A cold war has been brewing in campus hallways and on Seaver sidewalks. Though contenders have thus far avoided violent outbreaks proxy wars are fought daily in the Writing Center. Now editors and English majors are scrambling for influence among previously unaligned students with hopes of overcoming their ideological enemies namely those who shamelessly flout the rules of grammar. The Grammar Gang has emerged as a leader in this fight and junior Courtney Rolando is its commander in chief.
The newly formed group aims to improve the grammatical accuracy of text posted around campus by correcting all mistakes in sight. It was the sororities’ chalk messages proclaiming “We love you littles that first provoked Rolando to implement corrective measures and start the organization. Without the comma [before ‘littles’] I felt bad for them. I cringe when things are missing punctuation.”
The group finds incorrect usage to be “intolerable.”
“We’re supposed to be a top-notch school and if people are graduating without knowing how to use the English language properly it seems like we aren’t doing our job as an institution Rolando said.
Their tactics are simple and direct. They plan to carry red pens and chalk to correct mistakes on posters, signs and sidewalk chalk messages. I don’t want to be in your face about it Rolando said, but I want you to know your mistake.” The most common culprits include missing commas misplaced apostrophes and interchanging “your” for “you’re.”
The organization’s mission statement reveals its members’ desire to better the university experience and challenge students to consider the meaning of their messages. “[W]e are dedicated to serving the students by correcting every misspelling missing comma incorrect use of punctuation improper article use and any other grammar issues that may occur on public displays … We believe proper grammar is sexy. We will show no mercy.”
Rolando mused over leading grammar workshops and correct grammar celebrations but doesn’t want the group to become overextended or militaristic. The goal is to improve correct communication and eliminate misunderstandings caused by incorrect grammar.
Members have advertised the group mainly through Facebook and word of mouth but they hope to join ICC as an official Pepperdine club. Though the Facebook group boasts 49 members only two students showed up for the Tuesday night meeting. The group will need a greater commitment for participation in order to achieve ICC membership.
Rolando condemned text messaging and other informal methods of communication for the rampant disregard for grammar.