.

Miss Pronoun-ciation

She know how Grammar Nazis be all anal.
Their like theyre fancy, boring words—so banal.
When grading papers, allways giving discounts—
All airy like some Eiffel-tootin viscounts.
“Sowhatif words ain’t spaced write? For one hole
Your making a big deal—its’ hyperbole.”
(Don’t judge…she goes to public school. So sorry
If, padding speech, her elocushion’s awry.)
She won’t be graded by you’re standerd metric.
For being draumatized by hateful rhetric,
She got that Grammar Nazi fired. Be wary:
Don’t mispronoun her by her dead name (Gary).

.

.

Andrew Benson Brown has had poems and reviews published in a few journals. His epic-in-progress, Legends of Liberty, will chronicle the major events of the American Revolution if he lives to complete it. Though he writes history articles for American Essence magazine, he lists his primary occupation on official forms as ‘poet.’ He is, in other words, a vagabond.


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46 Responses

  1. James Sale

    Ha ha ha!!! The final lines a killer – Gary! – love it. As usual, superb rhymes that amaze and amuse: metric/rhetric verges on the genius. Wonderful poetry ABB, wonderful.

    Reply
    • ABB

      Thanks James. In a Freudian twist that adds to the comedy of its uber-maleness, Gary means ‘spear.’

      Reply
  2. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Cleaver and vary funny, but all so a sad commintary on what is happning in our edjukation system.

    Reply
  3. Phil S. Rogers

    Great! I have to agree with Roy; a sad commentary on our present skoul, skool, schoul, system.

    Reply
  4. Daniel Kemper

    The thing that is provocative to me is that, although I can have an outbursting temper, I’m generally pretty amiable and happy to call someone whatever they’d like me to call them. In general. But like all things Marxist, it’s the thin end of the wedge.

    For example, lately my thoughts settle here. If a dude wants me to call him Dorothy, fine. But, I think I’ve got to draw the line at calling HIM Dorothy. I can humor a fantasy, a role play (particularly because I know how much pain most of these people are in), but cannot deny reality to play into the hands of someone telling me that “there are five candles.” Taking advantage of people with good natures seems to be what they are expert in.

    Another fine line is that it can be important to mention that someone would like to go by “them” or whatever. It’s funny that the gender-bending academics don’t seem to be able to see that in order for there to be gender roles with which to identify, there have to be absolute sex differences from which those gender roles descend.

    F*** it. Maybe it’s all just a cognitive virus.

    Back to the poem. Light and witty. Fun. An important voice to be heard.

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Forget about academics thinking logically (or at all). Most of them gave that up years ago.

      Reply
    • ABB

      Nudged towards insanity. If we are going to expand our pronouns, I’d like to bring back thee/thou.

      Reply
  5. David Whippman

    Andrew, thanks for this clever take on one facet of the current insanity.

    Reply
  6. Paul A. Freeman

    I saw some graffiti the other day that said ‘Puck’ (the ‘f’ had too much of a loop to it) ‘shool’. Ironically, the second word gave good reason not to ‘puck’ it.

    By the way, isn’t ‘hyperbowl’ one up from the superbowl?

    Thanks for the read.

    Reply
  7. Joseph S. Salemi

    ABB, I love every line of this poem, including the great title.

    One of the best Grammar Nazis of all time was John Simon, the drama and film critic. Check out his devastating book “Paradigms Lost.”

    Funny thing — Simon wasn’t even a native speaker of English. He was born in Yugoslavia. But he couldn’t bear what uneducated native speakers of English were doing in their incompetent prose.

    Reply
    • ABB

      Ordered a used copy of Paradigms Lost just now. Thanks for the reference, will be very useful I’m sure.

      Reply
  8. Yael

    This poem is funny and painful at the same time. I’m not a native English speaker either, but what a lot of native speakers do to the English language is often baffling to me.
    I was at a small auto body shop recently which had a professionally printed metal sign at the entrance which says:
    NO PROPERTY LEFT
    IN CAR’S NOT
    RESPONCABLE FOR STOLEN
    PROPERTY.

    Reply
  9. Mark Stellinga

    Grate werk, A…your a vary clever ‘whatever’! A victem of this trecheree miself, eye blaim my teechers – Ms. Take – Ms. Use & Ms. Spell – four my ishews, & of corse, making an AWDIO of this peace wood bee pointless – WRITE?

    Reply
    • ABB

      Thenks. At leest u r still yung at hart…fit write in wit todays texters.

