I recently discovered a misconception regarding members of the Grammar Police that I feel compelled to correct. The Grammar Police are people who are passionate about grammar. They are not snarky, snippy know-it-alls who want to make you look bad in front of other people. I point this out for members of the Grammar Police as well. If you’re not showing tact when correcting people’s grammar, you might want to step back and reassess why you became a Grammar Policeperson in the first place.
First of all, it’s because of a love of grammar. Second, it’s based on a love for the person speaking or writing. In the event that you don’t have good feelings toward the person whose grammar is in need of correction, refer back to the first point or keep your mouth shut. Remember: there is a time and a place to correct grammar. Choose both wisely.
For those not of the Grammar Police, keep in mind that our passion for grammar does not mean that we are above correction ourselves. Any Grammar Policeperson who believes this to be so needs to turn in his or her badge immediately. Correction is where learning takes place, and who doesn’t want to learn correct grammar?
Two of my favorite grammar websites are Grammarist and Grammar Girl. Between these two, I keep quite a few mistakes out of my speech and writing. Of course, that’s not to say I haven’t made some doozies in both. No, you don’t get to know the details.