Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Nitpickers' Charter

  1. Only native or otherwise confident English speakers should be targetted for nitpicking.
  2. Errors of understanding should be targetted above simple typographical errors. For example, someone who repeatedly writes "with regards to" probably needs to have it pointed out that regards are things one gives to Broadway. If he or she simply misskeyed it as "wtih regard to", The Phantom is less concerned.
  3. The Phantom corrects English usage. In the words of Michael Biehn's character Reese in The Terminator, "That's what it does. That's all it does! It can't be bargained with! It can't be reasoned with! It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!" So, in many ways, The Phantom is like The Terminator. Both have names beginning with "The". Neither engage in debate. The Phantom stops before you are dead, though.
  4. Priority should be given to comedy effect.


Jonathan Kroeker said...

Great site! I appreciate that someone is taking a stand against the savage butchery of the English language, and doing it with a degree of style, humour and knowledge that I could not match.

In item 3 of the charter, there is a sentence that begins with “In the words of the Michael Biehn’s character Reese in the Terminator”. This does not sound correct to me; is the highlighted “the” necessary? Perhaps this is merely a sad reflection of the current state of Canada’s educational institutions, but I would either say “In the words of Michael Biehn’s character Reese” or “In the words of the character Reese”.

Phantom Nitpicker said...

How did I miss that? You are quite right, and thanks for a fine nitpick.

Thank goodness for item 2 of the charter.

JD said...

You have been targeted for your misspelling!

d said...

I don't suppose this does any good two and a half years after the fact, but the sentence "neither engages in debate" is incorrect grammar. It ought to be "neither engage in debate."