Poet of Fall

Road to Grammar Nazi-ness

Posted in Serious shit by vien88 on February 23, 2009

After reading hime-sama’s blog about the grammar thingy… it got me thinking a bit. I have to admit that I am slightly affected. Actually, it bothers me a long time ago when I was dubbed Grammar Nazi when I casually correct other people’s grammar. Knowing that this kind of attitude chases away fellow cyberfriends, I kept my ‘attacks’ moderate and gradually I got lazier to correct people. One reason why I got lazier is because I’m already used to seeing the same ol same ol, most of the time they’re tolerable… although some are just too bad that I don’t even know how to correct them.

lulz oka-sama

lulz oka-sama

Anyways, I reminisced on why I grew up becoming really sensitive towards English grammar. Back in my loli days, the Gramma Nazi Queen abused indulged me into a sea of educational English language books with the most annoying ever style of educating. Well, back then till this day, I know how annoying it seemed, but it certainly helped… a LOT. Other than that, I was exposed to a kid’s cartoon show (other than Sesame Street) which actually had an amazing storyline while it taught children proper grammar along the way. I remember the animated pink text on the black background displaying “she is not” –> “she isn’t”. IMO, adults should watch it too. It may be rather childish, but not as kiddy as Sesame Street, but the least you could do is to appreciate the ideas, plot and themes. This show introduced me to “computers”… it also had a dose of sci-fi, love triangle (+ unrequited love lol) and…. prison break!

not to forget…the A E I O U… I love you~! song XD

Back to reality. I went to a kindergarden where everyone speaks English (but mine was still kinda broken). My family environment is more towards rojak language. Sounds cool? I thought it was… until I enrolled into primary school, where suddenly everyone is speaking some sort of alien language 100%. It’s not like I don’t speak that language, it’s my mother tongue dammit! It’s just that I’m not used to it, I have trouble talking to friends and I suffer trying to understand what people are saying!!

ntah la masa kecik kena paksa ikat twintails..

ntah la masa kecik kena paksa ikat twintails..

But I managed to survive, thank goodness there are people who can actually speak English or switch or rojak. Most KL kids can at least speak in English casually without being condemned by anyone. Unlike the Johorians… oh man. Shifting to Johor gave me quite a culture shock. Almost no one can utter a word in English! Okay, perhaps it’s acceptable for Malays, but even the Chinese couldn’t (I don’t mean to sound like a racist in any way). Have you any idea how tensed I was?

Realizing how pathetic most kids are, I paid more attention to English class, especially when it comes to grammar lessons. Seeing how other’s (English) standard lower than mine motivated me to become better mwahahahah. As a result, I became more and more sensitive to grammatical errors and get easily ticked off whenever I see mistakes. Behind their backs,  I cursed how lame these people are. Evil much? Yes I was.

But all that was in my history, cos like I said earlier, I can tolerate minor errors now. Even if I see a handful amount of errors, I hold back my urge to snap.

Still, it ain’t as cool as ye think. Cos no matter how good I am in English, I still suck at Malay Language. I never get an A!! NEVARRR..!! Could it get any worse..? Yeah, it was when someone questioned me… “But aren’t you Malay?” … *dies* It’s kinda sad… I even had to go to Malay language tuition class (where there were only 2 Malay students, others are Chinese, cos other Malays seem to think that they are automatically expert in their mother tongue *rolls eye*. Oh but they went to English tuition class which I did not have to attend 8D).

Getting as high as A2 for BM in SPM is already enough to make me fly to Cloud 9, cos Finally, I saw an A next to Bahasa Melayu *cries happy tears*. How did I do it..? It’s still a mystery… but I sorta blame it on my essay paper, by then I’ve already had this Malay literature skills I gained from absorbing KOMSAS books. Unlike most people, I find the language used classic Malay tales ‘beautiful’. I might have stolen a few tricks and adapted it with the modern style.

Rolling back to the main topic, ah…where did I stop. Urge to snap eh… right.. yes. Most of the time, I choose to ignore these errors or pronunciation. But sometimes I did that do spice up a conversation… or just playfully say it hiding the serious tone. Well, someone has to do it right? Honestly, I don’t like seeing my friends being lost or misunderstood by those kind of mistakes. Maybe the way I correct it is kinda harsh, but that’s probably the way I am…? the way I do things? My natural reaction?

When dismissing my sincere action of teaching others, I do feel a little… well, hurt. Sure, I understand people have pride and ego, that they’d rather not look weak in others’ eyes. I’m like that too… but I slowly learn to accept other’s opinion or correction even if it takes 10 years. I’m that kind of person. So the conclusion is, don’t brush aside when someone is trying to be kind to you. I help correct grammatical errors without asking for a fee or reward – the English teachers at school are paid but they still fail to make most students experts in English anyway.

Rant and reminisce ends here. thank you |3. btw, I don’t think I have perfectly correct English either, if oka-san sees this she’d easily spot what is wrong (that’s one reason why I disclose this url from her XD )

Edit: A few nights ago, I had little headache, yet I still had to attend an important meeting. Each division representative had to say something about the rules for next week’s event… most of them spoke in English…and OH GOD. Like I said, i don’t mind minor errors but most of them; let’s say… their fluency is like a rod with countless number of cracks, dents and corrosion from one end to another. The ache in my head increased in amplitude, I got so frustrated that my thoughts went somewhere else now and then >,>

oh yes, lastly,  I apologize if you feel offended by this post.

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4 Responses

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  1. manamana said, on February 26, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    my story is a bit different, both my parents were like totally ignorant in english tapi nak jadikan citer they sent me to a methodist [ ke catholic ? ] school where english is like spoken 24/7 while BM cam tak wujud. i was forced to learn BI so to adapt myself or else i’ll be left behind in conversation.

    even my best frens converse in english walaupun masing2 baru darjah satu lol.

  2. manamana said, on February 26, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    oh ye lupa lak, by the time my family pindah semenanjung i had been totally brainwashed in reading only english books / mags. but good thing i remember from that kejamness of my parents for sending me there is dari darjah 3 ke 6 i get to score straight / consecutive 100% for english paper lol. siap ada org perli ‘balik2 muka dia ni naik pentas amik hadiah best student BI’ lol. jeles le tu bwahaha.

    bila dah abis belajar nih my BI went downhill since terjebak ngan 4chan. gila lahanat grammar derang enough to drag me along into the mud. salah reppu gak sebab promote that site to me lol *blame mode on*

    • vien88 said, on February 26, 2009 at 6:46 pm

      amazing how 4chan can destroy your grammar. O_O
      if oka-sama sees 4chan English she’ll bising 24jam (cos normal local blogs pon dia dah kritik. aku dengar sambil peluh2 je)

      i forgot to add one thing though… we may have a lot of ‘broken’ records, but at least we can understand English more than the nipponjin could ;3

  3. Honoo said, on March 3, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I think I’m getting my British English spoiled by the American English I picked up during all the times I spent on the Internet.

    Although, to be frank I don’t think it’s a problem at all.

    … my mother still teases me on an old history of mine:

    Mom: “How do you pronounce B-O-W-L?”

    Me: “BOWL. (BAH-Wal.)”

    Mom: “BAH-Wal!??? Who taught you that?”

    Me: “Uh… um, it’s wrong? But…”

    Mom: “It’s BOWL (Bou-l / BOL).”

    Me: “Huh!? Ah, err… OK.” ^^;

    and she teases me on that till today. Heck, even my little sister can correct me >_O;; (although she’s not that better herself).

    By the way, I guess I learned English by having them spoken to me when I was first able to speak. Improving it, however, was on my own will.

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