Dear Minerva,

As a dedicated advocate for human rights, I do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. I do, however, judge people based on spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. How do I prevent this bias from thwarting the potential development of deeper relationships? While it's only fair to acknowledge the complexities of the English language, I simply can't suffer the daily abuse of improperly applied quotations or apostrophes distorting plural nouns into possessive form. Did 80 percent of Americans skip school in the third grade when their teacher explained the critical elements of homophones? What about the tragic overuse of non-words such as "irregardless," a double negative in a single word, and the strangely epidemic "supposably?" We are not amused.

—Grammar Queen

Your Majesty,

Excellence in grammar is quickly fading away. While I share your frustrations, I also realize education is a form of privilege. All education is not created equal. Regional differences account for many grammatical woes, and with Idaho considered to be the "Mississippi of the Northwest," I turn a deaf ear. Language is evolving constantly. Regardless of how we feel, "irregardless," used since at least 1795, is now a word. "Supposably," while a word, is almost never correctly used. Part of living a graceful life is realizing people may not live up to our personal standards. Excellence in grammar is a noble cause, but so is striving for tolerance and acceptance. I reckon it ain't worth frettin' about, doll baby.

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