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 Queens Park Rangers striker hit back at his critics with this defiant declaration…
Jermaine Pedant says: There/their/they’re is the obvious issue here – ‘their’, representing the possessive, would be correct in this instance – but I would also highlight the close repetition of ‘words’ as a poor decision from a stylistic point of view. If I were to nit-pick further, I’d argue that “mark these words” packs less of a punch than the more commonly used “mark my words”, shorn as the former version is of the alliteration that makes the latter slip so sweetly off the tongue.
Jermaine Pedant says: Those exclamation marks should be question marks, and one would have sufficed. I’d also point out that you should use a punctuation mark to separate the clauses “you know what I mean” and “do you have to pull me up on spelling”, but I remain sufficiently full of festive cheer to look past that particular oversight. See you at Loftus Road on May 5th!
Meanwhile, Bothroyd’s QPR teammate Wright-Phillips had the following information to impart unto his followers…
Jermaine Pedant says: Shaun, you’re 30-years-old now; it’s about time that you learned the difference between ‘to’ and ‘too’. It shouldn’t be too much for you to comprehend, and if you’re presently too busy with the foot lady to read up on it then I’d only be too happy to take two minutes out of my time in order to explain it to you.
And I’m sure you’ll be blown away by how easily my simple tutorial will help you make the next step towards grammatical proficiency.
The young Everton centre-back, currently on loan at Scunthorpe United, asked his followers for suggestions as to which club’s managerial hotseat to occupy on a new game of Football Manager…
Jermaine Pedant says: Firstly, Shane, the taking on of a virtual managerial role – nay, any managerial role – should really only ever be conveyed by the word ‘go’ (or a derivative thereof) if actual, physical movement is involved. It’s safe to assume that you sat in a room and clicked on ‘Huddersfield Town’ rather than travelled up to the Galpharm Stadium, so you’d have been better off referring to the vehicle of your gaming leisure with a term such as ‘play as’ or ‘use’.
Speaking of ‘use’, your use of it in lieu of the more familiar colloquialism ‘youse’ might confuse the reader, particularly as it would have been far more appropriate to have used ‘use’ two words earlier in the sentence. You’ve already featured in this column once before, so I hope that you’ll pay more heed this time.
Remember: you may ‘go’ as a vampire to a fancy dress party, but you may not ‘go’ as Huddersfield on Football Manager!
The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was keen to keep us abreast of his plans for Tuesday evening…
Jermaine Pedant says: Micky, there is no need to capitalise the first letter of ‘game’, unless of course you were referring to the Californian rapper Game. Seeing as his official website indicates that Game has not performed live since December 13th, at Laiterie in Strasbourg, the only benefit of the doubt I can possibly grant you is that you were on your way out to a screening of his 2008 DVD Game: Life After the Math. If that was indeed the case, may I ask what he had to say about his infamous beef with 50 Cent and Dr. Dre?
The former Wales winger appeared to be communicating with Robbie Savage in some kind of code…
Jermaine Pedant says: See me.
The Southampton forward was sure to keep Coleraine striker Leon Knight, himself no stranger to these pages, abreast of his movements…
Jermaine Pedant says: I’m familiar with the patois on display here so I won’t take issue with it, and I’m even prepared to give the punctuation-bashing a rest for a minute. However, the incorrect use of ‘till’ rather than “’til” (I’ve used quotation marks here in order to accomodate the apostrophe at the beginning of “’til”) is a bugbear of mine. A till is a cash register such as may be found in a common newsagents, whereas “’til” is an abbreviation of ‘until’ and is therefore correct in this instance.
Of course, there’s always the chance that you were paying wry homage to Dave Davies’ oft-overlooked contribution to The Kinks’ oeuvre “Love Me Till the Sun Shines”, in which case my hasty academic smackdown may have left you (sic) to the stomach.
I could debate all of this ‘til the cows come home, but Tony Pulis needs me back out on the field for set-piece practice. Happy new year, everybody!
Tune in every Wednesday for more from Football Burp’s very own Jermaine Pedant!