Getting to Know the Grammar Genius

The personality traits of those who live to correct language mistakes

A person in a suit holds both fists in the air with their thumbs up. Where the head should be is a chalked drawing of a thought bubble containing a light bulb
The Grammar Genius is always thinking

The focus of the Grammar Genius Word Worrier Segmentation Project is that part of our society who live to do the right thing. Specifically, the right thing in terms of following their remembered rules of the English grammar.


These are the people who can't eat at a local pub for fear of errant apostrophes on display announcing the sale of pies that may or may not have once belonged to one or many shepherds. Or of being handed the menu proclaiming it has been created especially for childrens.


These people who, when leaving the house, check their wallet or purse contains not only keys, cash, cards, and mask, but also a mini-OED and a red pen.


We have split these people into two distinct groups. They are the Grammar Genius and the Word Worrier. This article looks at what makes a Grammar Genius think they are a genius.


(PLEASE NOTE: The use of typically marketing-sounding words including, but not limited to, segmentation, project, analysis, insights, research, is not to be interpreted to mean that any of the information in these articles has any basis other than the thoughts of the author. The eye may be keen, and the wit may be sharp, but the scientific basis is absent.)


The Grammar Genius

The Grammar Genius has an attitude of arrogance derived from the authority they give themselves. The Grammar Genius is in awe of the awe they sense striking others dumb, when bearing witness to one of their selfless acts to correct and educate the the stupid.


So what makes a Grammar Genius think they are such a genius?

3 oranges showing their segments
Segmentation...in fruit terms

Lifestage

The Grammar Genius is between 49 and 73 years old and is female.


If not female, they will have a female bias.


For the Grammar Genius, property ownership is a key signifier of the maturity and intelligence that comes from adulthood. They will live in a house – never a flat – somewhere "on the borders of" someplace, chosen because of the trees on the pavement and the nearby park. The park is just a patch of a grass and a bench. They never go.


The Grammar Genius is married. They have always been married. They always will be married. To not be married would be to have failed.


The Grammar Genius is more likely than the average person to have a friend or colleague called Colin. They will never call Colin, Col.

Lemon segments
Segmentation...of a lemon

Education

For the Grammar Genius, the demise of the Grammar School is saddening, and they are fully supportive of written tests for children from the age of 3.


The remarkable score achieved by the Grammar Genius in their 11-plus will be a factor in this opinion.


The Grammar Genius attended The Saint Someone of Somewhere on The Something school for their respective sex. It will have assuredly been the best quasi-religious, single-sex education establishment to deliver a prescriptive education within a 2-mile radius.


University education is not common in this group. Those who do have a degree will have studied a vocational subject, such as accountancy, law, or medicine. They will also be male.


The Grammar Genius will often tell you they could have attended University, but it wasn’t the done thing back then.

Satsuma segments'
Segmentation...of a satsuma

Memories of grammar

The Grammar Genius will have had grammar beaten into them – occasionally, only metaphorically – through repetitive learning.


They will still live by rhymes drilled into them a fair few decades ago.

Many will have their own tune to hum along to "I before E except after C".


It's common for the Grammar Genius to suffer from early onset arthritis in their knuckles.


They see this as a physical reminder of the cost of being wrong.

A segment of a kiwi fruit
Segmentation...of a kiwi fruit

Family life, growing up

The Grammar Genius grew up in an average family when the average family unit included 2.4 children. They erred towards the higher end of the average,


Where the number of children in the family was odd, the Grammar Genius will have been the middle child. Where there were twins, the Grammar Genius will have been in the middle half.


We use extended family interaction as a proxy for positive and negative familial sentiment and find that family is of prime importance to the Grammar Genius. It is usual for them to think of cousins as friends - for most they will be the only childhood friends they can name.


Family get-togethers were the core social events for the young Grammar Genius. Most weekends were spent at an aunt's house, with the children left to their own devices as the grown-ups talked about grown-up things in another room.


These were seen as opportunities for adventures and discovery. It is not unusual for the Grammar Genius to have experienced their sexual awakening with one or more of their cousins.


The Grammar Genius is confident that their parents loved them dearly. When asked how this love would manifest, the usual response concerns the lending (not giving) of the deposit money for their first house. This will have been when the Grammar Genius was aged between 21 and 23; around the same time that they were getting married.

Appearance

The Grammar Genius thinks judging people on their looks is shallow and will get quite angry if they are privy to such base conversation.


The Grammar Genius would describe themselves as fun, easy-going, and a bit of a cheeky monkey. If others thought the Grammar Genius could be said to have any sort of look, it would be sensible, comfortable and, occasionally, snazzy.


Some Grammar Geniuses may think of themselves as being a tad overweight.


Others feel they are a pinch underweight.


The Grammar Genius prefers their hair worn short, and they are unlikely to take a colour well. They occasionally invest in a good blow dry if an occasion calls for it. It is at these such occasions that the word snazzy may make an appearance.


The average height of the Grammar Genius is 5 feet, 4 inches. It is always feet and inches. Though it is rare to find a Grammar Genius between 5'8 and 6'2, there is a higher-than-average penetration of men over 6'6".

An elderly man in a suit is beaming as he holds up both thumbs
Another Grammar Genius. Photo: Andrea Piacquadio @ Pexels

So, who is Colin?

As we can see, the world of the Grammar Genius is built around structure and order. They have a deep respect for traditional social norms and take a sense of pride in having a sense of pride.


The Grammar Genius sees their role in life as that of a small but important cog in a very large wheel; it is not their job to steer the car, but if they were to stop doing what needed to be done, the car would no longer move.


Do you recognise the structured world of the Grammar Genius?

If so, perhaps you might open your mind to the idea that some things done in the good old days are now just old, not good.


You can honour the past without repeating it.


Could it be an option to ease up on the issuing of directives to make people adhere to rules?


And maybe use your passion to help develop new language as our ever-changing world demands more malleability every day?


Or maybe you see yourself more in tune with the Word Worrier? You can read the comparative insights for them just here.


Both groups have had formative experiences shape their confidence and opinions. As have most people.


Both want to help those around them. As you would hope most people do.

Both have value to offer when they let the outside in.


I am not here to take sides or to dictate. None of us is.


And that is, ultimately, the point.


  • Read the overview on how correcting grammar is thinly disguised form of bigotry and be introduced to the Grammar Genius here

  • Learn how the Grammar Genius emotes differently to the Word Worrier - even though they may seem, from the outside, to be acting the same way - here

  • Compare this analysis with the Word Worrier here


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