Sunday, November 14, 2010

Angry Copyeditors

I think we've read something similar to the "Apostrophe Catastrophe" article (but hopefully not the same thing!). I was struck by the manner in which the author was so upset by the excessive use of apostrophes. The following sentence is pretty indicative of the whole piece: "My long-simmering irritation over the apostrophe crisis finally reached a boil the other night while helping my 11-year-old daughter with her homework."


Is the author a volcano or a human being? Either way, it looks like things are going to be on fire soon. I've got to say, I can't blame people for sometimes thinking copyeditors to be grumpy, insufferable jerks with raging superiority complexes. Sure, the angry rants and grammar vengeance blogs are fun to read, but I'm starting to wonder if "grammar snobbery" plays a part.

This class has definitely hammered home the point that there is a way to be constructive and helpful without being mad, demeaning, and dehumanizing. In sum, I think that Pat's emphasis on the "authors are people too" matter is really, really important and I think it's good to see it modeled so well in class. Also, this article has made me realize that it's totally possible to care about the correct use of language without being a raging grammar nazi.


Samantha said...

Thanks for that point Shayna. We discuss this point often in my English 403 class. We recently read an article about how grammar snobbery actually goes both ways, and that in spoken English people intentionally avoid speaking "properly" because it sounds uptight or aloof.

What bothers me is that poor education combined with regular misuse often prevent people from knowing what "proper English" is.

Chad said...

As some people might say, "Amen to that," Samantha. :)