Attack of the killer pedants!

Attack of the Killer Pedants

Congratulations to me. I’ve found the most pedantic person on the internet. Or, to be more precise, they’ve found me, as I found out when I checked my Twitter notifications earlier today.

There, waiting patiently for me, was a tweet informing me that I’d made a mistake in a tweet. Apparently, I used the term ‘blog’ in this tweet when what I SHOULD have said is ‘blog post’.

*sound of the world ceasing to turn on it’s axis and mass hysteria across the globe*

Yes, you heard that right. I said blog instead of blog post!!

I know, I’m worse than Hitler. Or at least you’d think so given the patronising tone of the person who corrected me:

“I think you wrote a single blog post, rather than an entire blog.”

Yes, you can imagine them can’t you. They’re probably wearing some kind of Victorian smoking jacket. They might even be sat in a vintage armchair, Persian cat on their lap and a self-satisfied smile on their thin lips as they place their iPhone back on the arm of the chair. ‘There,’ they will be thinking, ‘I’ve corrected another misuse of our beautiful English mother tongue.’

Who has that much time on their hands?

So, obviously, I looked at this person’s Twitter account. And they do the self-same thing to anyone who misuses ‘blog’ when they mean ‘blog post’. Their timeline is full of tweets correctly people who’ve made this common mistake. This isn’t a bot – an algorithm set up to automatically tweet when it spots the word blog in the wrong context. I checked and rather fool-hardily replied to their tweet.

“You may want to assess your life choices and see if being a pedantic arsehole is high on that list”, is what I replied.

I know, I could have been kinder. But then I don’t take that well to being corrected by pedants who have this much spare time to waste on trawling Twitter for people butchering their beloved English language.

And, they replied. So I replied back. And before you could say ‘social media spat’ we’d had a somewhat heated debate about why this person felt people should never ever use a possibly ambiguous term in any of their tweets (and why I thought they should just let it go and use their life more productively).

So, they’re definitely not a bot. This is an actual person. A real living and breathing human being. But a human being of such pedantic disposition as to actively search Twitter for people using ‘blog’ when they mean ‘blog post’!

I mean…really! Who is that anal? Who is that bored? Who has so little in their life that this is what they do on a Friday evening? – and, yes, I know I’m writing a blog on a Friday evening, but at least I’m actually creating something, rather than just wantonly being an irritating smart-arse (I’m usually just a smart-arse during the daytime).

The destructive world of the pedant

So, this is the point that humanity has reached in 2015. A world where most of us just get on with using social media to chat, communicate and share our thoughts and ideas. And where a minority feel the need, not to say compulsion, to point out every ‘your’ when someone means ‘you’re’ or every ‘there’ when someone means ‘their’.

Yes, the word used is wrong. And the person who typed it probably knows it’s wrong too. But one error doesn’t change the overall meaning, weight or point of a tweet. When all’s said and done, one error makes no bloody difference. If we accept that language is a written or verbal exchange of ideas, the idea has been adequately conveyed (error or not).

So, pedants, take note. We know when we make a spelling mistake, use the wrong term or miss out an important word. And the different between us and you is this: We. Don’t. Care.

The grammar vultures of the internet will descend on any wounded sentence with delicious glee and much gnashing of bloody beaks. But you can bet your last penny that these pedants don’t have a creative bone in their bodies – they pick holes and destroy, because all they understand are strict rules and grammatical conventions. What the pedant fails to understand is that language is a fluid, moving, changing thing – sometimes rational, sometimes irrational, sometimes ambiguous and sometimes plain wrong. But it works for the rest of humanity. And THAT is what counts.

p.s. and I can pretty much guarantee there’s at least one error in this blog post…let’s see if the pedants can find any, shall we?

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