Football Burp’s very own Jermaine Pedant enjoys nothing more than strolling back and forth in his professor’s gown, casting scholarly gazes over his fellow professionals’ online scribblings.
Each week, he homes in on a few choice instances of common grammatical failings and raps on them repeatedly with his disciplinary cane until we’ve all jolly well learnt to treat the Queen and her English with the utmost respect. Read on for this week’s lessons…
Jermaine Pedant says: Firstly, Shane, there is no need to leave a space between a clause and its qualifying punctuation mark (or, as is the case in this instance, marks), especially via a medium on which space is at a premium. My second grievance lies with your decision to package three distinct clauses – namely “He’s sick”, “u gotta watch the DVD” and “not arsed” – together in the same sentence. Try saying this sentence out loud without inferring any punctuation in your speaking manner; I think you’ll find that you’ll sound as if you have a pencil lodged in an important part of your brain.
Furthermore, ‘A’ is not a permissible substitute for ‘I’, there is only one L in “until” and, when reporting that you watched a DVD, do so in the active. Your decision to use a passive construction here has left me scratching my mortar board hat.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker finds himself undecided as to whether he can bring himself to watch another instalment of The X Factor in the wake of recent events…
Jermaine Pedant says: Stream-of-consciousness writing is all well and good Jermain, but your message is susceptible to misinterpretation without the appropriate punctuation. My educated guess would be that what you wanted to say was: “Not sure if I’ll watch The X Factor again now the best singer’s out of the competition. It’s embarrassing that the most talented singer doesn’t win. What a joke, and all because Tulisa spoke about bullying.”
However, a less educated soul might glean the following, for example: “Not sure if I’ll watch. The X Factor’s now the best. The singer’s out of the comp! Embarrassing talent. Don’t win! What? That was a joke, all. Tulisa is sad about bullying.” I trust that you now appreciate the importance of correct grammar in terms of communicating one’s message effectively.
Evidently a fan of this feature, the Watford youngster tries his hand at online pedantry by ‘correcting’ a friend who had tweeted about spaghetti Bolognese…
Jermaine Pedant says: Sorry Tommie, your friend was correct. ‘Bolognaise’ would also be permissible, but I’ve never heard of ‘Bolognase’. It is unfortunate that your choice of hash tag should serve to compound your pedantry-based misery. Hopefully this is something you will learn from.
Jermaine Pedant says: Chelsea may be looking good, but your sentence structure is all over the place. Unless of course you were deliberately impersonating Yoda. I apologise if this was the case.
The former Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End full-back, who was until recently Everton’s head physio, is keen to help people find copies of his recently released autobiography The Smell of Football, which was longlisted for the 2011 William Hill Sports Book of the Year…
Jermaine Pedant says: You must have had one hell of a proof reader.
Another Everton youngster, whose sister Jodie is one of the ‘stars’ of E4 hit Desperate Scousewives, makes a “Thought for the Day”-style interjection with the following…
Jermaine Pedant says: It was very brave of you to post that, John.
Tune in every Wednesday for more from Football Burp’s very own Jermaine Pedant!