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June 1, 2008 7:25 PM   Subscribe

The Grammar Curmudgeon makes up for all of those snarky grammar comments we refrain from posting.
posted by sonic meat machine (31 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
What is the "refrain" of which you speak? Is this something I would need self-control to understand?
posted by GuyZero at 7:34 PM on June 1, 2008


Upon RTFA, GAH! Damn. 1996 called and wants its website back.
posted by GuyZero at 7:35 PM on June 1, 2008


Hey, didn't this idea start here?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:37 PM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, no; I didn't see that thread upon searching (and don't usually frequent MeTa). Oops.

And GuyZero, it's part of my hypothesis that the most informative and interesting sites have the worst design.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:40 PM on June 1, 2008


Correctness is only the beginning; precision is the ultimate goal.

:)
posted by zach4000 at 7:43 PM on June 1, 2008


But it's unreadable! This isn't just a case of bad page layout - he's writing paragraphs in point form with lines that are too long. For someone presumably obsessed with clear communication, let me use the popular vernacular: FAIL.
posted by GuyZero at 7:44 PM on June 1, 2008


Reduce the width of your browser window and the line length diminishes.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:50 PM on June 1, 2008


Grammar Curmudgeon vs. Web Design Curmudgeon.

Only one will be left standing.
posted by Kattullus at 8:02 PM on June 1, 2008 [9 favorites]


I thought the little paper clip in Microsoft Word was the grammar curmudgeon.
posted by dobie at 8:02 PM on June 1, 2008


Hrm, I can be somewhat of a grammar curmudgeon, but right now I find myself a web design curmudgeon. Peering back to 1997 hurts!!

On preview: Kattullus, you set up the boxing ring, I'll bring the popcorn.
posted by waitangi at 8:13 PM on June 1, 2008


It is time that people stopped using wait on when they mean "wait in" or "wait for," as in, "I was waiting on line for an hour"

I guess the Grumpy Grammarian isn't from New York.
posted by Falconetti at 8:21 PM on June 1, 2008


People, I'm about to blow your minds with a thing of marvelous implication. If you use Firefox—and you should!—you can go to the View menu, then Page Style, then No Style. The page will then be rendered using your default text size, font, font color, and background.

You can get really fancy if you'd like, and edit your html.css file, but that way lie pain and suffering.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:22 PM on June 1, 2008


So, is it "better than me" or "better than I"? Or just a matter of preference?
posted by decoherence at 8:59 PM on June 1, 2008


decoherence: it varies by occasion. If you could replace "me/I" with "him" or "her", then "me" is correct. If you could replace "me/I" with "he" or "she", then "I" is correct.

Many times, either will work. As a worker, Jeff is better than her. As a worker, Jeff is better than she [is]. As a worker, Jeff is better than me. As a worker, Jeff is better than I [am].
posted by Jpfed at 9:06 PM on June 1, 2008


"Whom are you," he said, for he had been to night school.
posted by bigskyguy at 9:49 PM on June 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


... grammar comments that we refrain from posting.

grumble.
posted by polyglot at 12:33 AM on June 2, 2008


I've come to understand that he is a grammar curmudgeon. Proofreading1 curmudgeon2, eh, not so much.
1. first paragraph
2. first bullet point, "half... accept use of"
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 1:35 AM on June 2, 2008


"Although verbal has been widely used for a long time to refer to spoken communication only, such usage is imprecise. Verbal communication consists of both oral and written use of language."

*imprecise*

"Despite its widespread misuse, actionable should not be used to mean "giving cause for or forming a basis for any sort of action." The proper and only definition of actionable is 'giving cause for legal action.'"

Because they are rules, people! Adhere to the program!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:26 AM on June 2, 2008


I like my friend Martha's Society for the Protection of Good Grammar better!

(Though this site's almost won me over with the last sidebar link to "Hidden" Pages. Don't be bashful, collection of "Wit and Wisdom"! Come out of hiding!)
posted by mothershock at 4:43 AM on June 2, 2008


I like this post good.
posted by Debaser626 at 6:15 AM on June 2, 2008


517 ~$ curl -I http://www.grammarmudge[‥]t_header_right.jpg
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008 12:03:18 GMT
Content-Type: image/jpeg
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Last-Modified: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 16:17:45 GMT
ETag: "801adceb2e5fc21:16fe"
Content-Length: 11673


That's pretty old in internet time. His banner predates Safari by three months, Firefox by three days. From the look of it, I doubt he's made major changes to the site mechanics since.

