The downside to being a grammar nazi……


I was recently asked by a friend whether my ‘gratuitous’ infatuation with the written and spoken word ever gave me cause for regret.

I thought long and hard about the question – strange as it was to me – and was struck by the realisation that yes, at times it had.

Just recently for example, I was at a school information night for prospective prep students, perched in the back row (where the cool kids sit), pen poised and eager to learn whether this establishment might be a suitable fit for my first-born.

Then bang.  Up popped the first power-point slide and instantly I’m smacked in the face with glaring spelling mistakes, sloppy grammar and an abhorrent over-use of capital letters (my pet-hate).

Forget the teacher who is on stage speaking to those notes trying his darnedest to sell the virtues of his wonderful school – he’s lost me at the first dot-point which capitalises the word ‘student’ in the middle of a sentence!

No matter how hard I try to shift my gaze from the screen and focus on the content of this important speech, I can’t move past the words in front of me.

I want to stand up and shriek, “there are spelling mistakes in your presentation, the word ‘laptop’ shouldn’t be capitalised and that apostrophe doesn’t belong there!”

I don’t, because that would be just plain rude (and totally obnoxious), but it doesn’t help me with my quandary.  And I still have four more of these nights to sit through.

Oh Lord, how can I possibly make an informed decision as to where I should send my children for their formal education when I can’t move past the first misspelt pronoun on the screen?

Maybe I should send my husband who, like most normal folk, couldn’t give a rat’s clacker about a power point presentation which laughs in the face of my noxious obsession with good grammar, linguistics and punctuation.