People call me “Grammar Nazi”. I used to take it as an insult, but college came around, and I started to realize that the people calling me that seemingly hurtful title were the ones coming to me and asking me to read their papers for class. I’ve read my fair share of college essays, poetry, short stories, book chapters, articles, and even resumes. Besides writing, my calling is in editing. It comes as part of the “English Literature” degree package deal. *laughs* They teach you to read, to analyze, to interpret, to write, and… to edit.
I only took two technical writing classes in college, and I will say that I learned more my second time around than my first. Perhaps it’s because I knew what I was lacking the second time that I was pretty much breezing through the stuff I already knew and absorbing the pieces I was missing in my knowledge bank. Whatever made me do better in my second class is now paying off.
I’ve been trying to get into my field of study in the workplace, but it’s been hard to get my foot through the door with both writing and editing. Let me put it this way: (a) You’re either holding the incorrect degree or (b) You’re lacking work experience in the field. Both are annoying and frustrating, and I’m extremely happy that a company in the publishing field has finally taken a chance on me. It took me 3 years after graduating college, but I’m finally in my field. *claps*
I have to confess that I miss reading college papers and short stories. I even miss reviewing resumes, and it’s hard for me to actually say that because resumes tend to be really boring. After speaking with a few other people, I was considering actually returning to my college editing roots and offer my services to students. I’m still considering it, but I keep hitting a snag in the decision process. Besides my editing work, I’m doing daily articles here, working on outlining and planning my fantasy book, writing poetry, and my wife/family duties. Would I have time to actually edit and review papers? Perhaps… if the paper’s not due the following morning, and I stick to the rule of 48-hour edit turnarounds.
I don’t know. I’ll think about it. Grammar’s just such a hard thing to come by nowadays. My younger cousins and their friends use terminology that makes me scratch my head and ask, “What the hell is that?” Then, I have Merriam-Webster Dictionary adding words like “to twerk” in the dictionary that makes me feel like I’m dumbing down my vocabulary instead of advancing it. I hear people speak, and I gawk at the simplicity of their language skills.
My friends know I’ve joked about men and how they communicate with each other in grunts and nods in a fist-to-chest, Neanderthal language, but I watched three teenage girls texting each other and actually only speak to each other in giggle speech. Literally… giggles. They spoke zero coherent words to each other. It was just: hee-hee, oh-hee-hee, hee-ha-ha, etc, etc, etc. I was left dumbfounded and staring after them in the middle of the grocery store aisle. Those three girls made me miss the English language and all its grammar rules.
AP, MLA, even Chicago style grammar fill my head, and I miss hearing people speak in a way that I can hear where the commas and periods are. I haven’t heard anyone use a semi-colon in their speech in so long, I’m not sure I’d be able to recognize the pause anymore.
Yes, I’m a “Grammar Nazi”, and I now embrace the title. I graduated with a BA in English Literature because I love words on paper and in speech. I love how word structure and punctuation can change the meaning of one sentence and its flow. So, go ahead and call me a “Grammar Nazi”. I’m sure you can use my editing skills for anything and everything you allow others to read. I believe everyone should take pride in grammar and in words because they’re art pieces. Whether they’re in the form of pages in a book, a magazine, or a newspaper; paragraphs of an essay, an article, a short story; lines of a poem, a movie script, or a brochure; or a big screen movie, a stage play, or a podcast, words and grammar are everywhere. That line just made me smile. “Words and grammar are everywhere,” and we ought to respect the two together instead of ignoring one or the other.