Grammar Nazi

Perrier LaPadite: I swear I do not know where Mademoiselle Dreyfus was at!
Col. Hans Landa: Did you just end a sentence with a preposition?
Perrier LaPadite: ...forgive me, Colonel.

Somewhere along the line, Grammar Nazis got more into the form than the content. They sometimes leave snarky little notes in discussion areas about the correct use of italics or where the apostrophe goes in "its/it's." They don't actually add any new content — except possibly passive-aggressive "help" articles on proper usage of the semicolon. At their worst, they are known for insisting on "rules of English" which are derived from French and other Latin-descended languages, and were invented for the sole purpose of annoying English-speakers. They'll also likely become a Serial Tweaker, careful to quickly correct their own mistakes. (We hope.)

For example, the French faction believe one is never to split infinitives because Latin and many other European languages cannot. Ending a sentence with a preposition is also something they will not tolerate, even if it invariably leads to awkward or confusing renderings note . More moderate Grammar Nazis, ironically, strive to treat English like the Germanic language it is. And in German, Germanic language, Infinitiv mit zu (infinitive with zu) is never split, although it could. Merke dir, niemals den Infinitiv zu trennen.

Be careful when and how you accuse someone of being a Grammar Nazi, because doing so is, by definition, an automatic invocation of Godwin's Law. Despite the nickname, there's rarely any real connection to Those Wacky Nazis note , so some people may understandably take offense to it. You might want to use the term "Grammar Police" around those more easily offended, but that street runs both ways. Just be sure that whatever you do, you don't misspell "Grammar" (like the trope image did). This isn't Frasier. (Or Greek.)

Often, people may be accused of being Grammar Nazis by someone who simply cannot grasp simple second-grade English concepts, such as confusing "you're" for "your". Even worse, on the other hand, a Grammar Nazi will jump all over people who use grammar that is technically incorrect but that seems correct because everyone (except for the Grammar Nazis, of course) uses it, such as "Older than me" instead of "Older than I." A Flame War may ensue, which is yet another reason we have the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment. To avoid this, when you do see an error, just Repair, Don't Respond.

In many cases the person being criticised is fairly justified in attacking the Grammar Nazi right back. We all make mistakes and there are plenty of dyslexics and dyspraxics on the Internet - not to mention all the people who aren't quite as keen on your pedantic crusade, nor with your fixation on "Ten Items Or Less" signs. Furthermore, this can fall into an Ad Hominem dismissal of the person rather than the point they're making; a valid argument doesn't automatically become invalid simply because of an apostrophe in the wrong place, although it might read like an invalid argument until you parse through what's meant versus what's written. It also suggests that the attacker has run out of valid counter-arguments and is trying to mask this by pedantically making grammatical corrections. For these reasons, many forums at the very least frown on this practice.

But of course, some people — Godwin's Law or not — bear the title with pride. They seek order within the literary confines of the Internet. S'not such a bad cause, aye? Especially when Illiteracy Communists are utterly mangling the English language. After all, nobody really wants Rouge Angles of Satin, Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma, or How Do I Used Tense? messing up their reading material. A good rule of thumb to distinguish between "good" and "bad" ones is: the former will usually overlook ovbious tyops. (However, it's fair game for everybody to howl at a Tyop on the Cover.)

Just to make things worse, Grammar Nazis sometimes even see errors where there aren't any.

We have a Just for Fun page for Grammar Nazis now.

Compare You Make Me Sic. See Artistic License – Linguistics and The Big List of Booboos and Blunders for errors that are likely to invoke their wrath. The Grammar Nazi is the sworn enemy of the Malaproper.


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  • Orson Welles became one when he did a voiceover commercial for frozen peas.
  • "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should," was attacked by Grammar Nazis for using "like" instead of "as". A subsequent campaign asked, "What do you want, good grammar or good taste?" This is also what helped the company become a best-seller — people were talking about their horrible grammar, and thus their brand name stood out more. Kind of an accidental Viral Marketing on their part.

    Considering the content of the "good grammar or good taste" ads, some cultural analysts at the time felt that this was being used as anti-intellectual, pro-"just plain Joe" propaganda, especially after grade school bullies started using the line as they beat their victims. Harlan Ellison wrote about this in one of his Glass Teat essays.

