Being a ‘Grammar Nazi’ is very hard.
I being one in the past have invited more troubles and unwanted comments towards me. Sometimes the persons around you feel like you are belittling them.
I love the English language. But I am a proud Keralite, which means my mother tongue is Malayalam. Maybe studying in an English medium convent school has influenced me a lot. By ‘a lot’ I mean as much amounting to pointing out mistakes of the language and pronunciation of others when they speak English. Basically summing up to me is what you can call a ‘Grammar Nazi.’
Sometimes people who try to correct the mistakes are misunderstood to be showing off their language skills. Or maybe it is also seen as a way of being rude. But it is not true in many cases. If you think about it, it is the same as you correcting someone who made a mistake in the language you speak and you, therefore, correct it. Even though the Grammar Nazi definition is applicable in all languages, only the English language seems to be identified by people to have these grammar ‘experts.’
‘Nazi’ is a term used for someone who imposes their power and views on others, thanks to Adolf Hitler. Being called one means indicating that you are a bad or negative person.
Research says that people who tend to be Grammar Nazis mainly are extroverts. They are also less agreeable in nature. It will be hard to stop being a Grammar Nazi, but it is actually a good sign. Not because of the belief of all so-called ‘Grammar Nazis’ being bad or negative people, they may have only the good thought of correcting you. Correctness may not be a correct thing sometimes.
Another misunderstanding about Grammar Nazis is that people talking to them will feel the former to be mocking at the latter. But it not maybe so. Not knowing a language is not something wrong. Moreover, people make mistakes. If corrected, it will be remembered the next time you make a usage.
At some point, you will stop correcting in between a conversation. This is because of the realization of the speaker getting interrupted or hurt when you interfere. Now in case, I start to feel that urge, I save the correcting part for later in my mind. At the end of the conversation after listening, if, at all I remember, I apologize beforehand and correct them. Trying less to be a Grammar Nazi, have however made people believe I am not rude after all.
-Amrutha A. Varma