Richard Glover’s column, Revenge of the Word Nerds, in today’s Sydney Morning Herald (Spectrum section):
The language police have no interest in the content of what is being said; they don’t even have much interest in language itself, in all its slippery, transgressive glory. They just lie in wait, like cats before a mouse hole, waiting for an error to occur.
Then they pounce. And there is much delight in the pouncing…
Thank Gaia I know that Mr. Glover’s ire is all in good humour (he’s a very good-humoured sort of bloke). Of course everyone knows that Grammar Nazis never mean to offend, much less condescend. Sports fans will correct you for saying “points” instead of “goals”(or vice versa). Fashionistas love to commentate when people-watching. A tea lover will happily waffle on forever about Buddha’s Tears (if you let them). And likewise, we linguiphiles just can’t help ourselves when faced with something within our very trivial sphere of interest.
SO PLEASE REMEMBER TO KINDLY INDULGE YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD WORD NERD: She’s not pouncing, she’s just enjoying the small pleasures in a pedantic life.
(And besides, without a keen editor, every newspaper, magazine, book, journal, and other miscellaneous printed reading matter would have met that great pulp-mill in the sky long ago, condemned to death by the dire lack of media’s two most essential requirements: credibility and readability.)
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