Thursday, June 10, 2010

Grammar Police

Today and tomorrow I'm covering a middle school computer literacy class.  When I was in school, this class was called typing.  Ah, how times have changed. 

Their assignment was first to complete a crossword puzzle with computer terms (a review for their upcoming written test), then to practice their, sorry, that's actually called keyboarding now, and finally to work on their final PowerPoint Presentation.  (The last day of school is next week.) 

The crossword puzzle took maybe 15 minutes (longer for a few).  They quickly moved on to the PowerPoint. 

I like computer classes.  I walk around.  I watch what they're doing (and make sure they're not on the wrong websites).  And I offer suggestions when they are working on projects. 

I read some of their slides.  The grammar was atrocious. 

I'm generally picky when it comes to proper grammar.  The senior projects bothered me when they used the wrong your/you're in their on screen text.  I was especially perturbed when they'd use a plural when they meant possessive and vice versa.  But the projects were done, so there was nothing I could do about it. 

These projects were still in the working stage. 

When I saw a glaring mistake, I commented.  One girl wrote, "My most embarrassing memory was when me, my mother, and my sister..."  I explained that the list was a subject, so she should have used "I" and put it last. 

The boy sitting next to her laughed. 

I turned to him.  I asked him if he was laughing that I corrected the girl.  He denied it, but I suspected that was the case.  So, I carefully looked at his PowerPoint.  I knew that I could find something. 

He had written that he lived in "city state"--no comma.  I pointed this out.  Now it was the girl's turn to laugh. 

I found a couple more glaring errors before walking away. 

I suppose I shouldn't say anything.  But such errors bother me.  And I would think that the students would want their projects to be as correct as possible (although, I could be wrong about that).

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