It used to be we thought that people who went around correcting other people’s grammar were just plain annoying. Now there’s evidence they are actually ill, suffering from a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder/oppositional defiant disorder (OCD/ODD). Researchers are calling it Grammatical Pedantry Syndrome, or GPS.
Maybe you’ve heard of the grammar gene—its technical name is the FOXP2 gene—which may be responsible for a variety of grammatical ills, such as the inability to construct compound/complex sentences or to effectively deploy the passive voice. Now there’s evidence that a variant of that gene, FOXP2.1, may actually cause us to obsessively correct other people’s grammar, or should that be, to correct their grammar obsessively? The discovery of this gene, alongside new evidence from fMRI scans of brains exposed to real-time grammatical errors, has led some scientists to predict that soon we may be able to find a cure for GPS, for many sufferers a debilitating, off-putting, sociopathic syndrome.
Found this in the comments (!) of this Awl post (which I actually thought was kind of awful and super painful to read, but attributing my creative forefathers and the information genome and all that (check out Sarah Miller’s other posts on The Awl instead)).