Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grammatical Rage, Expressed through Haiku

Sometimes I can be a little bit of a Grammar Troll.  Perhaps excessive reading as a child did this to me, or maybe it's just been exacerbated since I started tutoring students for the SAT.  Please note that I do not judge individuals by their grammar usage.  We all share this planet, and some of my favorite people in the entire world confuse their objective and subjective pronouns on a regular basis.  In any event, I try to restrain myself when possible, but sometimes I just cannot stop myself from blurting out, "It's 'him and ME!'  NOT "him and I!'"

I do this not to put on airs, nor to seem self-righteously linguistic; I simply have to release the bilious grammatical rage from my core from time to time, before it morphs into a Strunk & White supernova that consumes my person, the surrounding civilians, and eventually the world, collapsing into a black hole that was once the English language.

I should remind you that I occasionally hyperbolize.

Anyway, my rage this evening was stirred during a seemingly innocuous night in with the Husband.  There we were, lounging on the loveseat and fast-forwarding through The Biggest Loser to get to the parts when things actually happened.  I have largely grown accustomed to the poor grammar of reality television, but one bit of idiomatic idiocy stuck in my mind like a throwing star, flung by a grammar assassin ninja disguised as a Biggest Loser contestant:

"I think the team really stuck it out this week.  We binded together."


Oh no.

Really?  REALLY?

Rather than revisit the shock and anguish I felt, how about I just dive right into my rage-induced grammar haikus?

Apostrophe Catastrophe
Its: different than
Really.  Look it up.

To the Guy from The Biggest Loser
It's "BAND together."
NOT bind, NOT bound, NOT bonded.
Don't forget this one!

(band together (against someone or something)
to unite in opposition to someone or something; to unite against someone or something. We must band together against the enemy. Everyone banded together to finish the cleanup work.
See also: band, together

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.)

Positive "Anymore"
Pittsburghers say this,
Like, "This bus stinks anymore."
I think it sounds weird.

Variations on "Your"
"Your" belongs to you.
"You're" serves to shorten "You are."
Not rocket science.

Hear and Their (Limerick!)
If it belongs to them, use "their";
Combining "they are" creates "they're."
With your ears, can you "hear"
How and when to use "here"?
It's the opposite of the other "there!"

Where You At?
Hate you, Boost Mobile.
Your slogan's a grammar fail.
On many levels.

Ten Items or Less
It should read "Fewer!"
Items are countable nouns...

Hardly None
Double negatives:
Little buggers cancel out.
Make a point next time.

What are your grammar/spelling pet peeves?  I've got an extra copy of "The Elements of Style" (or a super-sweet Grammar Award -- no joke) for anybody who expresses their peeve through poetry. 

Have at it!


  1. As an English major, I completely and utterly understand where you are coming from with your grammar grievances. I have to deal with it every day at my job: editing and then explaining the foundational English rules for my changes because people honestly have no idea. My biggest pet peeve is the misuse or right-out omission of commas. Good Lord! Just to humor your request for poetry (even though my concentration was Technical Writing, not Creative), I submit the following diddy for your approval and amusement. Forgive me, it's (note the correct form of "it's") freestyle.

    Comma, comma, so abused
    Often neglected, but mostly misused,
    A little dot with a curve and a cue,
    Why can't people figure out what to do
    With you?

  2. Hahahaha, I love grammar jokes/poetry/making stupid people look even more stupid!!

    Biggest pet peeve EVER: Saying "I could care less." If you could care less, YOU OBVIOUSLY CARE, DUMBASS!!!!! I can't remember how to write a haiku but if I could, it would sound something like that. Word.

  3. You are my hero.

    ....Just putting that out there.

  4. Bluebooeyes (I know who you are (I'm creepy like that!)) - Beautiful poetry! You have thoroughly warmed my heart with your comma ode, and I really would like to give you a super-sweet grammar prize (since you probably already have a well-thumbed "Elements of Style"). Address?

    Bi - That one is IN Strunk & White's book! Well-played! :)
    (Haiku is 5 syllables, 7 syllables, then 5 again. I would be delighted to read any haiku creation of yours!)

    Catherine - You inspired a happy-dance at my desk when I read this! Thanks! :) And people who inspire happy-dances qualify as my heroes, so... it's mutual!