LT / Grammar Nazi

12:00:00 AM

Okay, I make mistakes every now and then, but I like to think that I've got my grammar in check most of the time. I was a volunteer teacher for Alay Ni Ignacio, a summer instructional program for public high school kids. I taught English Grammar, and the first few classes were a struggle for me. I was fortunate enough to be educated in really good schools as a kid, so I felt bad that something I considered really basic was difficult for some of my students to grasp.

During class, I would call them out on their mistakes (not harshly, of course, and I'm happy to note that I've seen a lot of improvement over the course of two months), and I brought that habit to the real world. I would correct people (still gently, I promise! I would never embarrass anyone), and they would hate it. I don't get why they hate it; I don't mind being corrected because it helps me get things right. One time, a friend of a friend told me that I'm "such an Atenean" for correcting her grammar. My response was: "I did not correct your grammar because I'm an Atenean. I corrected your grammar because it was wrong."
The cat is cute!
If you want people to take you seriously, it helps to know at least the most basic rules of subject-verb agreement. You can't really expect people in the board room to respect you if you can't put together decent sentences. If you can ace pronunciation, even better, although I'm personally a bit lenient with this because I'm tolerant of different accents. Practice writing, too! If you really want to learn the right grammar, read the right books and watch the right films.

But if you can't cut it, well, you can choose to speak your mother tongue - there's nothing wrong with that! Just don't mess it up, please.


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