Dear Evil Skippy:
What is a good way to get a co-worker to stop correcting my grammar and pronunciation?
Stop making mistakes.
(That was too easy. Here are nine other ways so I won’t feel like a slacker):
My Top Ten Ways To Stop Someone From Correcting Your Grammar
- Stop making misteaks.
- Turn the tables and say, “Which are you relying on, the Chicago Manual of Style or the Gregg Reference Manual?” When the Grammar Bully looks puzzled, ask why you should take his or her word for it when there are real authorities available. Then walk away.
- Tasers. Then walk away.
- Reply, “Are you making fun of my regional language in violation of the company’s policy against harassment?” Then walk away.
- Correct their grammar when they correct you, even if you have to make something up. When they try to object that you are just making things up, mutter that they would never understand and walk away.
- Reply, “I bet you were REAL popular in high school.” Then just walk away.
- Reply, “O.K. Smarty Pants, what’s the difference between ‘decimated’ and ‘devastated’? Go!” [Wait about three seconds. 87% of the English-speaking population can’t answer that question. After a very brief pause, continue.] “Ha! I knew you were a fake.” Walk away. If they answer the question, walk away.
- Tilt your head to one side. Imagine a slightly perplexed golden retriever puppy or bored drag queen and go for one of those looks, then just say “Huh”. Not quite a question, not quite a statement. Deliver in a tone meaning “I don’t understand why you are even speaking right now”. When your neck starts to ache, walk away.
- Spontaneously break out in interpretive dance. When the Grammar Bully asks what it means, tell him or her it symbolizes how people who correct others’ grammar in public are asses. Dance away, interpretively.
- Ignore them because the lack of any response will drive the person nuts.
Notice that little theme? Now, walk away.
— Evil Skippy
Readers — what would you do?
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