Another Grammar Nazi on patrol

I recently finished reading Love Letters, a novel written by Debbie Macomber. Ms. Macomber is a popular, prolific writer who has sold about 170 million copies of her books worldwide.

Generally, I enjoy reading her contemporary relationship novels. However, I found this particular novel annoying. My annoyance had nothing to do with the story or with Ms. Macomber’s writing style.

Another library patron, a budding Grammar Nazi (BGN) who read the book before I did, apparently decided the novel needed further editing. Using a blue pen, she, because I’m pretty sure it was a she, crossed out all the were verbs that Ms. Macomber used correctly in the subjunctive mood and wrote was above them.

Most of the statements were of the if I were variety. Others were simply wishful thinking on the part of a character. As any sixth grader should know, subjunctive mood is used when making a statement about something that is contrary to fact. For example (no, not in the novel): If Spot were a dinosaur . . . or I wish Spot were a dinosaur. But Spot isn’t a dinosaur. She’s a monitor lizard.

After I finished reading the novel, I was left wondering where and when BGN learned English grammar.

I’m sure Debbie Macomber would have wondered, too.

About WestWordArizona

Writer, editor, originally from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, now living in North San Diego County, California.
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2 Responses to Another Grammar Nazi on patrol

  1. C. Jai Ferry says:

    I giggled while reading this. I have come across all too many of these wannabe grammar gurus recently — usually followed by their rant that people don’t know grammar these days. Great post!

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