Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Grammar Nazis and Other Mindless Zombies

You may have seen this screenshot of a tweet: 

Zombies can help us with our grammar! Clickbait FTW!

Now why on earth does anyone need “to ID the passive voice?” Here’s another screenshot to explain that:

Click this to go to the original page. Lots of grammarly goodness there.

It’s something you concern yourself with as a writer, though not as much as some would think. I don’t sweat it, myself. Passive voice reads clunky so it filters out easily in my cycles of writing and editing. 

I’ve noticed a lot of wannabe Serious Critics get their panties in a wad over the passive voice, though, as if its use was some sort of mortal sin. Indeed, the admission of its usefulness in the above screenshot is so rare, it’s practically unique, which is why I chose it. No, seriously, use the passive voice once and these losers lose their minds. Your narrative is cursed.

While it’s good to know there are people out there who take such matters as grammar seriously (yes, someone’s got to do this), I can state as a longtime writer who has written for newspapers, zines, written a book, etc., that a lawyerly obsession with grammar does not get the most important thing of all done: finishing the piece. 

Before I leave this subject I have to note my amusement with the people I’ve seen in cyberbully mobs and/or very cliquish forums who will parse the comments of a dissenter for typos or grammatical errors. These people really belive they’re not only humiliating their target when they find a misplaced apostrophe, but winning the argument for no other reason than because they type more carefully.

Thank goodness such people are few. A society that tolerated the breath of enough such martinets would rightfully condemn itself to any number of excruciatingly painful apocalypses.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an apocalypse of my own to finish. You grammar Nazis can tell me all about it after you’ve bought the book. Writers gotta write. Grammar Nazis gotta...well,  you get the picture.