Friday, March 28, 2008

Word Nerds of the World, Unite

I'm sort of a word nerd. I've worked as a communications consultant for many years, and as such enjoy many hours worrying over getting writing right. How can that be, you might wonder, given the lack of care given to the writing in my blog? Let's just say that it's sort of freeing to just sit and belch forth writing without worrying about it so much. I like to stop being a perfectionist for a few hours a day, and just write. Or look up the meanings of words. Or learn new words. Or whatever.

Language, words, grammar, they take up a good percentage of my life, or at least they have. I'm now technically a "project manager" and have moved beyond word-nerdiness from a professional standpoint, but I believe that a Word Nerd is someone who has language and words in their bones. That is me, and sometimes it's an annoying trait. I edit menus at restaurants. I cringe at signs on the highway. I grumble at so many a written word mishap, without intention. For that reason, I created this card. I hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and my biggest grammar peeves, in no particular order:
1. use of irrational quotes: The "lowest" prices of the season!
2. the word orientated (I prefer oriented although both are technically okay)
3. Utilize when you mean use
4. Refering to people as that or which (they are WHO or WHOMs!)


Anonymous said...

I consider myself a word nerd as well, but now I'm feeling all self conscious that I may be violating some of your rules! I do try to behave.

Things I dislike;

Your instead of you're, and why doesn't anyone make an effort to use then and than properly?!?

Anonymous said...

OK, I've reviewed my writing, and I've realized I never ever use WHOM. It has a very formal sounding ring to it, reminiscent of the word THOU. I think the evolution of language may dictate that whom is on its way out, no?

PumpkinGirl said...

Do you watch The Office? There was a brief moment in the conference room in which I believe WHOM was discussed as to whether or not it was a real is! Basically the rule is you use WHOM when you would use HIM. However, it's really not used in speech, so it sounds really formal when we write it.

Hmmm, I am showing my nerdiness here. It's a little uncomfortable...

LyB said...

I admit, I'm a word nerd as well. Maybe more in French than in English but still, like you, I cringe whenever I see signs or newspaper ads and such with obvious mistakes. I guess my excuse is I used to work as a graphic artist and had to check and recheck my work for typos. Lovely card, by the way! :)