Who was it that said punctuation marks are traffic cops in the flow of language? Was it Lynne Truss? In school I always kept my fascination with punctuation a guilty secret – it wouldn’t get me in with the cool kids, and I suspected it would keep me forever single.

Grammar, too. Like synaesthesia, I can feel a tactile difference between the need for who or whom in any sentence. Correct grammar usage shines in bright shades of gold and silver, incorrect grammar appears to me as dun and puce, and expert experimentation with grammar as a breath-taking kaleidoscope. I have the special edition of Deluxe Transitive Vampire by my bed. Always. Because "[y]ou must beckon the transitive vampire to your bedside and submit to his kisses thirstily."

And don’t even talk to me about etymology. The extent of my schooling in Latin was my grade four teacher having us chant cassio cassus I fall one sweltering Tuesday afternoon. Yet I fell into a swoon over the origins of words from which I have never fully recovered. Don Watson means more to me than Don Bradman did to my father – and that’s saying something.

So you can imagine my delight when I saw Grammar Nazis. Be warned, it contains swearing. Because some of us are that passionate about the rules of language.

7 Responses to “Traffic cops of language…”

  1. Graham Storrs,

    Yay for you!

    As for being single forever, there are sacrifices for which it is worth learning the appropriate use of the semi-colon.

  2. Meg,

    Indeed; many people are surprised by its usefulness!

  3. Bernice,

    Oohhhhhhh honey….. beautiful words!!!!! Am positively drooling at your lovely serial commas :P

  4. Meg,

    Why, thank you kindly, m’dear. I do so adore semi-colons, f.a.n.b.o.y.s., and the Oxford comma…

  5. Bernice,

    Have you heard that Vampire Weekend song? Oxford Comma?

    Everytime they sing the refrain, “Who gives a f*** about an Oxford Comma?”, I wanna sing out “ME”!

  6. Chris Bongers,

    Grammar Nazis is hilarious – and so different to the sub-titled version my husband has where Hitler is going off about his surfboards going missing on a surf trip to the Mentawis! Which just goes to show, we all can be nazis when it comes to our pet hates.

  7. Meg,

    Bernice, I heard about the Oxford Comma song awhile ago, and have been wanting to track down the details ever since. Just listened to it on Youtube, what a delight! Thanks.

    And Chris, Downfall has been spoofed heaps of times, but I like the Grammar Nazi version best!

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