  • The comedian Otto Waalkes (from East Frisia, Germany) parodied this, pretending to criticize the use of the term "Die Fahrerflucht" (The hit-and-run driving), interpreting it as "Die [singular feminine or general plural article] Fahrer [{male} driver singular or plural form] flucht [{he/she/it} curses]". Either use the masculine article, or the verb in plural form, and Women Drivers who curse are uncouth anyway, so there is no third option!

    Comic Books 
  • Herr Starr, from Preacher, who destroys a subordinate's report with a handgun for "Improper use of inverted commas!" (The subordinate had used quotation marks, instead of bold or italic face, for emphasis.)
  • Yorick from Y: The Last Man is an English major and as such, often points out others grammatical mistakes and even his own on occasion. An especially nice example is when he tells a journalist that she splits more infinitives than Gene Roddenberry.
  • Minor Spider-Man villain Spellcheck is such a stickler for grammar, syntax, and usage that he, inspired by the letter and punctuation themed Typeface, puts on a costume and beats people up over it. He goes after Spider-Man because the hyphen (-) between his Super Hero name is unnecessary.
  • Lobo had once been captured by Grammar Nazis who forced him into a competition to see if he would be allowed to join them in their crusade to cleanse language from error (and exterminate malapropers). It ended when Lobo tried to get his grade school teacher out of the competition, only for her to reveal he had cut her legs and them preparing to kill him by shooting... And removing him from the gas trap that was keeping him at bay. No Grammar Nazi survived the encounter.
  • The Green Lantern miniseries Emerald Dawn 2 shows Sinestro correcting the syntax of people he's beating down back when he's Hal Jordan's Corps-appointed mentor.
  • Ultra Magnus of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye once threw someone in the brig for punctuation errors on a warning sign.

    Comic Strips 
  • Andy Fox of the comic strip FoxTrot has been known to rant at her children for using improper grammar. In one strip she explains to her older son that she couldn't help correcting him because, as an English major, she believes that proper grammar is important.
  • Rose Gumbo from Rose Is Rose is shown to be this in a few strips.
  • Someone once asked Lemont of Candorville who died and made him the grammar police. He responded that he was actually being the idiom police.
  • Joe's mother from Jump Start.
  • The 6 October 2011 Non Sequitur features a nonsensical version of this trope in ancient Egypt.

    Fan Works 
  • A humorous short G.I. Joe fic features a Grammar Ranger — the premise is that Beach Head is getting tired of deciphering poorly written reports, and drags several of his soldiers in for a refresher course.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, the detective pursuing the eponymous pair chastises his underling for ending a sentence in a preposition. The underling later struggles to reform his sentences to avoid this (apocryphal) rule.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian: A centurion, catching Brian in the act of writing anti-Roman graffiti, makes him correct his Latin grammar at sword point. Then he makes Brian write it out 100 times — all over the walls of the palace! (One imagines this scene was inspired by one of the Pythons being forced to write lines for Latin errors in public school.)
    Centurion: People called "Romanes", they go the house?

