Thursday, October 04, 2007

A bit of a grammar grouch

I've mentioned in passing a few times that I'm taking a course at Carleton University right now, where John teaches. It's the first course towards me getting a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (CTESL). The course I'm taking is called Major Structures of English. It's a grammar course. As many of you know, my job is essentially this: editing and reviewing for content (almost) all the briefing materials and memos that go to our Minister of Foreign Affairs. It turned me onto grammar and, specifically, wanting to know more about it. Hand-in-hand with my love for grammar is my love for proper punctuation (although you wouldn't always know it from this blog). Since I started working in my current job I've become much more attune to grammatical and punctuation mistakes. I'm not really a true "grammar grouch." I don't go into stores to point out the mistakes they make on their signs, but inside I am fuming a bit. And each time I pass the sign, I get that much more annoyed.

My greatest annoyances are from the Ottawa Citizen, our daily paper. It is a good paper but they could use a few more copy editors on staff. One of today's headlines had me laughing. I didn't go all grammar grouch about it. I just laughed because, well, the headline writers there, I think they're just stupid.

Man hit by bike, car in stable condition


little b said...

I don't even know what they were trying o say there. Was he hit by both a car and a bike? That almost deserves a letter to the editor.

Karen said...

Yeah, he was hit by a car and a bike. Sometimes newspapers (so I've learned in some of my reading) remove the 'and' and replace it with a comma. Weird, especially when it ends up reading like that.

Shan said...

Thanks for explaining that Karen, because I couldn't figure out what happened either.

Anonymous said...

Me so happy my grammar is more better so Karen know if I got hit by bike, car that to the hospital I should go.