Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Photo credit: mconnors from morguefile.com
I love words. I love our language. I love punctuation. Three reasons I love what I do.
What I'm not always so good at is putting the things I love together in a grammatically correct fashion. My critique partners will attest to this. To me, a dangling participle and a dingle berry hanging off a dog's behind are pretty much the same thing.
But I'm trying. I really am.
I have Strunk and Strunk & White (I thought they'd be a lot thicker). I have Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, and I have the 15th Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style which continues to read a bit like a foreign language to me. The CMOS website is pinned to my Top Sites page because usually it can lead me to the page in the manual I need to attempt to decipher.
My ear has always been where I first hear a bell ringing when something's off. That comes from growing up in a home where people spoke often and well. I can usually spot what, I just couldn't always tell you why.
Even though I'm not a whiz at grammar, I love it just as much as I love words and punctuation. When grammar is mangled (via my ear alone) I have to resist a desire to shriek. Phrases that have become acceptable in our daily conversations should be revised or wiped out.
Here's one: "Irregardless . . . " Huh???
Or . . . "Where are you at?"
What, or who, has helped you the most grammatically? Or are you a natural?
Do you have any grammar peeves the rest of us could learn from?
CR: On Edge by Barbara Fister.
It's all better with friends.