Usually, this recurring post "I Love Words" is about a word I fancy for one reason or another. Occasionally, though, I'll be talking about other word-related issues. For instance, since I'm smitten with words, I also abhor their misuse and abuse. Not that I'm the perfect grammarian; I admit I'm not. (What? I never said I wasn't a hypocrit?!)
Today, . . . I have a bone to pick.
I apologize that this picture to the left here is a little bit blurry, but it's the best one of this storefront in the Port Columbus International Airport that I could find. Allow me to tell you what it says: "Heritage Booksellers, Circa 1996." Yes, "circa 1996." Now I realize, technically, that circa can be used to mean "at" or "in," but the most common usage, I think everyone would agree, is "around," and people use it most often with a date to state a time period because they're not quite certain of the actual date (i.e., usually when something was such a long time ago, there really aren't records to confirm an exact date). So, you usually see it as "circa [a nice round #, e.g., 500BC]." My point in all this? I think Heritage Booksellers can probably confirm with surety that they officially opened their doors for business in 1996 and should have used a phrase like "est." (established) in lieu of "circa."
Ok, phew! One less nit to pick this week. If you're a grammar nitpick yourself, you might enjoy checking out the various "I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar" groups on Facebook. They post some hilarious photos and observations of occurrences of poor grammar found "out in the field." You can comment on what's posted and post pieces yourself. Conversely, if grammar is your nemesis and you're more apt to join a group on Facebook called "I judge you when you judge me when I use poor grammar" (actually a group), you might want to check out Grammar Girl's podcasts or newsletter.