It's not very stylish, but the five-year-old site navigation seems to work fine (and without frames). If you take a look at the source, don't be put off by the massive number of tables (25+). They're mostly superficial and could easily be stripped. The HTML isn't half bad, considering the browsers it targeted.
posted by ryanrs at 7:23 AM on June 2, 2008


Grammar Curmudgeon (read: Techno-pessimist)
posted by Mngo at 8:14 AM on June 2, 2008


I was going to mount my rusty hobbyhorse and bash this site, but upon actually visiting it I realized there was no need—anyone with any sense would run as soon as they saw it, and anyone who took grammatical advice from a site like that deserves what they get.
posted by languagehat at 9:27 AM on June 2, 2008


and anyone who took grammatical advice from a site like that deserves what they get
Especially the advice about mixing tenses.
posted by joaquim at 1:06 PM on June 2, 2008


Huh? If they took the advice in the past, they deserve what they get in the present and future for having taken it. Nice try, though.
posted by languagehat at 1:20 PM on June 2, 2008


Thanks, languagehat. I always prefer an insult rather than a reasoned argument. It saves time.

This site is not perfect. It's not even pretending to be perfect. It's essentially a collection of entertaining opinion pieces about a topic I find interesting. His advice isn't as reliable as the OED, but it's more fun to read—and it's one more person who is interested in good writing when that skill seems rare.
posted by sonic meat machine at 2:08 PM on June 2, 2008


Because they are rules, people! Adhere to the program!

I'm not sure if that was a snark, but the first example (using the word "verbal" when "oral" is meant) does create ambiguity. "Verbal" should be used only as opposed to "non-verbal", else how to distinguish other forms of verbal communication from oral simply and unambiguously? You can argue that one can just identify the precise method of communication, but what if all non-oral, verbal communications are meant? Gets pretty sloppy. So, yes,

*imprecise*
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:09 PM on June 2, 2008


His advice isn't as reliable as the OED, but it's more fun to read

And there you have it. There's really no point trying to argue with "I don't care if it's right as long as it's fun."
posted by languagehat at 2:44 PM on June 2, 2008


languagehat, different resources have different purposes. If I am writing an academic paper, am I going to consult the OED or the Grammar Curmudgeon? The obvious answer is the former. The latter can be interesting and informative in a different context, however, always keeping in mind that it doesn't necessarily have the authority of the OED.

Do you never browse Wikipedia for fun? You know that the information there is very unreliable, of course, but I'm betting that you still read it.
posted by sonic meat machine at 3:38 PM on June 2, 2008


Oops, sorry, languagehat. I forgot that you're never wrong even when you are.
posted by joaquim at 3:51 PM on June 2, 2008


languagehat, different resources have different purposes. If I am writing an academic paper, am I going to consult the OED or the Grammar Curmudgeon? The obvious answer is the former.

OK, fair enough. I certainly don't want to shut down all sites that provide inaccurate information, but I'm always glad when people take them for what they're worth.

Do you never browse Wikipedia for fun? You know that the information there is very unreliable, of course, but I'm betting that you still read it.


Of course I read it (I don't know any computer-literate people who don't), but not for fun in the sense you mean—I get a tremendous amount of fun out of learning things I didn't already know, but that pretty much depends on the information being accurate. I try to avoid Wikipedia articles on contentious subjects where it seems likely that the information is unreliable, and when I run across misinformation on a topic I know about I correct it. I get zero pleasure out of reading false information presented as true.

Oops, sorry, languagehat. I forgot that you're never wrong even when you are.

What the fuck is your problem? You jump out of the bushes to take a whack at me, claiming my tenses are wrong; when I point out, in a jovial way (if you consider "Nice try, though" an insult, your skin is way too thin for this place), that you're wrong, you neither shut up and go away nor admit your error, you come back with a stunningly pointless insult of your own. In the first place, I am always happy to admit I'm wrong and have done so many times—only a fool thinks they're always right. In the second place, you don't present an actual argument for why I'm wrong (presumably because none is available), you just throw your spitball. Grow up.
posted by languagehat at 5:16 PM on June 2, 2008


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