    Centurion:' Domus? Nominative?!''
Real Life Grammar Nazis agree that the centurion's corrections are spot on, except for a minor reference to the locative case, which has nothing to do with the accusative construction "domum" (the locative would be "domi" and is more closely related to the ablative of location).
  • Italian movie Se devo essere sincera casts Luciana Littizzetto as a Literature teacher who simply cannot tolerate grammatical errors, especially when it comes to conjugation. And since Italian verbs can be so complicated, she has various occasions to correct people, being them relatives, policemen or even potential murderers.
  • In She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Sergeant Quincannon is drilling his troops and orders them to "Fix them bandoliers!" or something to that effect. Immediately someone yells out from the ranks: "Fix them grammar!"
  • In Loaded Weapon 1 we have this exchange:
    Becker: Whoa whoa whoa, I don't know nothin', I didn't see nothin', I didn't say nothin'.
    Luger: "Nothing". The word is "nothing", not "nothin'". There's an -ing on the end of it, "nothing".
    Becker: OK, nothinG. Nothin G. NOTHIIIIIIIIING. 'K, you happy?
    Luger: That's better. But that's not what you told York.
    Becker: I don't know no York, and where's my food?
    Luger: We ate it. And please, no double negatives.
    Becker: Sorry. I don't know ANY York.
  • Aro in the film version of Breaking Dawn.
  • Lionel from Murder by Death, who continuously corrects Sidney Wang's Asian Speekee Engrish throughout the film.
    Lionel: Pronounce your goddamn pronouns!
  • Scott appears to be one in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, though it only comes up once.
    Todd Ingram: We have unfinished business, I and he.
    Scott: He and me.
    Todd: Don't you talk to me about grammar!
What's more, Scott is wrong. As a matter of style, the first-person pronoun should come last, but Scott gets the case wrong. "He and I" would be most correct.
  • Van Kooten En De Bie: Prof. Kipping who tries to defend several language mistakes and rules.
  • Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady is introduced with a song about how atrocious it is that everyone English doesn't speak the Queen's English. For most of the movie, though, he just acts like a more general Jerk Ass; sure, he's teaching Elisabeth to speak properly, but that's actually his job and has a point at that stage.

  • Knock Knock!
    Who's there?
    To who?
    To whom.
  • Captain Blackbeard was known to be a real stickler for grammar. One day a crew member scurried up to him and says, "Captain, the cannons be ready!" The captain replied, "Arrrrrrre!"
  • Alice: Where are you from?
    Carol: I am from a place where we don't end sentences with prepositions.
    Alice: All right, then: Where are you from, bitch?

  • Lassic Wert in Felsic Current is one mainly through the constant presence of his partner Geal Tromautein, who could be described as a verbal dyslexic. Were Lassic not constantly busy correcting his friend's mifpronouciations (like that one), he might not have developed such a reflex for linguistic accuracy.
  • Avril Incandenza of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest made her career out of this, leading a wave of linguistic prescription including riots over the damned thing, incorporating rigorous education in English grammar in the Enfield Tennis Academy curriculum (which in fairness is based on the medieval trivium and quadrivium, which did include [Latin] grammar), and leading a group called the Militant Grammarians of Massachusetts, whose primary activity seems to be hassling supermarkets over "10 items or less" signs on express lanes ("It should be 10 items or fewer!").

