grammar police

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grammar police (usually plural, but sometimes construed as singular)

  1. (idiomatic) One or more people who make negative comments, which are usually unsolicited and unwanted, concerning the correctness of someone's English usage.
    • 1997 September 7, Patricia T. O'Conner, "Grammar Cops," New York Times (retrieved 13 March 2018)
      The grammar police are cruising the info highway, and they're writing tickets. In newsgroups . . . bad English does not go unnoticed.
    • 2012 May 30, Heidi Stevens, "Language: More fun with fewer rules?," Chicago Tribune (retrieved 13 March 2018)
      Some wordsmiths wield their lexicological powers like an angry red pen, rooting out errors and marking them for all the world to see. (We're talking to you, Grammar Police.)
    • 2013 May 29, Harry Wallop, "Hay Festival 2013: Oxford professor asks for grammar pedants to relax," Telegraph (UK) (retrieved 13 March 2018)
      A leading Oxford University academic has implored “the grammar police” and spelling pedants to be a bit more relaxed about changing standards of written English.
    • 2015 September 24, Madeline Case, "Have you sworn an oath to the Grammar Police?," Business Management Daily (retrieved 13 March 2018)
      [S]ince my mother-in-law was a former public school teacher, she is the Grammar Police.