So, I think we get it: Grammar is under appreciated and largely misunderstood.

And we all have our pet peeves; I have several. To be specific: the word “anyways,” which I refuse to acknowledge as a real word or even a colloquialism; also, how “regard” and “regards” are often confused (this one mostly annoys me, because I was once humiliated by a professor for using regards incorrectly in class. Some things you only have to learn once.)

One grievance that is particularly vexing: the word “literally.”

When people use “literally” as some sort of bizarre punctuation to a hyperbole, I imagine that what they are telling me LITERALLY happened. This impulse is completely reflexive, and I can’t help it.

So, when someone says she “literally died” when she saw Kate Middleton’s dress, here’s what I picture:

Hey! Abusers of the word “literally,” I have a present for you! It’s the word “practically!” Practically is very close in cadence to literally but much more flexible, because it means “almost or virtually”, where literally means “strictly or exactly.” Please use it often, because the habitual overuse of the word “literally” hurts my brain.

But I want to put my personal pain aside and talk about solutions, because grammar needs our help.

Do we really want to live in a world where the rules and order of language are so neglected that they disappear and no one understands what anyone is saying? Do we want the next generation to grow up writing, “The fight for grammar was a loosing battle,” without irony?

Grammar must make a comeback! And I think, a grammar comeback means grammar must reinvent its image.

History has shown us that stuffy English teachers who hate sentences that end in propositions aren’t doing much for Grammar’s cause.

And so, I turn to you, hip-hop community. Setter of trends, inventor of words, like bling and crunk, help grammar out.

50 Cent, maybe you could conjugate a few verbs in your next single? Think about it: I am shooting, I have shot, I will shoot in the future. It’s a little catchy, right?

I’ve even done my part here by taking one of the most hated exercises in grammar–diagramming sentences–and made it fun…with Tupac lyrics.

Think about it, Slim Thug. Saving grammar–like a gangsta. Diagramming sentences–like a boss.

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26 Responses to saving grammar, like a gangster

  1. Jessica says:

    So funny and so true, bad grammar makes me cringe. I always loved my English classes and I’m afraid to admit how much I like seeing that sentence diagram. How I miss seeing rows of diagrams on loose leaf each day.

  2. Im guilty of using anyways: I no Im a looser for it but their our so many confusing words that i dont no weather to say anyways rather then anyway or if it even has a affect on anything.

    Also, fuck inflammable.

  3. HeathRobots says:

    I literally want to hug your face for this post! There is no excape from bad grammar, but this will go a long way towards educating people who use the word excape . It’s ESCAPE, people!!!

  4. Alexandra says:

    You are such a smart ass, I love it.

  5. Mr Wood says:

    Do we really want to live in a world where the rules and order of language are so neglected that they disappear and no one *understands* what anyone is saying?

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    • kendall says:

      Thanks. I hate typos almost as much as I hate “anyways”, but definitely not more than I hate bears.

  6. Jen says:

    I can honestly say that I have never said, ‘I literally died when I saw something’. That is just dumb.

  7. crayon says:

    Grammar nuts unite! But honestly, you’d think some stuffy English teachers would enjoy the occasional proposition: “That is something up with which I will not put, but would you like to meet for a drink later?”

  8. jillsmo says:

    WTF? Correct punctuation has stolen my celebratory bottle of champagne!

    Il’l show, him… :

  9. I’m totally with you, but MAN do I love ending sentences with prepositions. I just can’t help myself… ending sentences with prepositions is where it’s at.

    • kendall says:

      I do, too! And anyway, I think the preposition thing is a lost cause. What I really want is to see words like “supposively” and “supposably” eradicated.

  10. Suniverse says:


    You are killing me with your genius.

    I’ll talk to my lover, Eminem, about working grammar rhymes into his beats. I bet he and Dr. Dre [who I believe has his PhD in Linguistics] would be down with that.

