Everywhere we can find grammatical errors. Native speakers of a language commit them, and those who are not natives commit them more often. In fact, if you go a whole day without seeing any grammatical errors on the internet or in analog life, you can consider yourself a lucky person.
Many people are aware of these errors, but those with grammatical pedantry syndrome feel especially uncomfortable and experience an inexplicable need to correct them. If you have a friend who corrects every mistake you make or you’ve met someone like that on the internet, chances are they have grammatical pedantry syndrome.
Of course, people with grammar pedantry syndrome often become excellent proofreaders and editors, as they are able to detect errors quickly and accurately.
WHAT CAUSES GRAMMAR PEDANTRY SYNDROME?
For years, it has been tried to understand this syndrome and its causes. A 2016 study attempted to establish a link between grammar pedantry syndrome and certain personality traits. Apparently, this syndrome has nothing to do with age, sex or level of education. But the results indicate that introverted people are more likely to feel upset about spelling and typographical errors.
There are some studies that link grammatical pedantry syndrome to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OTE). According to these researches, grammatical pedantry syndrome could be a form of OC if those with it have increased anxiety about grammatical errors.
People with OTE have intrusive thoughts that cause them concern, which makes them feel anxious or scared. As a result, they develop certain rituals that are believed to help them overcome the anxiety and other unpleasant sensations they experience.
A person who suffers from grammatical pedantry syndrome feels something similar: he has a huge need to correct all the grammatical or typographical errors he sees. You may also feel anxiety, frustration, and nervousness after seeing those mistakes. Therefore, although grammatical pedantry syndrome is not a doctor-verified diagnosis, it could be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is a proven diagnosis.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU HAVE GRAMMAR SYNDROME?
Depends on how it makes you feel. Grammar pedantry syndrome does not directly affect physical health, but it could affect the psychological state by increasing anxiety in general and making the person feel more nervous and compulsive. In this case, it’s a good idea to see a therapist.
On the other hand, if the symptoms of grammar syndrome are more moderate, there is no need to seek professional help. You can live with it, as with any other habit, or even use it to your advantage. If your desire to locate and correct grammatical errors is healthy, you might consider a career as an editor or proofreader.