“You need a little bit of insanity to do great things.” -Henry Rollins

Yesterday’s post was very personal, which I don’t like to do often. I especially never mean to do it two days in a row, but I feel the need to express something very important today.

I am constantly at war within myself.

No, I am not rehashing my war between apathy and productivity. I am not talking about how I simultaneously need to try new things and take a nap. I’m trying to explain the struggle of being both an English major, and a Linguistics nerd.

And believe me, the struggle is real.

You see, studying English (and language in general) requires you to memorize and embrace an inordinate amount of grammatical rules. You spend altogether too much time studying the systemic elements of a language, and then it becomes comforting to have the structure. Consequently, you become intensely uncomfortable when people fail to follow those rules.

What I’m saying is that I feel I deserve a medal every time I stop myself from correcting people’s grammar on Facebook.

On the other hand, Linguistics requires you to study language as it is used. This means tracking usage trends, whether or not they are systemically ‘correct.’ And since I love linguistics as well, I find systemic errors very interesting. But at the same time I’m screaming internally.

If you’re confused at this point, let me explain: You know my post on “its,” and “there,” and “two,” etc.? Well a widespread confusion of the spelling could actually point to a phasing out of different spellings, or any number of things (I haven’t actually, you know, studied the usage. But you can pretend I know what I’m talking about.) Kind of along the same lines as to why we no longer use “thee” and “thy.” So it’s really interesting.

And it also makes me want to pull my hair out.

So while you should be aware of your errors, please continue to make them, because language must constantly evolve. But please remember that while I support your linguistic freedoms, you should also give me a hug every time you see me, because your mistakes are ageing me visibly.

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2 thoughts on ““You need a little bit of insanity to do great things.” -Henry Rollins

  1. Honestly, I prefer to see the personal stuff. I find it more engaging and enjoyable most of the time, but maybe that’s just me.

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