6 Reasons Why Being a Grammar Nazi Isn't Cool
They hide within the depths of websites’ comment sections, ambushing writers and fellow commentators with snide diatribes whenever a grammatical error or misspelling is discovered. Who are these pugnacious crusaders of proper English? They’re called Grammar Nazis, and it’s likely there isn’t a soul out there who hasn’t been at the receiving end of their caustic putdowns. Sadly, some are enamored with the idea of flaunting their grammatical expertise, but here’s six reasons why being a Grammar Nazi isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
1) Everyone Makes Mistakes
It’s a basic element of ourselves that Grammar Nazis tend to forget: We’re only human, and as such it’s expected that we make some mistakes—minor and major—in our lifetime. It’s impossible for anyone to say they’ve never hit a bump in the road of life, because then that means they’re either a god or a sophisticated artificial intelligence. And if you are either, we want to hang out with you later.
2) You’re Blowing Things Out of Proportion
Grammar Nazis are of the opinion that one grammatical blunder, no matter how negligible, totally destroys an article to the point of unreadability; not to mention calling the writer’s intelligence into question. A lot of work is put into articles, and you might be missing out on some enlightening or entertaining fare merely because it didn’t meet such ridiculous standards. Think of it this way: Would you toss an entire order of delicious fries in the trash because one of them is burnt?
3) You’re Not Putting Yourself in the Shoes of Writers and Editors
Writers have full plates: There’s research to be done and numerous deadlines to meet. On the editorial side of things, editors are not only checking for grammatical and factual consistency within articles, but they’re also, among other duties, responsible for maintaining the site as a whole and generating ideas for writers. Due to a large workload in a small time frame, it’s natural that some mistakes fall through the cracks and end up in the finished product.
4) You’re Not Saving the Integrity of Journalism
Grammar Nazis like to think that their grammatical crusade is to ensure that online journalism lives to see another sunrise. Their proclivity for pointing out mistakes is rivaled only by their bemoaning the condition of the media, like one more misuse of whom will cause the Fourth Estate to collapse in on itself. We’ve checked and it’s fine, believe us.
5) It’s a Form of Cyberbullying (in Some Instances)
Unless you’re following up that Grammar Nazism with a genuine compliment about the article (yes, this exists in the Internet wilds), unwarranted sarcasm and shaming is NOT constructive criticism. Nor does playfully writing "OMG, I'm such a Grammar Nazi" make it any more acceptable. People tend to think that online anonymity is a license to be vindictive without repercussion.
6) You Don’t Need to Prove Yourself Online
The Internet is a double-edged sword. Its connectivity transformed the world into a global village. However, at the same time, it’s generated a widespread, unconscious inferiority complex among thousands of users. Validating one’s intelligence has become a method of standing out as an elite member of the Internet community, sometimes achieved by ridiculing another person's shortcomings (e.g. grammatical mistakes). So don’t increase your self-worth online by crushing someone else’s, because you already have people in your life who think you’re pretty darn swell!
Have you ever encountered a Grammar Nazi?