You never know when the grammar police will jump out and hand you a citation. And they’re quite pleased to wield the authority to correct others even though no one asked them to. Follow any thread on social media and there’s bound to be someone embroiled in what might otherwise be an interesting conversation (or not) and someone who just loved diagramming sentences in grade school has to pop in and explain the difference between there, their and they’re. We get it, they are very good at conjugating verbs and explaining the use of the oxford comma.
No one is saying we have to let go of proper grammar. Certainly many people will think of us when our auto correct isn’t our friend. On the other hand, being a jerk is fairly memorable too. I’d rather drink a beer with someone who might dangle a participle than a condescending jerk who enjoys humiliating someone who is simply enjoying a conversation with their “friends” than.
Don’t get me wrong. I judge improper grammar and word usage all the time. I simply keep it to myself. It’s kinda like Jimmy Carter’s thoughts on lust. I’ve judged many times in my heart. God knows this and forgives me.
Mostly, I hesitate to correct others because I have the emotional scars of public humiliation inflicted upon me by my 6th grade teacher. I raised my hand a one day and asked “Can I use the bathroom?” Mrs. Jordan flashed a smile and hissed at me with haughty glee, “I believe you are asking whether you may use the bathroom not can you use the bathroom because unless you have a medical disorder making it impossible for you to do so, I assume you have the ability to use the bathroom. What you are asking is whether you have permission to use the bathroom which is entirely up to me and your use of proper grammar. Now Patti, would you like to ask your question again?” I nodded and said “May I have a mop?”