Friday, July 8, 2011

Grammatical Rage-Induced Haikus

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!'"

(Please note: "him and I" is NEVER correct in ANY context!  Neither is "she and I's <noun>" or Heaven forbid "her and I's <noun>."  Le sigh.)

I don't do this to put on airs or 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?

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.)

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

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 and sends me a mailing address. 

Have at it!


UPDATE: My excellent friend Andy has offered the following delicious additions to the haiku collection above.  Andy's wonderful, pun-derful brain is like a gigantic, fuzzy teddy bear of neurons.  And his Grammar Award is forthcoming.  Soon.  In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy Andy's poetry as much as I do.

"Him and I"
For people in lists
...Use the pronouns you'd use if
Each one was alone.

"Your Friend the Semicolon"
No mutant comma,
It has specific uses.
Strunk and White, page six.

"Do Not Take If You Are Nursing, Pregnant, or May Become Pregnant"
This is wrong, guys. Math's
"Distributive property"
Works for writing, too.

"The Car Needs Washed"
Dear Southwest PA:
"To be" is not optional
For Hamlet or you.

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