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We heard them all. Quirky jokes about the inability to stand people who don’t use grammar properly, rejecting tweets for using double negatives, mocking people who don’t know who / who. The grammar police. The grammar snobs. I was definitely one.
But here’s the thing: grammar and language are always changing. The Chicago Manual of Style and AP style, among others, post new rules or changed rules every few years to help identify the ways our language is changing.
I’m an English language editor and over the years I’ve given up on the old idea of the “grammar police”. My greatest support in this was The Subversive Copy Editor, the simply amazing book by Carol Fisher Saller, who was the editor of the Chicago Manual of Style blog for many years. It emphasizes that there are so many ways to use grammar and many of the rules can be explicitly abandoned if it means we respect others, or if it sounds better in one sentence, or if it is consistent. And it’s so true Being flexible as an editor is absolutely essential.
Being a grammar snob is overrated. I’m a grammar expert, but I refuse to be a grammar snob anymore. Nobody really needs to use perfect grammar on Twitter. It’s not really worth interrupting your friends and family every five seconds to get them to speak perfect English (believe me, I’ve read the CMS cover to cover and neither of us speaks “perfect” English) .
These articles are for all of my grammar lovers (but not snobs), all of my grammar lovers who want to be proud grammar nerds, people obsessed with our wondrous changing language, people who know the rules and how to get there she uses people who love words and all their strange details. These articles are for you.
Oxford Comma Society t-shirt: I got so many compliments for it! Channel your inner grammar nerd and proudly showcase your belief in the Oxford comma. $ 23
Offer collar needle: Rock those cute, curvy quotes in style. $ 9
Spell Checker Mug: Every writer, editor, and scientist knows it’s true, but sometimes you need a reminder. Check yourself out before you ruin yourself. $ 15
Commas Matter T-Shirt: Declare your love for commas with this shirt, which comes as a sweatshirt, t-shirt, tank, and more, and also in many colors. $ 15
Word Nerd Pin: Proudly declare your word nerdery. $ 2.50
Hyphenated Irony T-Shirt: English is such a strange language with such strange rules. The irony indeed! $ 20
Who / Who Pin: Owls are the unofficial mascot of grammar nerds everywhere. You can also get it as a magnet! $ 2.50
STET embroidery: Writing “STET” in its giant letters in the comments of a Word document can be so satisfying. Bring that energy into your home with this embroidery. $ 18
Oxford Comma Enamel Pin: I love the oxford comma. The versatility, clarity and consistency it gives to text … this pin celebrates the “and” we all love to see it. $ 11.50
Grammar Enthusiast T Shirt: Carry your enthusiasm for our incredible, strange language on your chest. $ 28
Be a Schwa T-shirt: “Be a Schwa. (Don’t stress yourself). ”I live for a good grammar pun, and this one is both so good and so unexpected! $ 19