It might be because I work in publishing and totally unrepresentative of the outside world, but I’ve heard three people describe themselves as grammar Nazis this week. Now, I’d hate to try to out pedant anyone but why on Earth would you think that describing yourself as a Nazi is a cute or clever thing to do?
It’s like nails on a chalkboard for me. I find silly grammatical errors irritating, but I just don’t really see pedantry as a badge of honour, especially when bundled together with connotations of fascism, racism and anti-Semitism. It just makes you sound like a bit of a tool.
Does this annoy anyone else?
I very much agree…not an appropriate comparison! I have been called a grammar nazi (albeit affectionately) at work, because I have the responsibility among other things to edit and proof-read most of what is produced in our office. I don’t ever belittle people or criticise their mistakes but if nobody ever points out the difference between less and fewer, how will they know? Also I’m not immune to making mistakes of my own – everyone needs an editor!
I think this may be where it comes from? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3y0CD2CoCs Personally I don’t particularly mind it, but I guess I’ve never really thought about the connotations before…
I think it’s been around for longer than the Mitchell and Webb sketch, though it does kind of demonstrate the point that being any kind of Nazi isn’t cool. It’s not so much the expression that offends me as people calling themselves it as though they’re proud of the name tag.
It annoys me much, much more than the original errors themselves. I take it as an indicator someone’s critical thinking skills are so inadequate that they must focus on form rather than content.
I one drew a stick figure cartoon about this while enraged, but accidentally deleted the related post. D’oh!
Oh, I would have loved to see that!