Grammar Shrammar

A few weeks back I was surfing around on WordPress and was checking out the “Freshly Pressed” blogs. I came across a blog by a man named Jim called Down the Road. The featured blog article was called “Defending Good Grammar, Sort of“. The entire article was inspired by another blogger named Penelope Trunk who believed that we judge people on the lack of good grammar and maybe we should stop doing this and judge people on their “ideas, creativity, and enthusiasm.”  I was drawn to the blog because I am a stickler for good grammar. A well-written sentence, an organized essay, an articulate article are well worth my time. A poorly written piece of writing just isn’t. Of course I’m saying this as a girl who doesn’t text – and that’s where all this argument is coming from. The land of emails and texting has caused a new language to come about, but this isn’t the first time that grammar has changed.  A few years back I read the book Undaunted Courage by Steven Ambrose. This is the story of Lewis and Clark and has a fair number of first person narratives from the journals those boys wrote. And – their grammar sucks! Not only did they not have the time what with all their exploring and such to be sure to spell everything correctly, back in the day (or at least in that day, so says Steven Ambrose) there wasn’t just one way to spell a word and the rules for grammar weren’t as well-defined as they are now. Yet, when you read those journals you totally know what they are saying even if words are spelled wacky. So is it really that those of us who LOVE good grammar are in the right or are the rules for grammar in a transition period and there may be changes a comin’?  Who am I to judge what the kids are doing? Maybe the next generation is changing the way we use language we should take a cue that the world of grammar will have a new face and that’s OK. 

Really, I wasn’t planning on writing about grammar at all but in fact just wanted to share a cool quote from Jim’s blog – but my thoughts on grammar just spewed forth… so here’s the one sentence that has stuck with me that I wanted to share: “Unless you’re disarming a bomb, good enough is just right.” I liked how this summed up that perfection is sometimes so unattainable (even in our writing) that maybe we need to just let go.

PS  Please let me know if you see any misspellings or poor punctuation or a dangling participle or … oh nevermind. I don’t really want to know.

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