      Reply
  10. Brian A. Yapko

    Andrew, this poem made me hoot with laughter. You nailed it, even down to the “dead” name. Your grammatically self-referential speaker gives you, the poet, latitude to say and do so much that would be a tough sell otherwise. The rhymes of anal/banal and viscount/discount come leaped out at me. But every linguistic oddity in this piece is a treasure. I hope you do a video-reading of it because it’s hilarious.

    Reply
    • ABB

      I added most of the corruptions into the poem afterwards while tweaking it when I realized I could push it to the limit there. And it was the anal/banal rhyme that randomly gave me the idea for the poem in the first place. Video reading, good idea. Some excellent possibilities there.

      Reply
  11. Cheryl Corey

    Is the bastardization of grammar attributable to the rise of the Internet, cell phones, and speed of communication? Does it come from the education establishment? Is it a combination of many factors?

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      It started long before the coming of the internet and social media and cellphones. If you want a really important reason, it was this: there was a concerted and sustained effort in grade-school English programs to forbid the teaching of grammar to young children. The notion behind it was that all language should be discussed descriptively, and not prescriptively, and that all previously published grammars of English were modeled on those of Latin, and therefore of no use to speakers of modern English, a language that had dispensed with most inflectional forms.

      In fact, that is a LIE. A huge, massive, and destructive lie. But it was fiercely promoted and pushed, and it is still being parroted today by professional educationists.

      I have taught Latin to many students, and all of them tell me that they didn’t have a clue as to what English grammar was all about until they began to learn Latin. And Margaret Coats has mentioned recently in a thread here at the SCP that she gives her Latin students extensive lessons in English grammar before she begins to teach them about Latin.

      Reply
  12. Adam Sedia

    This is wonderful! And the best (and saddest) part is it feels like an inside joke that will fly over most people’s heads.

    I will also add that this is the perfect length. Any longer, and you would risk seeming to overplay the cleverness.

    I am going to print this out and add it to the stack that gives me needed comic relief.

    Reply
    • ABB

      For the grammatically challenged, one has to soar a few inches above the ground. Good observation about the length. It turned out to be a few lines longer than I initially intended, actually. Nice to know you have a go-to stack, that’s a good idea. Bookmarking tabs makes for a long list.

      Reply
  13. Evan Mantyk

    I know someone in an online master’s program in Higher Education Administration, and one of his classes is heavy on DEI indoctrination and critical race theory. He said the professor is strange. He (She?) frequently makes spelling and grammatical errors and engages very little with students. The questions posed in assignments are just academic gobbledygook. It is the real manifestation of what this garbage leads to. Your poem captures it well, ABB!

    Reply
    • ABB

      The DEI cult is always the worst about this stuff. Idiot-idioms are overtaking us.

      Reply
  14. Stephen M. Dickey

    My favorite from students is “would of” for “would have”.

    Reply
  15. Margaret Coats

    Yes, Andrew, this is a good length for a sample of language corruption. Your adding the varied corruptions to a framework aids in the understanding. The basic grammatical structure is the key to meaning. It is remarkable how study of grammar quickly improves student performance in reading and writing and all subjects dependent on reading, including the dreaded word problems in math. Those require the student to translate English into the foreign language of math. I tell students that they cannot learn foreign language without being able to “speak grammar.” My intensive grammar review days are often attended by parents as well, showing that the failure to provide this essential learning is multi-generational. Joseph Salemi is right that anti-grammar policies in education are longstanding. And of course this hampers learning of foreign language, for which the United States has a miserable record, compared to almost any other part of the world. Your poem, and the imitations of its language in these comments, demonstrate translation skill that enables comprehension of anything. It’s a significant idea well carried out.

    Reply
    • ABB

      Thanks for your insightful analysis, Margaret. Glad you are teaching a segment of the next generation how to read and write well. A few future poets, hopefully?

      Reply
  16. C.B. Anderson

    I speak well Engleesh good, just like my dear grammar taut me. Chairs!

    Reply
  17. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Huge fun with an even huger message. Just below the initial ripples of laughter lurks the truth… and it aint purdy. ABB, thank you for telling it like it is in a world that doesn’t want to hear it.

    Reply
    • ABB

      Thanks Susan. We TERFs must defend our turf. We must not go quietly. The future will vindicate us.

      Reply
  18. Joshua C. Frank

    Funny! Love the many deliberate grammar, spelling, and pronunciation errors and working them into the rhymes.

    The whole “pronouns” and “deadnaming” thing is so stupid. If a man method-acts the part of his imaginary female friend (that’s what transgenderism essentially is), why must we be forced to play along?

    Reply

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