    This is likely an exaggeration of his own mother, a community-college English professor who raised her children with songs about grammar mistakes and pretending to go into a coughing fit whenever one of them used a solecism (which Wallace in retrospect admitted was rather chilling). On the other hand, she never got nearly as grammar-crazy (much less anything else-crazy) as Avril Incandenza...
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events:
    • Josephine Anwhistle is a perfect example of a typical Grammar Nazi, going so far as to point out that Sunny Baudelaire's utterances are nonsense even if she's too young to be expected to speak coherently. Played with somewhat in that she uses bad grammar to relay a secret message to the Baudelaires. Unfortunately she corrects the Ax-Crazy villain's grammar as well....
    • Count Olaf in his disguise as Captain Sham pretends to be one of these too, in order to gain Josephine's trust. Hypocritical Humor abounds when he says "There ain't nothin' better than good grammar!"
  • Most members on the noble side of mysterious organization V.F.D. are revealed to be this, in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography. Another editor's note in the latter stated that "Some of the photographs in this book were taken by Julie Blattberg", which was promptly followed by a note from Mr. Snicket reading:
    To My Kind Editor,
    Please rewrite another editor's note to read as follows:
    Some of the photographs in this book were not taken by Julie Blattberg.
  • Janine Kishi in The Baby-Sitters Club.
  • In a parody book called The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo, Kaal is described as "not the biggest, bravest or fieriest dragon in Scandragonia, but he was certainly the most pedantic." Hence, when Helltrik Vagner talks about "farming of goats, sheeps and pigs", Kaal has to correct him on it. This leads to three and a half pages of the two interrupting Vagner's story to revive the argument.
  • Minor mention in The Name of the Rose:
    But those were times when, to forget an evil world, grammarians took pleasure in abstruse questions. I was told that in that period, for fifteen days and fifteen nights, the rhetoricians Gabundus and Terentius argued on the vocative of "ego", and in the end they attacked each other, with weapons.
  • "The Eyes Have It" is a short comedy by Philip K Dick where the Narrator believes Earth is infiltrated by aliens after reading a line in a novel in which a character's eyes "moved about the room". References to characters having "no brains" or "no spine" only reinforce his apprehension. In the end however the protagonist decides not to do anything about the Alien Invasion. He doesn't have the stomach for it.
  • Played for Drama in The Giver. Proper and precise word use are important in The Community. Jonas was punished for hyperbole when he claimed he was starving. He was also asked to use less vague language when he asked his parents if they loved him. Young children are not given an exemption: Jonas's friend Asher was beaten for saying "smack" instead of "snack" (to clarify, he asked for a "smack" and was given one), and for a time refused to speak at all.
  • Carl Hiaasen "Star Island". The hired bodyguard is one and is so annoyed by his employee that he corrects her with electroshocks (somehow against the idea of a bodyguard).
  • Rat from The Wind in the Willows debates with Badger about the phrase "We'll learn them" as opposed to "We'll teach them," with Rat being in favor of "teaching." His grousing is comically shunted aside to him muttering to himself for a paragraph of two.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One skit from That Mitchell and Webb Look involves Mitchell's character shooting employees who spell or pronounce words wrong (he mentions shooting his own wife for, ironically, getting "mispronunciation" wrong). He Goes even further: he shot someone for pronouncing "H" "Haitch" instead of "Aitch". When he makes a mistake, he has a "What have I done?" moment and shoots himself. He manages a Last Breath Bullet when someone says "whoever" instead of "whomever".
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor, or at least the Tenth, a.k.a. Mister Conditional Clause. Although to be fair, he only does it in that one episode, mainly to irritate the Insufferable Genius who was largely responsible for the catastrophe.
    • The Master does this in the Eighth Doctor movie.
  • The title character of Castle falls into this occasionally, at one point critiquing the grammar of a murderer who wrote on the victim's face, and used "your" instead of "you're".
    Castle: It's not like you're just leaving yourself a note, you know, to buy bread on the way home. You're writing on a person you just murdered. You're trying to make a point, a point you care a great deal about, presumably, because you just killed someone to make it. So how do you not make sure you're using the proper language to make that point?
  • Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory does this as part of being an Insufferable Genius.
    Penny: I don't care if Richard Feynman was a purple leprechaun who lived in my butt.
    Sheldon: Penny meant if he were a purple leprechaun. Penny forgot to use a subjunctive.
  • Sherlock:
    • In the Batman Cold Open of the episode "The Great Game", a prospective client describes the events leading to his wife's murder, but is repeatedly interrupted by Holmes to correct his grammar (see quotes page for complete exchange).
      Prisoner: Without you... I'll get hung for this!
      Sherlock: No, no, Mr. Bewick, not at all.
      (prisoner looks relieved)
      Sherlock: Hanged, yes.
    • He did this to Molly on his website, too. " 'It's' not 'its.' "
  • In Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill does a surprising amount of this. Of course, he's only doing it to annoy people.
    Jaffa: No matter what you have endured, you have never endured the likes of what Anubis is capable of.
    O'Neill: (gasping) You... ended that sentence with a preposition... bastard.
  • Ross from Friends was often this kind of Nazi or at least his irriated friends had the opinion that he was. He had a habit of correcting people when they misused "who" for "whom" and occasionally could become quite irate when confronted with bad grammar (or he would get angry about something else but still feel compelled to nitpick).
    Ross: (after reading a very long letter in which this extremely basic error is made numerous times) Oh oh oh, and by the way, Y-O-U-apostrophe-R-E means "you are". Y-O-U-R MEANS "YOUR"!
  • Diane does this on Cheers a lot with Sam:
    Sam: She's trying to become the kind of waitress that you'd enjoy being waited on by.
    Diane: (whispering) You just ended that sentence with two prepositions...
    Sam: Don't you have customers to deal with?
    Diane: That ended with a preposition, too...
    Sam: Don't you have customers to deal with, mullet head?
  • In one episode of Jonathan Creek, part of the solution relies on the fact that the name of the house is spelled "GHOSTS FORGE," with no apostrophe in "GHOSTS".
  • Game of Thrones has this exchange between King Stannis Baratheon, Principles Zealot extraordinaire, and his former smuggler advisor Davos Seaworth:
    Stannis: Do your knucklebones bring you luck?
    Davos: Well, life's been good to me since you hacked them off, Your Grace. And it's four less fingernails to clean.
    Stannis: Fewer.
    Davos: Pardon?
    Stannis: Four fewer fingernails to clean.
  • This is part of Alan Statham's extremely pedantic and anal personality from Green Wing. In one episode he's joining a local political party and somebody comes along to see how he'd fare, so the interviewer pretends to be a mother who's complaining to Statham about the local clubs for her children. Alan gets distracted and begins pointing out the grammatical errors in "her" sentences.

