i know what i know

A list.

-I had a weird and very negative reaction with a student I usually get along with. It had me all depressed because while I deal with negative student interactions every day (Hi student looking at porn on his phone during my class!) there is something very discouraging about thinking you have a good relationship with a student, and finding out you were wrong.

-This morning I got a frantic email from said student apologizing profusely. It was so sincere and adorable that I ignored all the spelling/grammar/syntax errors. Desperate times call for desperate sentence structure, I suppose. Plus, who in the sam hell hill judges apology emails?

-Actually, I rarely care about grammar/spelling/syntax outside of formal class work. For some reason, everyone seems to have this impression that English teachers spend all their free time looking for misused commas and condemning people to hell as a result. False. Those people aren't English teachers. Those people are English Nazis who are usually grammatically correct, but boring, writers. Is grammar important? Yes. Is grammar the soul and essence of good writing? No. We all know a lot of boring people with perfect hair.

-"We all know a lot of boring people with perfect hair" is probably the best analogy I've ever written. I didn't even have to make fun of Republicans to achieve it.


The Boob Nazi said...

I'm having a terrible couple of days.

Aunt Spicy said...

phew. i now appreciate my less than perfect hair even more!

NIKOL said...

I think I might have "We all know a lot of boring people with perfect hair" embroidered on a pillow.

Carley A. T. said...

Umm... I have blocked people on FB because I could not understand what they were saying because their grammar was so bad.

I also had to hold myself back from correcting their grammar on FB because I knew it would hurt feelings.

I am almost a grammar meanie.

Melinda said...

I had that same experience last week. I remind myself that they're 15 and fickle.

Nookleerman said...

I'm a grammar Nazi. I know it. I accept it about myself. Of course as a tech writer, it's necessary for me to be as perfect as possible, and I definitely think my focus on it in my personal writing has a negative effect on my creativity during the creating process. But I'm proud of my proofreading skills, (even though I just typed it as prrofreading, I caught it, yeah I'm that good), and I've worked hard to know exactly when to use the right version of there/their/they're, or your and you're, and I don't agree that there's something wrong with holding people to a standard. Now there are forms where grammatical accuracy becomes cumbersome, but by and large an obviously misspelled word or no punctuation for 5 lines of text is a severe distraction, not just for weirdos like me but for a majority of the population. And I truly believe that it makes writing worse, regardless of what is being said.
-end rant-

Stephanie said...


i think there is a happy balance between true English Nazis, who will disregard a piece of writing entirely based on one misued comma, (instead of fixing it and moving on,) and the facebook users who can't articulate a thought.

grammar IS important, i just don't think it is THE most important thing.


gurrbonzo said...

What a sweet little student. Is the feeling of thinking you were wrong about your good relationship with your student THEN realizing you were RIGHT and your relationship is awesome and you got a cute apology as lovely as I imagine?

Let's put "We all know a lot of boring people with perfect hair" on a t-shirt, or maybe a cross-stitch. Or a handsewn bag. Whatever.

emily paige said...


I know this post is (more than) two years old, and I've never commented on your blog before, and you don't know me, but it is here that I must confess...

I am a grammar nazi. I am just an (excellent) proofreader, who wishes that she could write half as well as you do.

I don't think the two (grammar/proofreading and quality writing) go hand in hand, unfortunately.