Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grammar Police

 Photo: Amazon

Would you believe that when I first entered college I was an English major?!  It didn't last long, I quickly realized that majoring in English was less about writing and more about lots and lots of reading, and actually being able to understand the English language...ie. Grammar!

I think the above paragraph is a pretty good illustration of why I was better suited for a different major!  I find it almost funny that all these years later I write for a living.  The humor comes from the fact that, although I have a basic grasp of grammar, the subtle nuances of grammatical rules allude me!  I'm what's commonly know as Grammatically Challenged!

I have a vague recollection of learning things like participles, auxiliary verbs, and dangling modifiers.  I swear I did not make that last one up!  But like most things that weren't important to me, I learned them for the brief period that I needed them and then out of my brain they went.  You're not really supposed to end a sentence like I did that last one are you?!

So, now that I'm blogging and kind of swinging without a net, or an editor as the case may be, I've become acutely aware of every little grammatical thing.  I breeze over it about 90% of the time, knowing that most blog readers are just looking for pretty pictures and maybe a few words to tie everything together.

But deep down I know that there are others out there, lurking, scrutinizing every poorly placed preposition and run-on sentence.  Cringing at my flagrant mis-use of punctuation, especially, my excessive use, of, commas!!  Mr. Tide calls me the Queen of Commas, because I really just stick them wherever I feel they look pretty!  Hey, commas are a very underrated piece of punctuation, I'm just trying to give them a little recognition, that's all!

Photo: Amazon

And as far as quotation marks within a quotation or proper semi colon usage...forget about it!  I wouldn't know how to use those if it meant saving my life!  Thankfully I don't think there are many life or death tests based on grammar!

And don't even get me started about leaving comments.  I can't count the number of times that I "think" I've read my comment and checked it twice only to hit the button and see it there on someone else's blog, in bright neon (ok that's an exaggeration!) with the "R" missing from your, or if I did add the R then it as supposed to be you're not your!  There nothing that says, "hey, I is smart" quite like a comment that reads....

I love you curtains!  Your very talented, great job!
Kat :)

Mr. Tide and my children have a very firm grasp of the English language and all of it's unnecessary rules.  People always call rules unnecessary if they don't understand them!  And so I sometimes have to rely on them when something just doesn't look right to me.  My son said he was going to put a sticky note on my computer to help me remember when to use then and than.

Photo: Unknown

It's not that I'm a moron, oh there are days trust me, it's more that I'm always in a hurry.  My hands work faster than my brain so I can't really be held responsible for having superior dexterity can I?!  But I find that when I hit a grammatical roadblock, like when to use whose or whom or who's, I just change the sentence instead!  You may call that lazy, I call it being flexible!

So to all of you Grammar Police, I apologize.  It's not that I like breaking the laws, it's that I'm like an Adverbial Particle in a foreign land who doesn't know or understand the rules sometimes!  And to all of the blog owners whose (or should that be who's...see what I mean?!) comment boxes have been filled with my grammatically incorrect or incoherent comments, I'm sorry.  I would like to blame it on alcohol usage, fatigue, or something else, but the fact is I was just so darn excited about posting a comment and then hitting the send button that I just didn't catch my mistake!

I hopes: everyone of your have a vry nice tuesday?.!,


  1. I am a member of the Grammar Police. I can't help it! I notice whenever people use words incorrectly and inwardly cringe; I do NOT correct them. With blogging, I always proof read my posts and make corrections; heaven forbid I send out a post with something wrong in it! (It's a sickness.) But with reading other people's blogs or when people leave me comments, I never even cringe when improper grammer is used. I'm just so pleased to hear from someone or have someone make me laugh or go "ohhh", that I don't mind the bad grammar. That's the way it is in the real world, Sandy!!

  2. If the Grammar Police come to get you, then I will probably be next in line. I blame it on my conversational writing style ... which requires a lot of dots and -- dashes ... and (uh) pauses for emphasis.