  • In Fairy Tales by Eric Lane Barnes, "The Letter Song" is about a jilted man reading a letter about his boyfriend leaving him for another man. But that doesn't bother him, what is driving him up the wall is the terrible grammar used.
  • In "The Worst That Could Happen" a man is singing to a woman who has dumped him for someone else. He sings, "Baby, if he loves you more than me, maybe it's the best thing for you, but it's the worst that could happen to me." This sentence, of course is saying that if the other man loves the woman more than he loves the man singing, it's the worst that could happen. After all these years, we find out that the other man was the singer's lover and is leaving him for a woman.
  • In 1972 hit "Ben", Michael Jackson sang, "I used to say, 'I' and 'me', now it's 'us', now it's 'we'." This drove Grammar Nazis completely crazy.
  • Same deal for Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." Never sing the phrase "You and me could write a bad romance" around an English major.
  • "Tongue-Clucking Grammarian" by MC Frontalot.
  • On a mid-'90s Alvin and the Chipmunks country collaboration album, Simon is paired with Aaron Tippin to sing Tippin's "There Ain't Nothing Wrong with the Radio". When Simon starts singing, he corrects the grammar "flaws" on the fly, but eventually, Aaron gets him to lighten up on the Grammar Nazism.
  • It may be apocryphal (although they've told it themselves on at least one occasion), but there's a story that Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys used to return fan mail with all the grammar and spelling errors meticulously corrected. As he used to edit magazines for a living, this kind of makes sense...
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • His song "Close but No Cigar" (a style parody of CAKE) describes the narrator dumping otherwise perfect girls because of minor flaws in their personality or appearance. One of said girls consistently uses "inferred" when she should be using "implied", prompting the narrator to wonder why some people put up with that.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with "Word Crimes", which is basically "Grammar Nazi: The Song".

  • Ed Reardon, writer and misanthrope, main character of Ed Reardon's Week. Malformed plurals or possessives have been known to send him into histrionics. The first life lesson he gives his eight-week-old grandson is: "Now, to the children's section. There's an apostrophe between the N and the S. Remember that and you won't go far wrong."
  • Negativland's Pastor Dick once held a fund-raiser in which he asked callers to confess up to three sins. Sure enough, a young man phoned in that he had ended a sentence with a preposition. (His other sins: taking advantage of a girl in the back seat of a movie theater, and letting his subscription to Heavy Metal run out.)

  • Professor Higgins from Pygmalion is a Deconstruction of this trope. Once the impoverished flower girl, Eliza, completes his Tough Love program, she leaves him.
  • Happens in 1776 when, of all people, John Adams raises an objection to the Declaration of Independence, claiming that Thomas Jefferson used the word 'inalienable' when he should have used "unalienable." Jefferson refused to change it, and Adams withdrew his objection, saying he'd speak to the printer later about it. Funny thing is? He did.
  • Raoul and Monsieur Andre do this subtly in The Phantom of the Opera, in this exchange with Monsieur Firmin:
    Raoul: Isn't this the letter you wrote?
    Firmin: And what is it that we're meant to have wrote?
    (Andre and Raoul give weird looks)
    Firmin: ... Written.
  • The Brazilian play Notícias Populares (Popular News) has a sketch in which two grammatically challenged cops are trying to negotiate with a bank robber holding people hostage. The robber shoots a hostage every time the cops say something incorrectly before politely correcting them.

    Video Games 
  • In Risen 2: Dark Waters, the gnome leader is this of all peo... err, individuals. When learning human language he put so much effort in this that he got the rules better than pretty much all the humans (including the main hero) and is constanlty correcting the conversation partner on proper use of grammar (again, including the main character, which drives him nuts). It stands out especially hard since gnomes in general do not speak human language at all and are not known for their intelligence or regard to any rules.
  • In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Maria Ross interrupts one of Fury's mission briefings to correct a who/whom error. Fury's response? "New S.H.I.E.L.D. executive order: grammar corrections will be met with gunfire."
  • Valvatorez in Disgaea 4. He storms the Information Bureau not because it would be a huge blow to the Corrupternment but because they spelled 'Prinny' wrong in their newspaper.
  • As a Running Gag, Kingdom of Loathing's Lemony Narrator corrects its own grammar — in particular, the alleged rule against ending sentences with prepositions results in some deliberately awkward phrasing.
  • From LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Captain Britain shows this to a mild degree. He's quick to point out that in Britain, it's f-a-v-o-u-r, since he naturally uses British English.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric reveals his editor is one of these. She once killed a man over a semi-colon.note  He never publishes anything without her help and approval.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • You'll find these people across the Internet at times. We'll leave it at that. The start of such an argument on 4chan is announced with "STOP. GRAMMAR TIME."
  • The community of the popular website is notorious for its insistence on perfect orthography and grammar. When US President Barack Obama did a short Q&A on the site during his 2012 election campaign, the most upvoted response to his answers was a grammar correction: an asteroid, Mr. President.
  • Along the same lines, people on Tumblr can get very nitpicky when it comes to grammar and the most widespread version of this (almost to the point of memetic levels is the difference between "your" and "you're". This sums it up perfectly
  • A College Humor pastiche of Inglourious Basterds (specifically, Chapter 1 "Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France") takes this trope literally, and shows that some Grammar Nazis are, in fact, actual Nazis. It all ends with the Nazi being Hoist by His Own Petard, by using a dangling participle.
    Perrier LaPadite: There was no Jews here.
    Col. Hans Landa: Jew, or Jews, plural?
    LaPadite: Plural.
    Col. Hans Landa: WRONG! You have to match your subject with your verb!
Incidentally, he has a similar fate as the That Mitchell and Webb Look above.
Col. Hans Landa: Hiding under the floorboards... I have you now. (points his gun at the floor to fire)
Perrier LaPadite: Wait. You are hiding under the floorboards, or is she?
Shosanna: (below the floorboards) A dangling participle?
Col. Hans Landa: A dangling participle... (shoots himself under the chin)
  • From a 1997 issue of The Onion: Nation's Educators Alarmed By Poorly Written Teen Suicide Notes
  • "Psychic Powers", a video by ShinyObjects, sees Curly enforcing grammar rules via the title powers.
  • Hitler Rants: One Downfall parody lampshades this trope, after Günsche mixes up the words "you're" and "your":
    Hitler: We have grammar freaks named after us, and you come along and do this!
  • Lewis Brindley of the Yogscast has his moments, often towards Minecraft map makers with atrocious spelling or grammar. Simon Lane has at times called him "Grammar Hitler" or "Grandma Hitler".
  • Jacksfilms has a long-running web series that deals with atrociously bad grammar, called "Your Grammar Sucks". This overlaps with other shows he does, such as "JackAsk".
  • At least one episode of David Mitchell's Soapbox was devoted to David grumpily complaining about people not using the rules of spelling and language properly. This led to an amusing Call Back a few episodes later when his comedy partner Robert Webb showed up as a guest host, which he basically spent calling David an 'arse' because of this (as well as noting some hypocrisies with another episode where David discussed what he saw as the pointlessness of efforts to preserve the Gallic language.
  • Ross of Hat Films, if their podcast "Hat Chat" is anything to go by. Minor errors such as "you're versus your" tend to be the things that annoy him, and he doesn't go on about it constantly.

    Western Animation 
  • The bookish and adorkable Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has shades of this occasionally. In "MMMystery on the Friendship Express" she tries to correct Pinkie Pie talking about a mystery as a "whodunnit" to "who did it", but this only makes Pinkie worse ("who did done dood it").
  • Leela from Futurama in the episode "Mobious Dick". When the crew ventures to another planet to pick up a monument of the first Planet Express crew, Leela points out a grammatical error in the plaque and orders the carver to make an entire new statue.
    Leela: "It's" shouldn't have an apostrophe, That means "and it is crew."
  • In The Simpsons episode, "Trilogy of Error", Lisa creates a robot called Linguo that is designed for this very trope. Things get very amusing when it starts correcting Lisa's grammar.
    Lisa: Almost done. Just lay still.
    Linguo: "Lie still."
    Lisa: I knew that. Just testing.
    Linguo: Sentence fragment.
    Lisa: "Sentence fragment" is also a sentence fragment.
    Linguo: (beat) Must conserve battery power. (shuts itself down)

    Real Life 
  • Averted with Adolf Hitler, ironically enough; he was an appalling writer (as anyone who had read Mein Kampf can attest), as well as a terrible speller. In his native tongue he was often crude and unsophisticated, at least compared to most politicians and world leaders, to the point where the multi-lingual Italian dictator Benito Mussolini remarked that his own German was better.
  • The aptly named Kelsey Grammer (TV's Frasier) says when he talks to people, he often stops the conversation to correct them on the proper use of the English language.
  • Similarly, the late Tony Randall corrected the host's grammar in at least one appearance on The Hollywood Squares.
  • From Hannity & Colmes:
    Sean Hannity: What I said was that your opinion was thoughtless, what you wrote was crude, and mean, and hateful.
    Christopher Hitchens: And then you took up all the time for my answer with your long, rather unlettered questioning.
  • This kind of behavior is not limited to English speakers. Germans love it, to the point that there's even a bestselling series of books (called "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod") dealing with all kinds of grammar and spelling errors occurring in everyday German. But careful not to use the exact term in front of the average German. Germans regard the issue as much too serious to use the term jokingly. Ironically, a German high school in the city of Dachau has adopted a very interesting logo, most likely unaware of the Grammar Nazi's unofficial sign. By coincidence, the town was the location of a notorious concentration camp.
  • The late William Safire had for many years two columns in The New York Times: a weekday one given to conservative political commentarynote  and one in the Times Sunday magazine entitled "On Language". "On Language" was by far the more famous, as it commented on a variety of issues and trends in American English (and occasionally other languages); many of these were usage and grammar nitpicks, which Safire would manage to make readable and even entertaining to a general audience.
  • Alan Duncan, a British MP and a junior minister described himself as a "grammar fascist" while issuing a memo decrying grammar errors and use of jargon within his department.
  • Early versions of spell checking programs were especially like this. They would hang on words like its and you're, having you make sure that you checked the proper usage.
  • As seen here, this is a Berserk Button for CM Punk.
  • John McIntyre, a copy editor for the Baltimore Sun, devotes his blog not only to clarifying sloppy usage but to criticizing pretentious Grammar Nazis who try to enforce what he considers bogus rules such as not splitting infinitives or ending sentences with prepositions.
  • The "Queen's English Society" is a self-appointed organization in the UK that attempts to guard against what they see as a decline in English usage and education by setting up national standards, such as rejecting "sidewalk" for "pavement". Despite their Grammar Nazi pretensions, serious linguists and editors tend to regard them with mockery, such as the blog Language Log gleefully pointing out that the QES's own official statements are riddled with grammatical errors.
  • The American Nazi Party called someone out for bad grammar in a tweet, thus making this trope literal. Ironically, their website contains a spelling error in the first answer in their FAQ.
    It really isn't that difficult to use correct spelling and grammar. Be professional and disciplined in everything that you do for the cause.
  • The Finnish language actually contains a specific word (pilkunnussija) to describe someone who fits this trope. The literal English translation of that word is not fit for polite conversation.

...Heil dem Bindestrich!

Alternative Title(s):

Grammar Police, Grammarian, Grammarian From Hell, Spelling Stasi, Grammar Nazis, Grammar Gestapo