You Can’t Fix Stupid, But You Can Fight Ignorance

Dear Folks,

Check this out — “lmao grammar nazi on fb go figure bhahaha.” This was a comment about me on Facebook after I took exception to the misuse of the word “effect”. Then when I said that I’m a writer — because I write and have been published in mediums other than an unpaid blog — one of my detractors must have looked me up and commented that I only wrote a blog about places to eat. My main mistake here was that I thought I was commenting to my friends and family, when it was actually going out to people who’d never heard of me and I’d never heard of them. Facebook confuses me.

Okay. So I’m a Grammar Nazi. I just couldn’t let it pass when somebody shared one of those personal philosophy posters which read:

I refuse to allow what I did, what I didn’t do, or what I should’ve done, EFFECT what I’m about to do. 

Let’s ignore the really bad philosophy for a moment and concentrate on the oft misunderstood words AFFECT and EFFECT. The word affect has a direct bearing upon a subject or action, whereas effect is the result. Also, the word affect is a verb that acts upon, and effect is a noun.

An example would be if you smacked someone on the cheek for being really obnoxious, they might have a red spot where there was none before. The act of smacking would affect the face and the red spot would be the result, or the effect. Okay. So it took me a long time to get it, too. I admit that these are words easily misused if you’re not careful.

Now back to the philosophy that says, in essence:

“I’m going to be really stupid all my life because I refuse to learn from any experience.”

 — (Like not listening to Grammar Nazi’s who done tole you and tole you the correct English.)

I’m interpreting the original post, but  even toddlers learn not to touch a stove after a bad encounter with the word “hot”. But, of course, their little brains are working overtime to grow.

I have a fourteen-year-old granddaughter on Facebook, plus her friends. I not only oversee their subjects, but I do not want them thinking you can dance with the Devil and not pay the piper. I’m still talking about the bad philosophy here — which also gives the impression that — (1) there are no consequences to actions, or (2) you can take the consequences and not get hurt because you are a badass.

Believe me, there is enough pain and sorrow in life without courting it.

So, beside that interpretation of the original philosophy, a little word like “effect” in the wrong place doesn’t sound like much. And, let’s face it, not everyone is a “Grammar Nazi”. But words are the bedrock of communication. And I see that foundation being chipped away by factions and just plain ignorance every day. Miscommunication leads to misunderstanding. And now, nobody wants to listen to anybody else. It leads to chaos. Am I exaggerating? I don’t think so.

But rather than the term Grammar Nazi — bad connotation, there — I’d rather be the Hugh Jackman of everything to do with our language, because “grammar” doesn’t cover it all, and Nazi is evil. Hugh Jackman looks bad to the bone, but he does fight for good, even if he has to angst about it sometimes.

So just call me “The Wolverine of the English Language Linda”. Doesn’t have quite the ring to it, but I’m working on it. And, since I DON’T know it all — feel free to correct my boo-boos. Of course, I write informally, which is a whole nuther subject, but . . . Okay. Let’s just leave it at that.

Bye for now. — THE WOLVERINE O TELL (of the English Language Linda). I’m not quite channeling Hugh Jackman yet, but let’s start small. Here I am:

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7 thoughts on “You Can’t Fix Stupid, But You Can Fight Ignorance

  1. That was a very good explanation for the use of affect and effect. I really am surprised at how people misspell words, even collage educated people. You can always look it up. Did I misspell college? yep! I didn’t think it looked right.

  2. Apparently FB comments go out to anyone with internet access. I recently got a comment on a posted photo of our beloved Onslow, from a young lady in England. It was a positive comment, but I was a bit surprised that someone I didn’t know from across the big pond had access to my account. Feel free to edit my comment. I’m one of those who likes to learn from my errors.

  3. You have touched a sore spot with those two words. I cringe when I
    I see them misused. I think you explained the correct usage very well. Thanks for taking up the standard for all of us , grammarphiles.

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