WHENEVER we mention our Bad Grammar award, a peculiar collection of high-minded academics, left-wing authors and unsuccessful grammarians with poor book sales club together to attack the whole idea of teaching good practice in writing. One blogger even insanely accused the Idler of being part of a Tory plot, which was one of the most hilarious and absurd slanders we read. Others come across all Leninist and pour out this sort of bile in the Guardian: “the crypto-bourgeois elitist-shopkeeper-nationalist-careerist Idlers and their whimpering acolytes are engaged in a war to destroy the proletariat and crush them under the unyielding yoke of public school Imperialist pedantry.”
One faction accuses us of going around pointing and laughing at innocent people who get the apostrophe in the wrong place.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Our intention is simply twofold: one, we want to expose fuzzy thinking at government and corporate level, and secondly, we wish to educate everyone in the correct use of the apostrophe because good grammar gets you laid, as Hadley Freeman has pointed out.
The above example of bad grammar was sent in by Liz Hodgkinson. It is a Welsh NHS leaflet. It shows that Welsh NHS copywriters have not been taught about apostrophes. “A Parents Guide” is simply illiterate.
Send your examples of bad grammar to: [email protected]