I’m a fairly pedantic person, I’ll admit. I can be pretty annoying with insisting on people be clear and consistent, because I consider myself a pretty literal person. Being pedantic is part of me because I’m a copywriter by trade, so my English skills have to be up to scrath 100% of the time, and working with English people means I have to work with the classism and jibes I sometimes get.
Last night, however, I realized that I really shouldn’t be so into pedantics when I’m in normal life mode. I at the archery club, helping to look for a wood-shafted arrow while someone else swept a metal detector back and forth. I jokingly suggested that wooden arrows should have an aluminum shaft running down the length of the arrow, and one of the guys helping look smiled and said, ‘What was that? I don’t know what that word is. I DO know what AL-you-MIN-ee-um is, though.’
A couple of chuckles went around and I smiled and said something about how I knew all about aluminum and aluminIum (note the ‘i’). The spellings and subsequent pronunciations of the words ‘aluminum’ or ‘aluminium’ have a long and storied history (just check out this link http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/aluminium.htm), and basically all you need to know is that an American organization chose to use the no ‘i’ many years ago, and ne’er the twain shall they meet.
The first thought that went through my head, after the ‘oh I’ve never heard that before’ was ‘you know what I mean, why highlight me being an American?’ …which made me wonder about being pedantic in my regular life.
I definitely get annoyed at things like using ‘u’ and ‘2’ in general writing, and I’ve joined the Apostrophe Protection Society, and a Facebook group that has a title like ‘when you use bad grammar I judge you’, but I guess when I’m not in writing/reading mode I maybe should lighten up just a bit.
Don’t worry, I won’t change a thing when writing my blog or anything else, it’ll still be readable!