So, I always thought I was one of a kind in that I get grammar wrong all the time, but it turns out it is more common than I thought. I didn’t notice though, or rather, I didn’t start noticing until I started taking it a bit more seriously. Spelling too.
I used to think I was good at spelling and grammar, until people started reading my doodles and pointed out my not so flawless language skills. I guess I thought it would be okay to use the excuse that English isn’t my first language, but it became pretty obvious it wouldn’t hold water when second-language English speakers started pointing out my grammatical shortcomings. So I started noticing stuff. Like writing dependent with three e’s instead of two. Or that yogurt doesn’t have an h. Bizzare is not a place where you can buy stuff. You would be surprised to hear how many words like that still get me all the time.
The thing is, I’m not the only one. People who speak English as a first language get things wrong all the time. It creeps up in newspaper articles, movies and even books. God forbid anyone actually tries to fix the whole me vs. I thing. Why would it be “Me and John” and then “John and… I”? It’s always I! Arrgghhh!
Somehow, for people who have an amazing grammatical sense, these things come naturally. They know that am follows I. They know that an apostrophe s doesn’t denote things belonging to “it”. They know how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. (According to the spellchecker I don’t.) They know how to write correctly, which automatically gives them a leg up as readers and writers. They’re the types that people like I hate, because they (pedantically) point out my mistakes. They’re the ones who laugh at the rest of us for not knowing when to say do or does, is or are and its or it’s. However, they are also the ones who, through their mocking of us, will create the very materials that can teach us how to “talk English more deliciously” and one of them has already done so for our convenience.
Which brings me to my point. Five reasons why writers should subscribe to theoatmeal.com’s RSS feed:
1. Matthew Inman, the creator of theoatmeal.com, made posters of grammatically correct use of the English language and included pictures for the academically challenged or ADHD person. (I myself find it hard to concentrate on simply reading things, which is why I do all my research via Google Images.)
2. There are other rather interesting pictures too, which shows diversity and therefore makes me assume Matthew Inman is very smart.
3. Did I mention that he created grammar and spelling posters? Too early for the classic repeat, I suppose. Okay, I bet I can come up with something else. Oh! Matthew Inman has a girlfriend, which means he’s not terrible looking. Let’s sum up: He’s smart, grammatically advanced and is ok looking. Three pretty good reasons so far!
4. There’s an abundant amount of pink on theoatmeal.com, which makes it *female-appropriate. Or gay-appropriate. Or “homey” for pigs, flamingos and newborn rats. Darnit, I can’t see how this is relevant.
5.You can enjoy Matthew Inman’s wit in the convenience of your own home, in the form of books! You’ll even get a free bumper sticker with.
Seriously, though. I love the website. Matthew Inman’s humor is right up my alley and he’s a phenomenal artist. If after all this you’re still not interested in checking out the site, it’s your loss. Click here to see what I’m on about.
Also, if you plan on writing anything in English, do have a look at the section marked “Grammar”.
PS: The real five reasons why you should subscribe to this guy’s blog are locked up in this insane, yet incredible comic. Read it all, until the end. It’s worth it.
*All females, gay people, pigs, flamingos and newborn rats do not necessarily like the color pink.
Picture borrowed from theoatmeal.com