In a previous post, I wrote about 15 telltale signs of word-nerdiness. On the list were attributes such as correcting the grammar in children’s stories and quoting from Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
At the end of the post, I asked PR Daily readers to share their word nerd giveaways. Here are a few of those responses:
• “I love to find typos in books/articles/pamphlets, not because I love that they’re there, but more so because it’s a weird dim-witted victory for me. Strange, I know. Nerd alert for sure!”
• “My latest pet peeve? The rampant and egregious misuse of ‘fewer’ or ‘less.’ Thank the Gods that my local Wegman’s (and Trader Joe’s) gets it right: 10 items or FEWER. Singular or plural; it’s that simple. Fewer coins, less money. Spread the word, my fellow word geeks!”
• “I don’t have any style guides on my desk, but have three or four of them bookmarked in my browser. Does that count?”
• “I work with a PR colleague who consistently says irregardless. Arggghhhh! And I know I’m a word nerd because I edit the grammar on digital road signs. My favorite—’Don’t dink and drive.’”
• “The use of ‘they’ as a singular pronoun makes you cringe. (Yes, Virginia, there really is a better way.)”
• “You’re a word nerd if you do crossword puzzles on a daily basis…and start using some of their verbiage in everyday conversation. (‘Have you read this fascinating tome?…,’ ‘Never feed terns at the beach…,’ ‘I finished my lunch ere I went back to work…,’ ‘Honey, would you pick up some oleo at the grocery store on the way home?’)”
• “Would it be OK if we all used ‘use’ instead of ‘utilize’ … please?”
• “You giggle while splitting infinitives and know when and why it’s acceptable to do so.”
• “You read your nephew ‘Horton Hears a Whom.’
You un-friend people for misspelling ‘definitely.’
You didn’t buy your brother a Christmas present last year because he asked for CD’s and DVD’s.”
• “I think everybody who commented should join the Grammar Police. I have a paper Grammar Police badge taped to the front of my desk, ‘To Educate and Correct.’”
A version of this article first appeared on Ragan Communication’s PR Daily.