Minerva Jayne

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Dear Minerva:

As a dedicated advocate for human rights, I do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. I do, however, judge people based on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. How do I prevent this bias from thwarting the potential development of deeper relationships? While it’s only fair to acknowledge the complexities of the English language, I simply can’t suffer the daily abuse of improperly applied quotations, or apostrophes distorting plural nouns into possessive form. Did 80% of Americans skip school in the third grade when their teacher explained the critical elements of homophones? What about the tragic overuse of non-words such as “irregardless,” a double negative in a single word, and the strangely epidemic “supposably?” We are not amused.

Grammar Queen

Your Majesty:

Excellence in grammar is quickly fading away. While I share your frustrations, I also realize that education is a form of privilege. All education is not created equal. Regional differences account for many grammatical woes. With Idaho considered to be the “Mississippi of the Northwest,” I turn a deaf ear. Language is evolving constantly. Regardless of how we feel, “irregardless,” used since at least 1795, is now a word. “Supposably,” while a word, is almost never correctly used. Part of living a graceful life is realizing that people may not live up to our personal standards. Excellence in grammar is a noble cause, but so are tolerance and acceptance. I reckon it ain’t worth frettin’ about, doll baby.

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