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October 12, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

grammerz fail. just fail.


So readership. I have failed. I have tried to teach you about the grammerz, but it didn’t work. I was too… fuck, what’s the word? Drunk. No. I am now, but tooooo… anyway. Ambitious! That’s the one. You can’t have good grammerz. It doesn’t work like that. NOBODY CAN HAVE GOOD GRAMMAR. NOT PERFECT GRAMMAR ANYWAY. JUST REALLy good grammar, but not perfect. That’s what I’ve learned.

But you, readership—you shouldn’t start a sentence with ‘but’, you should use ‘however’—do you want to know a secret? The secret to good grammar? Here it is: Just use Microsoft Word. That’s right. Put it all in Microsoft Word, all of it, and put the grammar check on. Use its suggestions. Seriously. That’s the best grammar you’re going to get. That little paperclip dude, that Microsoft Word paperclip dude, he’s the master of grammar. He’s your best friend when it comes to grammar. Listen to him. Cos he’s the master. And he’s a FUCKING PAPERCLIP! He is wise beyond his twelve years.

What else should you know? Hmmmmmmmm… you neeed… you want….. to have….. fuck, just someone, someone who can understand grammar for you and check it and stuff. Someone who understands the intricacies of language, the ebbs and flows, its structure. Someone who knows about subject–verb agreement, apostrophes, verb forms, commas, semicolons, spelling, obscure words, hyphens, transitive, intransitive, reflexive, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, American English spelling, British/New Zealand English spelling, double spacing, consistency, etc, etc.

It’s really not that hard.

But fuck, readership, seriously, you don’t neeed good grammar. Just understanding. You just want people to understand you, don’t you? You just need a friend. Someone who knows what you’re about. Knows that you didn’t mean to, didn’t know not to put that apostrophe there. Someone who maybe even ignores it. But that person, readership, who does see it and tries to correct it, that person is a Grammar Nazi. That person is me.

That’s right. I’ve tried. To teach everyone about grammar, that was my purpose. I don’t think it worked. People still don’t know shit about it, don’t care. I’ve failed, failed miserably. An entire year’s worth of writing half-arsed columns on grammar, and I’ve failed, it’s all gone to nothing. What a wasted year. Yeah, that’s right, write for Salient. Pffft.

I’ve just received feedback from the people who judged the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA) Awards this year, in which I somehow placed third in best column. Not that I care, but a certain judge said:

“These essays about grammar and the English language were charmless[…]”

Take that, self-esteem! Stupid judge. I know who you are. When you come to my awesome publishing company in ten years’ time, wanting me to publish your book or whatever it is these publishing people do, then the tables will be turned—I’m going to call your writing “charmless”. I’m also going to correct your grammar, just to rub it in. Kick you while you’re down. Rub salt into the wound. Add insult to injury.

I also got a special mention under the comments for Salient (italicised not because it’s our style, but in a sarcastic sort of way) winning best publication:

“Some articles make no sense, especially ones that have long quotes from teh internets (or whatever) in lieu of actual writing. I wouldn’t bother reading them. The guide to Internet grammar (or at least, in two of the issues submitted) is a good example of this. It’s a bit like a radio show that ironically specialises in playing really terrible music. Few people would enjoy it, even if the commentary were hilarious, because they would have to endure sifting through so much shit to get tiny flecks of gold.”

He/she could have just said “teh grammerz was shit”, but instead went for not one, but two long-winded comparisons to said shitness. I wrote everything, I never used quotes from “teh internets”. Way to try to be cool. And the comparison to the VBC was just below the belt. At least this person used the subjunctive correctly, intentional or not.

So, readership, I’m a failure. Just one big fail. “…endure sifting through so much shit to get tiny flecks of gold.” That’s going in my CV.


About the Author ()

Mikey learned everything he knows about English Grammar in an MSN chat room when he was 13. Believing that people don't say "LOL" enough in everyday conversation, he has made it his mission to teach the world about grammerz one person at a time.

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