Most of my friends and associates know that I’m a writer by trade and even moonlight as an editor every now and then. Because of that, I make a point to tell those who communicate with me by writing that I’m not “one of those” editors. Yes, I know exactly when you blow it when you’re writing or speaking to me, but I will rarely–if ever–point it out. It just doesn’t matter that much.
I started doing that because several people over the years have told me how much it embarrasses them to write something down that they presume I’ll then edit OR that they’ll misspeak in my presence.
I really don’t worry about it (but I admit readily that Ido notice if only because language is just that fascinating). That being said, I’m noticing it more, and part of me wondered if that were just me….
Here are a few things that I’ve noticed most recently:
- Saying myself when you really mean me. For example, I hear people say, “You can give that to myself later” all the time.
- Adding a superlative to adverbs. For example, a coworker the other day kept saying “quicklier.” It should be “faster” or “more quickly.”
- Subjunctive. I recognize that English makes very little use of the subjunctive and most English speakers–including many otherwise seriously educated English nerds–probably have no idea what the subjunctive even is. Frankly, I’m not going to explain it…. I would almost suggest learning a romance language to really get it. Anyway… I hear people say, “I wish I was…” all the time. It should be “I wish I were….”
Realizing that I’m recognizing all these more commonly and naturally–because this is all very natural for me–made me wonder: Is it me? Do others see these things naturally? Do others even notice this?
Am I becomingthat kind of grammar guy?
Sigh… I hope I’m not, and I don’t remember pointing something like this out to anyone. If I have, forgive me. And if I have, shape up. This really is your fault for not speaking perfectly in the first place.
Admin Note: I actually really do NOT edit what you write or say. I just recognize it. And no… I rarely edit my own blog even. I might review some of my more important pieces, but typically no. I reserve that for one of my faithful readers who consistently finds the most egregious typos–of which there are many–and tells me to fix them.