Tag Archives: Grammar Snobs

Stream of Consciousness Saturday on Monday-Grammar Pedant Disorder The Warning Signs as Seen on Some Blogs

Some fun and hopefully humorous writing as part of my Making Blogging More Enjoyable for Me Project. My posts may not follow a regular schedule. Just when I feel inspired to do so.

I have seen some evidence in the comment section of my blog and from accounts given by fellow bloggers of a certain condition called Grammar Pedant Disorder (GPD). I will attempt to give a description of this disorder. Or at least traits I have identified so far and how I imagine that they develop. This is not a scientific study but based on anecdotal evidence and accounts. I do not claim to be an expert.

Signs of Beginning Grammar Pedant Disorder (GPD) or Stage I:

  • You find yourself feeling a certain smugness and slight superiority when spotting small errors in others writing. Things like word omissions, typos, and accidentally using the wrong word like their for there.
  • You would never think of pointing this out to the person in public.
  • The errors will not stop you from continuing to read the person’s writing.

Signs of Moderate GPD or Stage II:

  • You are noticing more grammar errors in others writing.
  • You can easily understand the errors, and know what the author meant to say, but you find yourself tsk tsk-ing to yourself.
  • You are starting to feel a bit edgy when you detect the errors.
  • You may find yourself tempted to point out the error. It is getting harder not to point it out. Your fingers quiver over your computer keyboard as you stare at the writer’s comment section.
  • You start to question if the caliber of writing is worth your time to read.

Signs of Full Blown GPD or Stage III:

  • You notice every error, no matter how minor, in others writing and it really irritates you. You are personally affronted by having to be exposed to such noxious things.
  • There is a whole long list of things that offend your sensibilities. And you find yourself carefully scrutinizing the writing of others to make sure none of these things are found.
  • You may have your special pet peeves that really get your goat.
  • You find you must actively avoid reading any samples of writing that contain any of the faults on your list.
  • There is a real danger at this point that you will develop a more severe form of this condition. This is where you actively point out the errors of other writers in their comment sections in a passive-aggressive way or with full blown nastiness.

This disorder has been in evidence for quite some time and now the medical community is taking note of it. There have been discussions of listing it as a category of mental illness in the DSM. If you feel you may be experiencing some of the signs and symptoms of this condition you should contact your doctor. There are support groups available in some communities for those wanting to recover from GPD.

This post is provided as a public service to new writers who may unknowingly come under the scrutiny of a person suffering with GPD. Having someone with this disorder as your mentor or Imaginary Reader is not recommended. It is also provided as a self-awareness exercise to guard against these traits developing in you.

Additional reading on this topic: I found an essay on Medium.com by a young lady, Mary Rolf, who identifies herself as a former Grammar Snob. She writes very eloquently about all the reasons she decided not be a snob. I have recently had thoughts similar to hers so her writing really resonated with me. If you think you suffer from GPD or think you could be described as a Grammar Snob I recommend you consider some of her arguments against it. https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/why-i-stopped-being-a-grammar-snob-aac6634d79af

I also recommend the book, ” Bad English, A History of Linguistic Aggravation,” by Ammon Shea