Grammar Nazi is usually how they describe someone who corrects other people's grammar (or spelling, or other errors).

Is there any expression that shows such a person in a positive light?

I ask because the person being corrected might actually be grateful about it and want to show this Grammar Nazi in a positive light.

For example:

John Doe is a real ____ . If he hadn't pointed out all the mistakes in my résumé , everyone would think I was a fool and I'd still be looking for a job.

I'm not looking for terms implying generic smartness. This term should specifically imply John Doe is good at English (or any other language).

EDIT: This question asks for an "alternative expression" which should be "funny, slightly reproachful, but not really offensive". It accepts the answer 'Grammar police', and other top answers include 'pedant' and 'fascist'.

I'm looking for a positive term. And those answers aren't applicable here.

  • @FumbleFingers: That OP is looking for something "funny, slightly reproachful, but not really offensive". I'm looking for something positive. Not really the same thing. (Also, I didn't see the question earlier as the title didn't have "grammar nazi")
    – Tushar Raj
    May 24, 2015 at 14:34
  • 2
    How about "Grammar National Socialist"?
    – Hot Licks
    May 24, 2015 at 17:19
  • 1
    @JohnLawler: No arguments there!
    – Tushar Raj
    May 24, 2015 at 17:20
  • 1
    Has 'Grammar Buff' been considered? May 25, 2015 at 1:28
  • 2
    This is an old question, but I stumbled across it because I'm heading into a job interview for a position that involves copy-editing and wanted an answer if they ask "Are you a Grammar Nazi?" Maybe I'll say "I prefer Grammar Ninja." Oct 1, 2018 at 18:27

3 Answers 3


We grammar nazis refer to ourselves as "educated", "meticulous", and "amazing".

I'm assuming you're looking for an idiom; unfortunately none is in common use. I suggest the use of the word "savvy".

John Doe is really grammar savvy.

  • +1 for Grammar savvy. You might wanna add some of these example usages to add credence.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 24, 2015 at 15:24
  • * sniff * That word smells distinctly like slang. I'm positive I would reprimand the use of it, both in speech and in writing. Educated is more like better, to be honest. ;) Aug 7, 2019 at 19:04

I'd vote for something like stickler for accuracy. In fact ODO even uses that as an example:

stickler noun
A person who insists on a certain quality or type of behaviour:
he’s a stickler for accuracy
I’m a stickler when it comes to timekeeping

  • Good choice, but I went through google book hits of the phrase. It doesn't seem like this phrase is exclusively used for accuracy in grammar/language.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 24, 2015 at 14:12
  • "Accuracy" in what sense? "Accuracy in reproducing my opinions" is the usual one. May 24, 2015 at 15:59

If you wanted to peg such a person in a positive light, refer to them as a grammarian:

A person who studies and writes about grammar.

So: "John Doe is a real grammarian."

Much more flattering than Grammar Nazi.

  • 1
    Yes, but not all Grammar Nazis study grammar regularly or write about it. But they can't stand if someone writes 'your' when they mean 'you're'. Doesn't take a grammarian to know the difference.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 24, 2015 at 14:24
  • @Tushar: To be meta-nazi a moment, in my experience the target demographic (those that call the educated "grammar nazis") are much more likely to write "you're" for "your".
    – David Pugh
    May 24, 2015 at 15:39
  • @DavidPugh: Ah! The hypercorrection. That's even more unfortunate.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 24, 2015 at 15:41
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    I'm sorry, we grammarians resent having our name taken in vain. Anyone correcting others' speech or writing without being asked to has not studied -- or at least has not learned anything about -- English grammar. Such people are simply ignorant and should be ignored, unless they become aggressive. May 24, 2015 at 15:57
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    @JohnLawler Oh, I think anyone who would diplomatically apply the term "grammarian" to a "Grammar Nazi" would do so tongue firmly in cheek.
    – Gnawme
    May 25, 2015 at 1:53

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