Saturday, September 3, 2011

#11 - The Grammar Nazi

I grew up in NYC going to Catholic schools and two of the things that stayed with me from that experience are my handwriting and my anality when it comes to proper grammar.  I started out writing left-handed, but back in the late 50s and early 60s, that was a no no with the nuns and my father, who thought it was evil and something from Satan! So, eventually, after much hand-cramping from being forced to write with my right hand, I became predominantly a rightie, with some left-handed tendencies. (I write and eat rightie, play ball & frisby-any underhand throwing motion-leftie). Then there were the lessons in grammar - the spoken and the written, which have totally stayed with me to this day. Things like:
1) When we are speaking in the past tense using have, has or had, we DO NOT USE the simple past tense of the verb, we use the present perfect tense which is has, have or had + the past particple. I.E. I went to the store (simple past).  I have gone to the store already (present perfect).  We do not say - I have WENT to the store already.
2) If you can answer how, where, why or when after a verb, it is modified by an adverb not an adjective (adjectives answer who or what after a verb). We do not say - I do not feel good today. We should say - I do not feel well today.
3) And then there are the really odd rules that do not necessarily sound right when you say them. I.E. Someone calls on the phone asking for you at work and you answer, "this is HER", when the correct way to answer is, "this is she".  "Is" is a non-continuos, abstract verb, that is followed by a complement, a noun or an adjective, in the nominative not objective form - she being nominative, her being objective.
Now if this sounds too odd for you to say, then please, just say "speaking" so as not to sound like finger nails on a chalkboard to those who may overhear you and the person on the other end of the phone!!!!

1 comment:

  1. HA! Definitely my favorite pet peeve thus far!