Grammar Nazis.


Dear reader.

Does this symbol mean anything to you? Does it perhaps even shock you? It is the Nazi flag. The flag that symbolised Hitler’s Third Reich. Don’t worry, I’m not going to take over the world. Yet. The flag symbolises something that bears down on me heavily though. You may know I live in the Netherlands which is a neighbour to Germany. In the 2nd World War we suffered a lot from Hitler’s goons. The Nazis. Which brings me to the topic of this post. The “Grammar Nazis”. The people who want to put things to the right concerning language and grammar.

concentratie kampWhy, I wonder, did someone choose the name Grammar Nazi? Someone who has no idea of what the Nazis actually did? And what happens to the victims of these Grammar Nazis? Will they be put to work in language concentration camps?

Really, come on. No language can ever be as foul and lowly as the Jews apparently were according to Hitler and his Nazis. Which user of language can be so lowly and foul that a Grammar Nazi has to act on her or him?

Is there a Grammar Nazi out there able to explain to me that this name is perfectly fine and respectable?

Grammar Police, fine. Grammar Hammer, fine. Grammar Purist, even better. But do the world a favour and stop calling yourself a Nazi.

I don’t know where you read this; on my blog, on Facebook, on Google+ or on Tumblr. If you consider yourself a Grammar Nazi, please stop following me, unfriend me, whatever. I don’t want to be associated with anybody who considers him- or herself anything related to ‘Nazi’.

Thank you. (I shall spare you an image of a mass grave near one of the concentration camps. I can’t imagine that even the toughest Grammar Nazi wants to be associated with such a view.)

Grammar. Grammarly.

Dear Reader (and I am looking at you especially, fellow writer),

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post because my inner editor is no match for my typing speed. (Also my real life editor sometimes has a hard time with me, so if there’s anything I can do to make her life easier, then Grammarly is the way to go.)

Grammarly? What is that, I hear you ask. Grammarly is an impressive tool that can analyse a text and point out any flaws, weaknesses and possible mistakes. The way this system, even the web-based version, looks at a text and tell you where you may have gone wrong is impressive. Are you confused when to use “as” and “like”? “Affect” and “effect”? Grammarly will come to your help. Are you abundant with commas? The tool will assist you in removing the ones you don’t need. When you click the ‘Start Review’ button, a large set of checks is unleashed onto your unsuspecting words, and they will be set straight where needed. Grammarly isn’t a totalitarian state though. All the possible changes are suggestions that you can apply or ignore at the tap of a button. Specific unrecognised words and for instance names that you often use can be added to your personal dictionary, and from then on Grammarly won’t bug you about them again.

For people who sometimes slip into the habit of misusing words or phrases, Grammarly is a wonderful aid.

Here is a detail of this post, as checked by Grammarly:

(Click image for the full version)

If I have made you are curious about this program, go to and have a look for yourself! It’s worth it.