Monday, February 1, 2010

I Correct Your Grammar Because I Love You.

I've experienced a strange phenomenon several times in my life: I tell people I'm majoring in English, and they tell me they are going to stop talking to me.

"Why?"

"I don't want you to correct my grammar."

Funny thing is, I will.

In a lot of contemporary literature, basic grammar conventions are broken, or flat out abandoned, like in McCarthy's The Road, where he uses absolutely no quotation marks. What people need to realize is that you have to know and understand the rules before you can break them.

I've often told my friends who natively speak a language other than English that you really can put the words in whatever order you want, and even make up words, and people will understand what you are trying to say. This is true. However, that is conversational. There are definite conventions in writing. An understanding of these conventions gives you tremendous freedom to express yourself. And everyone wants that.

I'm likely to tell you my grammar is perfect. You shouldn't believe it. There is the occasion, just like a full moon on Friday the 13th, when I'm not 100% certain about what I'm doing. One of those occasions was with capitalization of titles for works. I'm going to blame this on having to learn both MLA and APA documentation. Nonetheless, I found the most useful blog post on an even more useful blog about capitalization. Brilliant.

5 comments:

Reader Riah said...

Awesome link. Also, great job transitioning through this blog. You kept my attention, and even made me want to go learn more about capitalization (especially for titles of works). I like that you "label" your blog, and reference modern works. I still want to read "The Road." (I also know that book titles aren't quoted, but blogger won't italize a comment).

profeditor said...

The story and direct quotations drew me in right away. You have a style that is unique and unconvential and it works great for this particular blog. The attention-grabbing title and narrow topic really interest me and I'm excited to read more of your posts. I would like to know more about what happened with your whole capitalization experience!

MaryAnn Widerburg said...

I liked your tone. It kept me interested. I also liked your link. I liked how you said a lot, but your post was short. I would have liked a little more practical information.

fictionmagician said...

haha. very fun. thanks for the link. great reference to the road too.

Amanda E said...

I really like your blog post title and your introduction. I could immediately relate your experience to my life. I also like how honest and open you are with your readers.

Post a Comment