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…
The former Manchester United full-back, now the nation’s most popular pundit, enjoyed a spot of banter with his cricketing chums Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, Ronnie Irani and Phil Neville…
Jermaine Pedant says: Oh Gary, Gary, Gary. Clearly you failed to take heed of last week’s lesson, because you’ve let yourself down badly again there. As for your conversation with Freddie, I’m prepared to be a little more understanding; while “it’s” would appear to be correct on the basis that an apostrophe followed by an s usually indicates the possessive, it’s actually otherwise engaged as a contraction of “it is” or “it has”. As such, we indicate the possessive with “its”. Yes it’s irregular, but it’s got its reasons.
The former Wales midfielder, now the nation’s most ubiquitous pundit, gets off to a bad start on his Twitter profile…
Jermaine Pedant says: See my advice to Gary above, Robbie. You may be right to warn against judging a book by its cover, but it’s hard to avoid doing so when said cover is tarnished by grammatical inaccuracy! Perhaps you need to spend less time appearing on television and more time completing exercises such as this one, courtesy of the University of Bristol.
Jermaine Pedant: Where to start? Okay, Kyle, I would say that you should have put “Paddy is an absolute legend” – much in the same way that you are an attacking right-back and an England international – but, while I do try to avoid matters of mere opinion on these pages, it is abundantly clear to me that Paddy McGuinness is anything but a legend. I could be wrong, but I somewhat doubt that his 70th birthday will be celebrated around the world with newspaper supplements documenting his life and times in a series of photographs, not least because any such supplement would likely contain pictures like this one. Now Muhammad Ali, he had some good banter…
Jermaine Pedant says: Tender hooks are what you might be on the receiving end of should the great Muhammad Ali greet you with a series of playful punches to the arm. In this case, however, I do believe that “tenterhooks” are what you’re looking for.
Jermaine Pedant says: Firstly Darren, I am most impressed by your flair for correct apostrophe usage, an all-too-rare quality amongst footballers these days. Unfortunately, as tomorrow marks the anniversary of my humiliating and widely reported Porsche mishap, I’m in an especially pernickety mood this week. As such, please forgive me for pointing out that you have never been, nor ever will be, “honesty”, for this is an incorporeal quality describing moral human conduct, and not something that you or I could ever aspire to actually be. I’m just being honest with you. That’s all I’ve ever been.
Jermaine Pedant: Write out one hundred times: “There are a lot of fake pussies out there.” It’s one thing to comment on the proliferation of post-op transsexuals in our midst, but please do pluralise correctly when doing so. (Oh, and post-ops are people too, you know.)
Jermaine Pedant says: Sorry Nick but this really does take the cake. I’ll say this once and once only: it’ll be to your detriment if you don’t swot up on your contractions! Try using this helpful guide. Furthermore, if you’re ever unsure about anything, don’t be afraid to come and ask me. Us tricky wide men should stick together.
The human lad’s mag was not impressed by Roberto Mancini’s recent card-waving antics…
Jermaine Pedant says: And you, Tim, let yourself down with incorrect apostrophe use. Go and speak to Darren Huckerby.
Tune in every Wednesday for more from Football Burp’s very own Jermaine Pedant!