    Seriously, daughter #2 was an English major at Mary Washington, and she spent 75% of her college career camped in the center of the living room couch with her nose in a book ... oops, run-on sentence.

    Proper grammar? Probably not. (sentence fragment) As long as I can get my point across, I'm good.

    I like pretty pictures!

  3. I have been influenced by my mother's beautiful grammar, my schooling and twenty years working in a high school. I'm somewhere in the middle. I like to read a piece with proper grammar but I do not fit the role of grammar police. My brain naturally notices a spelling error, but for the sake of my enjoyment I have learned to just keep reading. I cringe, however, when I see an advertising sign with poor spelling. That is when I want to let someone know. It could be bad for business. Too many commas or exclamation marks, no biggie.

    One of the beauties of blogging is that we come from many different areas and places in life. I'm here more for the experience than (then) worrying about every little fragmant or clause. And the pretty pictures of course.

  4. Great post Kat! Considering how perfect my writing has to be at my job, you would think it would carry over into my blogging. I am guilty of many of the same things in my blogging as you but sometimes I just overlook them. I concentrate more on avoiding spelling errors than anything else. If the grammar police want to issue me a ticket, so be it!

    ~ Tracy

  5. From time to time I get paid to head up the grammar police but otherwise that button's switched off! You have no need to apologize or explain anything to anyone! That's the beauty of a blog -- everyone loves you no matter what. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment about my picture wall. -- Jane F.

  6. Where you at? Just kidding. I agree with "Sandy -aka Doris the Great". I am so happy to receive any comments on my blog.

    Susan and Bentley

  7. I police my own work...but try to leave others be. (Blogging should be fun...)

    Thanks for the comments & anniversary wishes!

  8. I am always shocked at how many typos I make in comments. My fingers move faster than my brain and I'm usually watching television at the same time. I should double check everything, but I'm always rushing to read as many as possible in the time I have. I think we are all in this boat together.


  9. Too funny! I love a good superfluous comma now and then. :)

    Sweetfern Handmade

  10. "An Adverbial Particle in a foreign land" You crack me up! I try to be diligent, but most of my blogging is done at either 4:30 am when my eyes aren't fully functioning, or after a very long day. Then my brain isn't fully functioning! I have published a post, or left a comment, then cringed when I see the errors. But I would never, ever correct someone. Kathy

  11. Hi Kat,
    completely unrelated to this post but in answer to your query mixed spice is generally a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice but it can include other things like cloves and ginger too. I forget about the geographical differences and I thinks sultanas are simply Californian raisins.
    Sorry to confuse you!
    Sam x

  12. My mother was an English major and we were always corrected when we didn't speak correctly. Then I did the same thing to my children, but we do need to know these things. Cute post about our punctuation. I am a little comma happy, too. Sometimes I am not real sure where they go. I need to put a book by my computer for reference.

  13. You crack me up!!!! I imagine that even the so called experts make mistakes.
    I wrote a little note asking for post card addresses for the post card exchange last week. I copied and pasted the same one to 5 or 6 bloggers. After I sent them, I saw that I had written-"if you would like a post card from Alabamba"... AlabamBa????!! I was horrified for about two seconds and then I chuckled about it! Life is too short to worry about it!

    Hope your daughter is doing well. My poor bil ended up with blood poisoning and was put back on IV antibiotics for 3 extra days. He's is finally getting better.

  14. I am always worried that people are paying attention to stuff like that too. I am the queen of (...). I don't even know how to use them I just throw them all around.

    I'm also notorious for using exclamation points and smiley faces with symbols:) But we are blogging and not writing the next best selling novel or anything right??

    So nice to "meet" you!

  15. Oh this post made me laugh Kat!! If you get taken in by the Grammar Police, I promise to bail you out:) Such a fun start to my day (and yes I did use 2 !! and a :) and I am proud of it). ~ Tina xx

  16. I was a full-fledged english major and break almost every rule each time I go on-line ;)

  17. I love it! These comments have made my day! :)

    Kat :)

  18. Oh lordy, I should already be in jail...! ~Lili


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.