18 May 2008

Their Is Know Try Only Dew

I've complained before about my writing grammar. My spelling is good, but I admit to being a novice in the grammar department. I was in my thirties before I discovered the love of writing. What a difference three years makes....

I've enrolled in college for the fall (GO ME!!). Now picking out classes and such, I've decided to kick things into gear by taking some grammar classes. In the meantime, I'm in a quest for knowledge. I discovered myself lapping up information on Grammar Girl.com. This website makes me feel especially ignorant.

I had a dream once that the amazing blogger Scarlet gave me the Best Blogger Spelling Award. I remember thinking it unfortunate that it wasn't a Best Grammar Award. She is highly educated so in my dream it made perfect sense. She had noticed my ignorance in such things and redirected her attentions in a positive way with the Best Spelling Award. She is cool that way, dreams or otherwise.

In the days following, I got an email. I had published a story to a website that displays public submissions. To my dismay it also displays public critique (aka. writers getting spanked publicly).

I thought to myself that I must be a dunce. How very stupid of me to think I could run with the best of them? Me. The Woman Who Made Many An English Teacher Roll In Their Grave.

It's okay. I continue with bad grammar, and they roll back over.

"Comma splice, run on sentences", was my critique. I was wounded to the core, and (see my NON comma splice here) if there was a way to send a virtual finger, I might have been tempted to tell Mr English Major that he is number 1.

I'll show you a comma splice...

I want to yell, "I know big words. Lots of words.....like mellifluous and indefatigable. I have the Genius Edition of Magnetic Poetry on my sparkly white fridge! I read my thesaurus for fun, you cretin! That counts for something!"

I never asked for his critique. It wasn't as if he was a childhood friend who coincidentally gave me the same, but far gentler critique a few days ago.

You see, I had asked for her positive input. She is a good friend and reads my blog. Not once couched in her sentiments was there any mention of commas or splicing, let alone the loud and brash, "COMMA SPLICE, RUN ON SENTENCES!". She had gently reminded me that readers want short and long sentences. I was happy to hear this and in turn, I did not want to throw a Websters Museum Edition dictionary at her head. I did not want to tell her to get lost. I did not tell her that she was a virtual number 1.

However, instead of wallowing in my own blogger misery, I will focus on the grammatically-correct Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try."

I would bet though, he never wrote a comma splice in his life either.

~Bee is an indefatigable soul intent on writing mellifluous prose.


Jamie Dawn said...

So what if your grammar sucks?
Of course, you should work on that, but that has nothing to do with whether or not you have great stuff to write about and great stories to tell.
My dad is a superb storyteller. He does not spell very well, and his grammar skills are far below yours. His writing is superb though, and I'd rather read his terrific and hilarious writings than some boring bozo's work that is perfectly unbearable.
Keep writing and enjoy it! Good luck with school this fall!
Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Whistle Britches said...

My grammar's in the kitchen baking cookies.

Danielle said...

You know, grammar is highly overrated. I feel a wee bit qualified to comment on this since my employer thinks enough of my writing to pay me for it.

While I do bemoan society's decreased emphasis on literacy in general, I have found in my experience as a technical writer that what really matters is whether you get your message across. Yes, I just ended my sentence with a preposition, but this just proves the point that I am trying to make in my feeble I-have-only-had-one-cup-of-coffee way: if you're hung up on the mechanics of your writing, then you're not concentrating on the content. You write some of the best content around, so who cares about the grammar? I know I'm not coming by your blog to see if you misplaced a modifier (in your defense, you're more likely to misplace your keys) or left a preposition dangling. I come by for humorous insight and I'm never disappointed.

Furthermore, the Number One Rule of any kind of writing is Know your audience. If you are writing a textbook on English grammar, then yes, certainly do worry about your grammar. (Although the argument can be made, and indeed, I am making it, that that's what editors are for.)Blogging, on the other hand, is a fairly new art form and the "rules" are fast and loose. (Although sarcasm does seem to be a key requirement, thank God.)

If the eggheads want to locate comma splices and run-on sentences let 'em. I'd be wiling to bet dollars to donuts that the aforementioned grammar cop doesn't have a loyal fan base eagerly awaiting his next missive, which to me is the true sign of success for a writer.

Just my .02...

Grammatically yours,


Doozie said...

so how do you like THEM comma's!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't like blogs that make me feel like a dunce. I reject them, I FLAG them

Skerrib said...

Good for you college-lady!

What on earth is a comma splice??

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

My grasp of grammar is fairly flawed as well. My general rule? If the sentence makes sense and if you don't mentally stumble over it, it works. I often read questionable paragraphs aloud to myself to make sure they flow right but that's about it.

And I? Was an English major. Yup.

Anonymous said...

I hold true to the belief that correct grammar is overrated! My grammar sucks, but I write the way I talk, so if they want to critique the way I write, they are in essence critiquing the very core of who I am (deep breath) and how I bring me to my blog. So there! I love the way you write...correct grammar or not : )

R said...

Looks fine to me. You are a great writer. That is what editors are for.

Gen said...

Good for you! And in the blog world, good writing isn't necessarily confined to proper grammar, BUT here's a great book I think you'll love:

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English

It answered several of my sticky grammar questions, and it's an amazingly interesting read.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I'm with Kim. If it reads well, and people aren't going to stumble on it then whatever. I figure when I'm a published writer my editor will sort all that, hee hee.

Lia Hollander said...

iz lika how u speelz stuff

(And yay for college!)

Angela said...

I bet Number 1's blog posts aren't near as interesting as yours. Correct grammar can be a thing of beauty. But sometimes slightly incorrect grammar adds interest. Take everything with a grain of salt because your blogging is YOUR blog... and that is a thing of beauty. Number 1 can stick to his hanging out on online forums doling out criticism. Phooey on him.

Whistle Britches said...

yeah, I agree with Angela.

eyes_only4him said...

In my eyes, your grammer is flawless..

does that make u feel better sweety?

Jaina said...

I don't even notice it. I think you're doing just fine, your writing is wonderful, so what if it's not 100% grammatically perfect? That would be so boring!

holly said...

it's about danged time you enrolled, woman. you're too smart to not have some credits up yer butt. yes, i said that.

and this is the blogiverse, hello, i didn't know there were frickin' rules about how you can say stuff.

oh, wait, we should all have to get licenses to do this! yes, that's right, make us all take courses!

feck that i say. i say "bee entertains me, so shut yo face!!"

oh you see, if i'd only have known, i could have given the polly-pocket-style smackdown!!! i'm dying to give this kind of person a comeuppance, never everland style...

Dapoppins said...

I skimmed this post, saw grammar girl and thought I should tell you that I have been there too!

Blank said...

I teach college, and I am TELLING you that you will rule the classroom. You will be the teacher's pet. They will sleep with your term papers under their pillows. You will make them feel like awesome teachers.

I have something for you. Email me.

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe