FIX YOU’RE GRAMMAR

BROOKE KINNEY

bskinney10@ole.augie.edu

Your an idiot.

All right, maybe not you individually, but if you didn’t catch that error, then I’m right, and we need to have a chat. Please, keep reading. It’s for your own good.

As the copy editor for the Mirror this semester, an English and journalism major, and a lover of the word-of-the-day (not to mention the Oxford comma), the state of the world’s grammar pains me.

It only takes two seconds on any social network to find an error demonstrating the laziness or downright stupidity of this generation. I can forgive most – the casual misspelling, the accidental miss of a key, the autocorrect horror – but it’s the common grammar mistakes that concern me.

You’ve made it to college, to Augustana even, a school ranked 28th in the NCSA Power Rankings, only five below Cornell University and higher even than Vanderbilt.

The only possible explanation for how you’ve been permitted to study among the grammatically correct is that Augie doesn’t actually read those college admission essays.

I have to give props to the college professors who grade papers, especially in the English department. How they’ve made it this long without setting fire to all the midterm and final essays is beyond me. I get upset with a lazy text. R U lost?

Let me explain.

It’s not “your an idiot,” (a quote I have actually seen on Facebook that makes me simultaneously shake my head and laugh at the irony); it’s “you’re an idiot.” As in: you are an idiot. And I’m sorry I keep calling you an idiot. Kind of.

Maybe it’s not your fault. I shouldn’t blame you. I’m sure you paid attention diligently in elementary school when your teacher went over the proper use of apostrophes and contractions. They must have just forgotten to teach you the correct difference between “your” and “you’re,” or “their,” “there,” and “they’re,” and even “its” versus “it’s.”

I’m not saying that I am perfect. I’ve made mistakes. I start sentences with “and” or “but.” I sometimes put “who” when I need to put “whom.” I got caught using a semicolon in the wrong place once. It was a sad day. I know no one is perfect, but if you put “pays attention to detail” on your résumé, you better not use the wrong contraction on your cover letter.

Think of this soapbox as a helping hand to your future.

I’ve been called a grammar Nazi before. Heck, I’ve even hashtagged the phrase myself. But I’m proud to say I know when to use affect or effect. The grammar Nazis of the world need to stand up, red pens uncapped. Don’t shy away from correcting your friend’s posts, tweets or texts. They need to realize they may be suffering from stupidity. It could be contagious.

When they say, “I’m good,” after having been asked the common salutation, tell them Superman is good. They, on the other hand, are well. When they write the often misspelled “definitely”, use all capitals to let them know they definitely didn’t spell it right.

Applaud them if they use the right than or then and let them know proper grammar makes them more attractive.

And please, for the love of all copy editors, English professors and grammar Nazis out there, correct others when they write “your” instead of “you’re.”