Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pedantry on Parade

Wikipedia gives this definition for "pedant":
"a person who is overly concerned with formalism and precision, or who 'makes a show of learning'."

To see this tendency in full flower, take a look at the comments section here.

This is my favorite:
"This grammar error has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time, as it is committed by many grocers both in my home community and in the places to which I routinely travel. Most of the time it does no good to point it out, as few clerks grasp the distinction."

I understand now why I encounter so many surly grocery clerks. It's not the crappy wages and long hours, it's people complaining to them about the wording of the "10 items or less" sign. This is one reason I can respect the way Kenny Shopsin runs his restaurant. You know what would happen if one of these guardians of the English language came into his place and pointed out a grammar or syntax error on the menu? He would tell them to GET THE F*** OUT. Too bad the average grocery clerk doesn't have the power to tell somebody to take their pedantic a** down the road to Trader Joe's.

I'll admit that unnecessary apostrophes on signs bug me, but I can't imagine actually complaining to an employee or a business owner about the "incorrectness" of their sign. But obviously, that's just me.

No comments: