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Using proper grammar is important. But there is a time and place for calling someone out on poor usage. Like in school. Or maybe at the dinner table with your children. (Go ahead, comment on my use of fragments.) There seems to be some strange correlation between people who love dining and people who hate bad grammar—to the point where they feel they must comment on it in a chat. This often happens in Tom Sietsema’s Wednesday dining chats. Here are some snippets from this past week’s chat:

Investing:”a debate between my husband and I”? No, “my husband and me.” Arrggghhh.

re: No, “my husband and me.” : thank you, that’s one of my pet peeves.

Washington, D.C.: Not necessariuly for the chat, more for you: “one of my favorite places to whet my whistle…” You “wet” your whistle, i.e. lick your lips to make it possible to whistle. You “whet”, i.e. sharpen, a knife.

What the hell? (And, yes, there is a typo in that last one.) Why do people do this? Here’s my theory of about five minutes: Eating is a base act. It’s a necessity. It’s about survival. And no matter how much you dress it up, the whole physical process is pretty unattractive. Some people have an insecurity about this and feel they must overcompensate and prove they are not just animals. They must prove that they are thinking people. They must make catty grammar remarks. Am I way off on this? Any other theories?