Grammar. The bane of many, the pride of word perfectionists.
Grammar is the way in which words are put together to form proper sentences.” (OxfordDictionaries.com)
In writing, proper grammar is important. Unless the writer is driving a point, such as adding the use of wrong grammar in dialogues for better characterization, it must not be taken for granted. It makes things clearer and less confusing. With it, the writer is more able to convey the message s/he wants conveyed.
I admit to being a bit OC about grammar. I especially hate that I also often catch myself committing grammar mistakes. Sometimes, I write and re-write and edit, then I go away for sometime, only to go back and re-read and find those mistakes. Ever experienced that, too? (Yes, I know I should add “Have you” at the start of that last sentence). It’s annoying, yet I don’t beat myself up about it. English is not my mother tongue, after all, and it’s not the language I grew up using at home.
I am more forgiving when others make those mistakes. Not all are writers and not all writers are keen on grammar, anyway. Prime example is William Shakespeare, that famous Englishman we (well, most of us) know. What most consider as his time’s old English wasn’t as old as we like to think.
“William Shakespeare’s early plays were written in the conventional style of the day, with elaborate metaphors and rhetorical phrases that didn’t always align naturally with the story’s plot or characters. However, Shakespeare was very innovative, adapting the traditional style to his own purposes and creating a freer flow of words.” (Biography.com)
He wrote in what others called as street language. That just goes to show that not everything stays the same. What is taboo now may be considered as quite acceptable in the future.
I am not saying forget grammar. I repeat, “It makes things clearer and less confusing.” To be clear, proper grammar is not exclusive to English. Whatever language you use, make sure to avoid mistakes. For a writer, it is very important especially when something is essential to the story.
It’s not something to fight over for superiority’s sake, though. These days, it seems there are people who are always ready to point out others’ grammar boo-boos, despite the original words being easily understood already and the message not being lost in translation. They want to prove their points when others just remember them as know-it-all bullies feeling high and mighty, which is usually true. No wonder they are called Grammar Police and Grammar Nazis (forgive me if this is politically incorrect as I am just using a popular term).
It’s okay to correct people, but quit doing it at every turn, every occasion and just wherever (like social media). Do it in private as much as possible. No one wants to be corrected in front of everyone else. If it’s just a little mistake, leave the person alone and get a life! Unless that person is a writer and you’re his/her editor, your unsolicited advice is very likely unwelcome.
That said, I have compiled several YouTube videos that are quite funny. ENJOY!!!
“Weird Al” Yankovic warns against committing Word Crimes. Hit it, Al!
Commit a word crime and you meet…the Grammar Police (NOTE: I am NOT endorsing anything)
I couldn’t let go of this “serious” vid (seriously, quotation marks when Weird Al said don’t use them for emphasis???):
Stephen Fry fries and roasts grammar buffs here.
Lastly, here’s the cute Grammar Love Song created by students for their English Language class 🙂
I tried not to talk about the obvious G word to use, but grammar is just really perfect to talk about when it comes to writing! So I wrote something brief and decided to make the post a bit fun by sharing vids.
Did you enjoy the vids? Are you a grammar nerd? Tell us!
This piece serves as my Letter G post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.
If you’re interested:
A for Alibata – How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way
B for Block – “How do you personally deal with writer’s block?”
C for Contents – Contents with all the Feels
D for Dialogue – Why Dialogue is Important
E for Edit – Mark Your Words!
F for Fictional Characters – “Which fictional character that you created is your favorite, and why?”