Are You A Grammar Snob?
Yesterday I heard a politician say, “We’ve reverted back to Cold War policies.” Revert means to return, or go back to a previous state. No need for the word ‘back‘ in that sentence.
Then there’s “ATM Machines”. ATM is the initialism for “automated teller machine” so when my daughter says “Stop at the ATM machine” I hear, “stop at the automated teller machine machine.”
A few days ago my daughter asked me to “try and help her with her paper”. When I asked whether she wanted me to try to help her, or actually help her, I got a dirty look. She immediately said, “Okay, help me”. Then she called me a grammar snob.
She was joking, sort of. I don’t correct people in public, I don’t write letters to editors if I see a slip in the paper because I know I’m not perfect. I make mistakes, and sometimes, I make them purposely.
I don’t have a problem starting a sentence with the word and. I don’t mind if you dangle a participle. But I want my daughter to know that one is being dangled. And that some people freak out if you start a sentence with the word and. I prefer May I to Can I when permission is being sought but I don’t lecture when my daughter says, “Can I go to the movies?” I know she knows the difference.
When she’s speaking to adults, her grammar changes. When she’s around her friends, she reverts back to teen-speak. Guess she doesn’t want to appear to be a grammar snob. ;)