I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a bit of a grammar nerd. I also happen to be a tattoo enthusiast and, much to my mother's dismay, I don't plan on giving up my addiction to skin ink anytime soon. Which is why I'm all about combining two of my favorite passions with tattoos for grammar nerds.
As a Latin scholar (OK, I studied the dirty Latin poets in college) and an English professor who teaches a course called "Survival Grammar," I'm here to tell you that grammar saves lives. There is a whopping difference between the phrase: Let's eat grandma and the phrase: Let's eat, grandma. See what I mean?
You can just imagine the horror I suffer when I notice a tattoo with a grammatical error, misspelling, or unfortunately placed apostrophe. Totally cringeworthy. But luckily, some tattoo artists get a gold star for grammar, and may even teach you a thing or two not just about language, but the nerdy things that get wordsmiths all hot and bothered. Lettering is the foundation of tattooing, and every tattoo artist must be able to appreciate the form and function of letters before even attempting to put needle to skin. But letters are not the end-all of tattooing — just like words alone aren't the key to compelling rhetoric. There are all kinds of magical marks to appreciate, and here are a few to inspire your next piece of ink.
1. Puntuation Marks
How dedicated are you to punctuation?!
2. The Ampersand
I adore this punctuation mark because it doubles as a fun doodle. And you've got to give it up to coordinating conjunctions.
3. The Perfect Plume
Although this isn't totally related to grammar, a tattoo of old-school writing tools is a great homage to the grammar nerds who came before you.
4. French Grammar
I can poke fun at this, well, because it's mine. But come on, people, l'accent circonflexe is totally on point. Score!
5. Quotation Marks
I guess she's always going on record with these quotation marks on her arms, forever.
6. The Ellipsis
The ellipsis can be a "handy" device when you want to quote some material and omit information. I'm digging the precision of space between these three dots.
7. Insider Grammar
The abbreviation TK is a reference publishing nerds who love grammar know well. It means more info is on the way, "to come."
8. Sequential Grammar
Grammar nerds might be familiar with how the letters "X, Y, Z," signify the end of a list. Just like these letters are the end of the alphabet.
9. Set Up For Conditional Clauses
You might not remember from grade school, but to set up a conditional clause, you begin with an "if" statement, followed by a hypothesis, and "then" a conclusion.
You're welcome for your mini-grammar lesson, illustrated with body art.