Q&A with Grammar Hulk

Grammar Hulk is one of several Hulks on Twitter. In this interview, conducted by e-mail, Grammar Hulk discusses Hulk’s approach to writing and editing.

Q. Why is Grammar Hulk on Twitter? What do you hope to achieve?

A. TWITTER WELL SUITED TO HULKISMS. MANY PEOPLE LEAVE OUT WORDS ON TWITTER, JUST LIKE HULK. ON INTERNET, NO ONE KNOW HULK NOT ACTUALLY A HULK. ALSO INHERENT HUMOR OF COMIC BOOK CHARACTER USING SOCIAL MEDIA AND TALKING ABOUT ERUDITE STUFF WITH BIG WORDS. ALL CAPS WRITING WORK BEST IN SHORT CHUNKS, LIKE 140-CHARACTER TWEETS. (THIS EMAIL GOOD EXAMPLE OF WHY ALL CAPS NOT WORK IN PARAGRAPHS UNLESS ONE NIGERIAN PRINCE EXPLAINING FINANCIAL OFFER.) LOTS OF HULKS ON TWITTER FOR THESE REASONS.

HULK ASSUME YOU MEAN “WHAT” RATHER THAN “WHY” IN SECOND QUESTION. [I fixed this, thanks. -- Andy] HULK START TWITTER ACCOUNT JUST FOR FUN. HULK ENTERTAIN HULKSELF BY PLAYING WITH UNIQUE HULK IDIOLECT–REFER TO SELF IN THIRD PERSON, ESCHEW PRONOUNS AND ARTICLES AND FORMS OF “TO BE,” ALL VERBS PRESENT TENSE–AND TALKING ABOUT GRAMMAR WITHIN NONSTANDARD GRAMMATICAL FRAMEWORK. THEN HULK START FOLLOWING OTHER GRAMMARIANS. NOW PART OF GRAMMARIAN COMMUNITY. HULK HAVE NO PARTICULAR GOAL BUT HANG OUT AND TALK, LIKE MOST TWITTER USERS. HULK APPRECIATE THAT HUMOR USEFUL WAY TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK BUT HULK NOT TRYING TO EDUCATE.

HULK AUDIENCE COMPRISE EDITORS, TEACHERS, PEDANTS, OTHER FANS OF SERIAL COMMA AND SEMICOLON. MOST HULK TWEETS IN-JOKES ABOUT LANGUAGE. THE REST FUN NIT-PICKING. EVEN CORRECT USE OF “COMPRISE” IN-JOKE OF SORTS. ANYONE WHO GOT THRILL FROM THAT SENTENCE–OR REREAD IT TO MAKE SURE IT CORRECT–PROBABLY ENJOY READING @GRAMMARHULK.

Q. What writing errors does Grammar Hulk most want to SMASH?

A. ALL WRITERS MAKE WRITING ERRORS. HULK UNDERSTAND AND FORGIVE THOSE. HULK HAVE BIG CLUMSY FINGERS, MAKE TYPOS. HULK SOMETIMES USE WORD INCORRECTLY AND GET CORRECTED BY @EDITORHULK. THIS PART OF BEING WRITER. AS LONG AS WRITER LEARN WHY ERROR WRONG AND TRY HARDER NEXT TIME, NO NEED FOR SMASHING.

HULK RATHER SMASH PRESCRIPTIVISM. HULK DELIGHT IN PLAYING WITH RULES OF GRAMMAR AND SPELLING; THEY NOT SET IN STONE. HULK THINK LINE BETWEEN “WRONG” AND “NEW USAGE” VERY BLURRY, AND ALWAYS COME DOWN ON SIDE OF CLEARER COMMUNICATION. HULK SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH SPLITTING INFINITIVES, ENDING SENTENCES WITH PREPOSITIONS, USING SINGULAR “THEY.” HULK CHAMPION IDIOLECTS, DIALECTS, CREOLES. HULK CONNECT WITH NETSPEAK, LOL AT LOLSPEAK, FASCINATED BY TXT ABBREV. HULK SMASH PEOPLE WHO CALL ORGANIC LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT “BAD GRAMMAR.” HULK SMASH CENSORSHIP OF “BAD WORDS.” LANGUAGE BEAUTIFUL LIVING THING. SHOULD BE APPRECIATED IN WILD, NOT PUT IN CAGE. HULK SMASH ALL CAGES!

