Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Grammar and Gaaah!

Yes, like taxes and other tedious paperwork items grammar must be dealt with. Whether we consider ourselves to be editing or revising we need to be able to handle the tool of grammar with alacrity (meaning with a brisk and cheerful readiness).   What happens if you are like me though? I am comma dyslexic. It isn't a syndrome that is openly discussed but any of my readers and teachers would say "Gah! That Jan! She either uses way too many commas or none at all."  I might add that I am exactly the same with maps. I can follow maps easily - I use them constantly - I love them in fact. But I cannot remember them. If I'm not looking at them they are gone - where is Connecticut? Somewhere above New York and below Maine. Like that - and I only know that much as I have actually gone there many times.

So for some forms of grammar and punctuation I need to be constantly vigilant in my revising. I also need help - other eyes. Other sorts of grammar issues are not normally a problem for me. I don't have a problem with its and it's or farther and further. I keep Strunk & White's little book(The Elements of Style) on my desk at all times.  I read so broadly and deeply that I instinctively know when I've made most (non comma) grammar errors. I like reading nerdy grammar blogs - like Grammar Girl - Quick and Dirty Tips which is jam-packed with lovely easy to understand tips on proper usage of our glorious language.

Okily-dokily! That's it for today.  Here's a photo of one of my dear grandsons showing me how to do a headstand!


Margot Kinberg said...

I love that 'photo, Jan! He looks so alive! As to grammar, it can be really onerous to go over it and over it. But in my opinion, a story is just better when we use effectively the tools to tell it. Grammar is a tool; the more skilled we are at wielding it, the better the product.

Jan Morrison said...

I completely agree Margot! I just need a lot of help with it. (see tomorrow's post!)

Hart Johnson said...

Your grandson is fabulous! I find the WORDING part of grammar relatively easy--verb tense, agreement, all that. It's good. Punctuation though, can be problematic. I speak in a slow halting way, so tend to really overuse commas, ellipses, and em-dashes.

Trisha F said...

Other eyes are essential! It's amazing how many times you can revise a passage and still miss a typo someone with fresh eyes will pick up immediately.

Susan Scott said...

Grammar, so essential. I like commas and semicolons but probably overuse them. 'They' say that reading one's mss out loud (when no'ones about) can give a good idea of the flow whether clumsy et al ..

Thanks Jan. Catching up only now.

p.s. yr 3rd line where you say 'me' - that always kills or confuses me .. should you have said I i.o. me, to be grammatically correct?