When A Grammar Nazi Goose Steps Over Your Work
You’ve just published your latest blog posts. You are pretty happy with your work. You are hoping it has communicated an idea you have well. A few moments later, PING! you get a message from the Grammar Nazi, reaching out from over the interwebs to chastise you.
Here’s how I handle this type of particularly persnickety person.
What Is A Grammar Nazi?
A grammar Nazi is someone who reaches out to a creator in a critical way. They are obsessed with proper use of grammar and spelling, they fell almost physical pain if somethng is not right, and their major failing IMHO is their need to reach out and correct people, often in a deriding fashion.
They will point out the typos in your content, grammar issues and other faults.
They usually think they are doing a great service cutting you down to size, but more often it’s pretty hurtful. There is very little thought given to the feelings of the recpient, as the image above suggests, they have found an error on the internet and they must correct it.
Now I’m Holding My Hands Up
I have shockingly little patience for spell checking, there have been many times when I’ve clicked publish and there are typos or grammatical errors.
My thinking is, have I communicated my idea, have I created value with my content? Sloppy yes, but to shake your fist at me across the internets, I think that is a little harsh.
For the perfectionists out there this will cause the big vein in your head to pound, but hear me out, sometimes the reaction can be offensive and hurtful, I’m sharing my side of the story.
Sometimes It’s A Genuine Offer Of Help.
Not all communications I get are nasty, the vast majority are genuine offers of help “Hey dude there is a typo on the last line of your sales page”.
I’m fine with that, if you have sent me that type of message I’m not getting at you, but there is a certain type of person out there, when confronted with a typo will erupt and e-march into your country.
Sometimes It Is just Nasty
It happens all the time. Should you have the audacity to press the publish button, and things are not 100% correct.
Here are some that stick in my mind.
- “You need to get your shit together!” said the Nazi, he told me he liked my content but there were some typos that I needed to address and get my Sh1T together or no-one would take me seriously. FFS it’s just a blog post not the declaration of Independence.
- I sent out an email blast, and the reply was “DO YOU EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH” I checked the blast and there was some missing punctuation. Ouch, I followed your link and you were not creating anything.
- A copy writer sent me a harsh critique of my blog post and then tried to sell me his services. Hell no!
I’ve had dozens of other free critiques on the same line.
How I Handle Their Missives?
I have a two ways to handle a Grammar Nazi nowadays, in the past I would have girded my loins and gone into battle, but age has mellowed me.
Stage one take a deep breathe, and remind myself, this is of absolutely no consequence.
If they are mean, they are off the team, I unsubscribe them and never send them any of my future updates. It’s as simple as that, I have no time for angry people. They are not getting the content I gave up my most finite resource for, time. They are also banned from hiring me, but to date I’ve not had a Grammar Nazi also be a client. They tend to lurk and consume free stuff not hire me.
If the notification is in a nice spirit a simple “thanks for the heads up” reply is what they get.
No drama, which leads me to my final piece of advice …
Don’t Feed The
Trolls Grammar Nazis!
The last thing you should do is engage, don’t get angry, don’t confront, don’t even reply.
Take a deep breathe, accept the criticism. If you want, make their suggested change, if not so what, it’s your blog post. You owe those sort of people nothing.
To paraphrase, no-one raised a statue to a grammar Nazi.
My favourite thing to do is just leave the offending typo for a few days, you know they will be watching, and you know their OCD will be making them uncomfortable 🙂
Wrap Up – What To Do When The Grammar Nazis Goose Step Over Your Work
I’ve been guilty of pointing out typos in the past, once you get a grammar Nazi on your case you realise how unpleasant that can be. My plea to you is think before firing off your grammar critique and word it nicely, don’t be the Grammar Nazi.
If you need help banning a Troll or Grammar Nazi from your site I have ways and means, get a no obligation quote.
I is not goin to chaneg this sentance no mattir wot you sez, if you get the meaning that is all that iz importint
Bonus reading Eats Shoots and Leaves.