THAT SAID, HULK HATE WHEN PEOPLE NOT THINK ABOUT WORDS THEY USE. IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WORD ORIGINS, CONNOTATIONS, CONTEXT. “THAT’S SO GAY” FUNNY WHEN GAY PERSON SAY IT, NOT FUNNY WHEN STRAIGHT PERSON SAY IT. HULK FAN OF IRONY BUT NOT AS DISGUISE FOR CRUELTY OR CARELESSNESS.

Q. In the Hulk stories on TV, in comics and in the movies, the alter ego is Dr. David Banner. Are you willing to reveal your alter ego?

A. HULK STILL LOOKING FOR RIGHT PERSON TO WRITE GRAMMARHULK ORIGIN STORY. UNTIL THEN, HULK ORIGINS REMAIN SHROUDED IN MYSTERY.

Q. Twitter has numerous Hulks, including Feminist Hulk and Drunk Hulk. Can all these Hulks get along?

A. NOT MUCH CROSSTALK AMONG HULKS, BUT NO ANIMOSITY THAT HULK SEEN. FUN TO BE PART OF HULK COMMUNITY, THOUGH HULK PROBABLY HAVE MORE IN COMMON WITH @FEMINISTHULK AND @BUDDHISTHULK THAN @DRUNKHULK OR @LONELY_HULK. THAT OKAY. IT TAKE HULKS OF ALL KINDS.

HULK APPRECIATE QUESTIONS! HULK LOOK FORWARD TO BLOG COMMENTS AND STUDENT REACTIONS.

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14 thoughts on “Q&A with Grammar Hulk

  1. NOT A STUDENT BUT APPRECIATE GRAMMARHULK VERY MUCH, AND ALSO EDITOR ANDY.
    NOT A HULK FAN UNTIL HULKS JOINED TWITTER. APPRECIATE GRAMMARHULK AND OTHER HULKS ILLUMINATING MIND.

  2. Okay, I have to ask: what does the Hulk think about the use of “around”, as in “we discussed the problems around implementing RSS feeds”? I would use “with” rather than “around”, but I hear the latter more often, especially in the office.

  3. LAURA: “PROBLEMS WITH” AND “PROBLEMS AROUND” HAVE DIFFERENT CONNOTATIONS. IF HULK ALLERGIC TO DOGS, HULK HAVE PROBLEMS AROUND DOGS. BUT HULK THINK DOGS VERY NICE, SO HULK NOT HAVE PROBLEMS WITH DOGS. IF RSS FEEDS DIFFICULT TO IMPLEMENT, THAT PROBLEM WITH IMPLEMENTING RSS FEEDS. IF IMPLEMENTING RSS FEEDS CAUSE SUDDEN INFLUX OF TRAFFIC THAT CRASH SERVER, THAT PROBLEM AROUND IMPLEMENTING RSS FEEDS.

  4. I’d also love to ask GRAMMARHULK a question:

    One of the greatest dangers in London is the pace that the corners in the main streets are turned.

    What’s wrong with this sentence?

  5. cj: I’m not GRAMMARHULK, but I think your sentence is a contrived example of why to avoid using the passive voice. Is it trying to say that car drivers in London drive around corners with excessive speed?

  6. DJ: Cool name! :P

    After long, hard, excruciating contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that the error is in the “that,” which, when substituting for “at which” leaves out the preposition.

    Thanks, anyways!

  7. CJ: HULK APOLOGIZE FOR NOT REPLYING SOONER. OBVIOUS PROBLEM WITH SENTENCE IS THAT IT ASSEMBLED IN EFFORT TO CREATE PROBLEMATIC SENTENCE. NEEDS REWRITE FROM BEGINNING TO END. HULK RECOMMEND:

    “Drivers take corners too quickly in London, endangering pedestrians and other drivers.”

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