Write It Sideways

Are You a Word Nerd or a Grammar Rebel?

Are you a Word Nerd or a Grammar Rebel?

I recently came across this amusing post on Humorous Reminders of Common Writing Mistakes, which made me ask myself this very question.

Reading through the list of writing faux pas, I kept vacillating between, “Oh, I would never do that!” and, “Uh oh, I do that all the time.” Once, I would have referred to myself as a definite Word Nerd (because I must admit to the guilty pleasure of reading the dictionary).

Today, I’m not so sure.

So I stopped to consider what separates Word Nerds from Grammar Rebels, and what unites them in their love of language. This is what I came up with:

Word Nerds are well-educated in the technical aspects of language and believe we should obey its rules.

Grammar Rebels are also well-educated in the technical aspects of language, but they believe it’s okay (and sometimes necessary) to break certain rules.

So, what’s the one thing Nerds and Rebels can still agree on?

There are certain language rules that must never be broken. Ever. (Well, except if you’re writing dialogue and your characters can’t speak English properly.)

Here’s a list of rules that both groups of writers agree shouldn’t be broken:

Can you think of any others?

Now, for the rules Grammar Rebels routinely break:

Which camp do you fall into? (Or should I say, “Into which camp do you fall?”)

I highly suspect there’s a little Rebel in all of us. In fact, I’m almost willing to guarantee you’re less of a Word Nerd than you might think.

When is it okay to break the rules? When is it not?

Need More Help To Improve Your Grammar?

I currently use Grammarly (aff. link), an easy to use, online grammar checking tool. Click on the picture below to discover more.

If you need more than a grammar checking program, and would like to work on the fundamentals, take a look at the downloadable resources offered by Confident Grammar (aff. link). You may find it is a great option for your personal learning style.