Obsessed with ‘grammar’? Consult a doctor

‘Grammar Nazi’ or ‘Grammar Police’ refers to someone who habitually corrects grammar and spelling mistakes made by others in conversation, both on and offline, which can offend many people. Psychiatrists say that this obsession to correct grammar can be a symptom of OCD

Obsessed with ‘grammar’? Consult a doctor

Grammar plays a pivotal role while speaking or writing any language. But we can speak or write wrongly without realising it. Although, there are some people who cannot control the urge of pointing out the grammatical errors. Such tendency is popularly known by the term ‘Grammar Nazi’. So a ‘Grammar Nazi’ refers to someone who habitually corrects grammar and spelling mistakes made by others in conversation, both on and offline.

There is a line between the absolute necessity to correct the grammar and not being able to control oneself from correcting it, even if the grammatical mistake doesn’t make any difference. According to the experts, the habit of overstepping this line could be a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

A person with OCD has unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over. While talking to Medical Mantra, Dr Nilesh Shah, head of the psychiatrist department in LTMG Sion hospital said that, “The obsession to correct grammar can be a symptom of OCD.”

A ‘Grammar Nazi’ is a  person who takes grammar very seriously and has  a compulsive need to correct it, without realising that their behaviour can upset and hurt the people they communicate with. And still they keep on repeating it. “Such people may realise that they are overdoing it and annoying people around them. Though, they may realise that it is not good, but still they will keep on doing it. This is a symptom of OCD,” said Dr Sagar Karia Secretary Bombay Psychiatric Society (BPS).

There are many blogs and independent articles on the internet which attributes the obsession with grammar to Grammatical Pedantry Syndrome (GPS). This disorder is also mentioned and defined in many online dictionaries. But the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has not recognized as a separate disorder. “DSM doesn’t mention it as an independent disorder. The behaviour of continuously pointing out the grammar mistake can only be considered as a symptom of OCD. After noticing such problem, now-a-days, people self-diagnose rather than consulting a specialist. So avoid this and consult a specialist for the conformation of diagnosis and course of the treatment if you notice such symptom,” explained Dr  Karia.