With so much to remember, it’s hard to fault people with poor grammar … OK, I lied. We all took similar English classes. If English is your first language, I am most likely shaking my head when I read your grammatically incorrect Facebook posts. I can’t help it! (Don’t be surprised, you are reading a post on the Grammar Snob blog.)
Have you ever been lectured on “proper grammar” only to think, “Who talks like that? This can’t be right.” You may have been onto something.
You’ve most likely been taught:
- You can’t end a sentence with a preposition.
- It is incorrect to split infinitives.
- Sentences cannot start with a conjunction.
- “I” is used for a subject. “Me” is an object. (Yes, I just used “me” as a subject, but it’s OK, I’m a professional.)
Well, one out of four isn’t bad.
That’s right; the first three rules are incorrect.
Don’t Take My Word for It
My friends have accepted the fact that I have grammar issues and love me anyway. (As they should, since I love them despite their lack of grammar skills.) My colleagues have called me “anal in a good way” when it comes to grammar and editing.
Because of this, I am often sent grammar related comics and links on Facebook and Twitter and through email. Recently, I received a link to a Smithsonian article: Most of What You Think You Know About Grammar Is Wrong.
These authors know their stuff. They explain why it’s OK to end a sentence with a preposition, begin a sentence with a conjunction, and split infinitives (or at least what you thought were infinitives).
Check out the article, and then feel free to send an email to your English teacher explaining why you were right.