Why I Stopped Being a Grammar Snob
I used to be a proud grammar snob. I secretly reveled in my schadenfreude when people muddled their (there? they’re?) homonyms. I had inflexible opinions on the subject of comma use. I laughed at people who used “whom” incorrectly.
And then I took a linguistics class that changed my whole outlook, not just on grammar but also on the social impact of language. It sounds dramatic, I know, but in university you’re allowed to have dramatic epiphanies.
This is worth reading. I nitpick grammar, punctuation, usage, and style because it’s my job to make sure things are “correct” by a particular standard (usually, but not always, the Chicago Manual). But those rules aren’t always relevant to the conversation at hand, and it’s important to keep in mind that linguistic policing can also be used to silence, sideline, belittle, and oppress.