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September 1st, 2004

Wonkery

I have in the past referred to myself as an "English wonk," and so I am. I like to think of myself as a balanced wonk -- i.e., although I try to use correct or at least passable English myself at all times, I don't (as a rule) browbeat the people around me who don't, on the grounds that rather than instilling them with better habits, all it really does is make me look like a jerk.

So when people "axe" a question, I wince but don't berate.

When people tell me they "could care less" about proper English, I just sigh. When people put a "t" in "across" or an "r" in "Washington," when they say that "every dog has it's day," ... etc., etc., ad nauseam...

The problem is, it's getting worse, and I'm getting really tired of biting my tongue. I'm beginning to wonder if my desire not to harp on things may be the wrong attitude to take on this particular subject; I suspect that a lot of people just don't know what's right, because nobody is willing to tell them that what they're doing is wrong.

What do you think?

-The Gneech

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