  11. You’ll love this site then. I came across it recently and keep it as a favorite.

  12. Handflapper says:

    I could diagram sentences ALL DAY LONG. Literally. Except for pee breaks.

    The grammar faux pas that kills me, because people think they’re being so educated and correct when they do it, is using subject pronouns where object pronouns go. “Her awful grammar gave he and I a bad case of hemmorhoid itch.” Um, no. Would you say “Her awful grammar gave I a bad case of hemmorhoid itch”? If you would, you are an imbecile. (Not YOU, but YOU. You know who you are.)

    Her awful grammar gave HIM and ME and bad case hemmorhoid itch.

    Thank you. Now I have to go scratch my ass.

  13. maggie says:

    Thank you! I love you!!!! Long live correct grammar! Just sayin’ (I HATE THAT ONE!!!!!)

  14. Lori says:

    I’m not so much the grammar nazi.

    Don’t get me wrong – I go nine kinds of crazy over people who are dedicated to the cause. I appreciate the cause.

    I just carry different signs.

    Like ones that say “It’s NOO-KLEE-AR, goddamnit!”

    Or, “A-COU-stic is a guitar. A CUE stick is what you play pool with!”

    AND FOR GOD’S SAKE, there’s only ONE N in ‘LARYNX!’

    Sorry. I got carried away.

    Carry on.

  15. Alexis says:

    I find it’s easier to insert comma’s into word’s randomly as I’ve never been able to memor’ize exactly when and where they should go.

  16. FranceRants says:

    I’m guilty of ending sentences w/prepositions, even though I’m not supposed to.

    BaHaHaHa. I really slay me sometimes….

  17. melissa says:

    Anyways. I hate that too. But the worst expression of all, in my grammar book? Though this isn’t really a point about grammar, more a point about self-expression….”IT’S ALL GOOD.” There are SO many things wrong with this three word excuse for a sentence that obviously originated from the mouth of some hungover surfer dude!

  18. Kelley says:

    THIS is awesome. Why hasn’t 50 cent (NOT 50 centS) not caught on to this by now? I am so very, very surprised.

  19. Rubyspikes says:

    I think I love you! I think if I hear one more person use the word literally as emphasis instead of to mean “literally”, I am literally going to hit them. Unless of course it’s on a billboard like one I saw recently. It’s especially annoying because the term should be used in order to state, “I am not speaking figuratively, I a speaking literally.” But they use it precisely when they are speaking figuratively. Ugh. I should try not to be annoyed so easily. But boy do I hate it when people embrace their ignorance, as though it’s some sort of badge of honor.

  20. Tabitha says:

    “You know what I’m (apparently) really into? I drawing vampire squid and homeless bears.”

    I could not resist posting this in reply, which was literally copied and pasted from your previous blog.

  21. Lisa says:

    This post literally made me wet myself… I jest.

  22. Rachel says:

    I am guilty of overusing “anyway” but not “anyways”.

    The use of “irregardless” is one of my pet peeves.

    However, it does please me when a pompous doctor uses “irregardless” while explaining something that otherwise sounds impressive. 🙂

  23. Jason the Saj says:

    Grammer Nazis make me simultaneously laugh & cry. Language constantly evolve. Many issues harped on by grammer Nazis are relatively new in their existence, involving a brief period of approximately 1-2 centuries where evolution of the English language was slowed down.

    The problem is that the state of the language was frozen at a time when it was full of inconsistencies, extraneous methods and an unrefined alphabet.

    Your example is hilarious and proves my point. You are criticizing the use of literally as a colloquial expression. And recommend instead the use of practically. But the use you recommend is also a colloquial expression. It just happens to be somewhat older than the use of literally. In fact “figuratively” is probably the most accurate word.


  24. Lula Shaffer says:

    Her awful grammar gave HIM and ME and bad case hemmorhoid itch. In fact “figuratively” is probably the most accurate word. Language constantly evolve. Anyways.

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