Should we correct the language of others?


Oh dear, here is a gulf between the well meaning and their intended beneficiaries. Often the well meaning have no regard to what a difficult question this is. They are sharing their knowledge & trying to help others improve, but it is very easy to cause offence.

They also risk what probably feels like being brave & sure of themselves coming over as pompous self righteousness.  There is an underlying assumption that they know best, therefore they are better. This is far from being good logic. Here is the last in the Grammar Nazi series.

It has been said that there is something inherently snobbish in criticising the so called grocer’s ‘ apostrophe. That seems old fashioned to me. If we are all middle class these days how can a grocer not be as middle class as the person who is making the comment. More at fault is the idea that misplaced apostrophes are limited to market stalls.

The main reasons that grammar nazis are unpopular is that they are interfering & showing off at the expense of others.

So should we correct the language of others? Unless we hold a relevant position of direct authority, such as parent or teacher of that person, there is one safe answer. We should only “help” when asked.

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About The Proof Angel

I am a freelance editor and proofreader, working with a wide range of clients from large companies to individuals. I can help you to communicate clearly by carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas get your message over. I also have a sideline in textiles, as The Rainbow Angel.
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