editing are devoted grammar Nazis, but they do not annoy people. Our mission is exactly the opposite. We help you bring grammatical correctness to your everyday writing. And we are really opened up people, no matter what scientists found out about those who pick up grammar mistakes.
Advice to grammar Nazis from Royal Editing
If you recognize yourself in our description of a grammar Nazi, take a deep breath. You should remember that not all people like being corrected. Moreover, when you focus only on mistakes, you may miss the point. We advise that you continue working on your English skills but only for self-satisfaction. Set a goal of making your writing perfect. Why spend time and efforts on people who would not appreciate it anyway? Believe us, when a person wants you to check his writing, they will ask for it openly (that is what we can tell as an editing company!)
Now you know why people generally do not like being corrected. Each of us wants to express ourselves in a way we like. However, when it comes to professional editing, you can always rely on Royal Editing. Our specialists are experts in looking for someone’s mistakes and correcting them. And this kind of editing is not annoying, it is really helpful!