PEDANTIC HIERARCHY

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Tony Whitley
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PEDANTIC HIERARCHY

The following comprises a classification system against which aspiring
pedants may assess themselves.
1. Pre-Pedant Doesn't like "its" being confused with "it's". That is the
only prejudice he has so far mastered.
2. Basic Pedant Is aware of, and maddened by, confusion between flaunt
and flout, rebut and refute, disinterested and uninterested. Knows that
criteria and media are often used wrongly, but is not sure why. Pet
hate: confusion between alternate and alternative.
3. Flyweight Pedant Knows that media and criteria are plural only, but
tends to use data as singular. Insists that one graffiti is a graffito.
Is constantly worried by the pronunciation of pronunciation. Pet hate:
confusion between fewer and less.
4. Lower-Middle Pedant Is usually maddened by misuse of the apostrophe.
There is nothing he hates more than cafes called "Joes Eat's" though as
the owner of "Joes Eat's" would never answer a letter, he prefers to
write to newspapers protesting that they printed "Terry Venables' team"
instead of the correct "Terry Venables's team". Insists that data should
be plural only but has not yet tumbled to incunabula. Pet hate: the use
of hopefully, even when correct (or, if Scottish, the misuse of the word
"Scotch").
5. Demi-Semi-Pedant Insists that one strand of spaghetti is a spaghetto
and that more than one solo are soli. Aggravated when "aggravate" is
used to mean "irritate". Pet hate: incunabula used as a singular, though
he does not worry about agenda when so used.
6. Light-Heavy Pedant It is at this level that irritation over misuse of
titles and forms of address starts creeping in. Is also maddened by
menus that write magret de canard as maigret de canard. If Scots, always
refers to our Queen as Elizabeth I, and, if Irish, hates whisky being
spelt without an "e". Thinks that one bit of confetti is a confetto. Pet
hate: seeing "hoi polloi" referred to tautologically as "the hoi polloi".
7. Upper-Middle Pedant This is a man with strong worries about Latin and
Greek derivations, though he will write at length about how many noughts
there are in a billion. Several cellos are probably celli, and Capri is
always stressed on the first syllable. Pet hate: people who think "hoi
polloi " means "the few, the elite".
8. Heavyweight Pedant Fury is aroused at this level by new words which
combine Greek and Latin elements indiscriminately, like mega-terror or
minerology. Happiness is caused if Himalayas is stressed on the second
syllable and if decimate is used to mean "reduce by a tenth". This
pedant likes to go into a bar and order a small, dry Martino, and hates
to disturb the statum quo. Pet hate: people saying "a hotel", and misuse
of "ilk"
9. Super Pedant At this rarified level, the pedant would probably be
happier speaking Latin - he certainly gets upset by the wrong
pronunciation of it. Says "averse from", not "averse to", because averse
means "turned away". Pronounces Bahrain in the Arab style, with a Scots
'ch' somewhere in the middle. Suspects that Robert McCrum is the
singular of Robert McCra. Pet hate: everything.
10. Grandmaster Pedant Very few reach this stage; most candidates have a
heart attack at Level 9. The grandmaster pedant is tolerant of almost
every faux pas, though he is faintly irked by ill-informed speculation
over the origins of Basque. He would basically rather be speaking
Sanskrit than anything, and can pronounce Abu Dhabi correctly. He never
writes to newspapers with corrections, only to the editors of famous
dictionaries. Pet hate: pedantry.

Jonathan Kay
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Does that bring the BlatChat variant of Skitt's Law into play for errors of spelling as well as those of usage?

Thanks

Tanya

Toughie
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Oh, bugger!

I didn't realise I had so far to go.

A

Jonathan Kay
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StevehS3
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Good old plural possessive's. Sorry I mean possessives' or should it be possessives ;-)

Alan Bowler
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Daughter 1 thinks she is about 8. Aspires to 10.