G is for Grammar

Today is the last day of week one of the A to Z blogging challenge and I honestly can’t say if I’m relieved or not. This has been a tough week, as I am not used to blogging every day, but it has been really fulfilling as well. I’ve gotten to read some incredible posts, meet some inspiring bloggers, and put myself out there for the world to see (that was the absolutely most terrifying aspect of the whole thing).

For the last post of the week, I decided to change things up. My theme is Everything I Love about Writing. However, no matter how much you love something, life is not perfect. There will always be aspects that drive you nuts, ones that make you lose your mind. For me and writing, it is grammar.

 

grammar correct

 

Here’s the ugly truth. I hate grammar and it’s a mutual thing, grammar hates me right back. During school, having to slog through grammar could reduce me to tears. I loved to write as a child, but until I was about ten or so, it was really hard to read any of my stories because they were basically one long run-on sentence.

Of a necessity, I learned grammar. But I hated it, hated having to curtail my imagination and stories because of grammar. I was like a bird in a cage, futilely battering myself against the bars. There were many tears, meltdowns, and loud arguments with my mother (who was also my teacher and a bit of a grammar cop) about grammar and its place in the world. Still, with much angst and fighting, I slowly mastered grammar and my writing improved.

 

grammar police

 

Today, things have improved. I acknowledge grammar (and editing) as a necessary part of writing. After all, if you love something you have to accept all parts of it. Grammar and I have a neutral relationship, the anger and angst are gone but we will never be best friends. When I write, I ignore the grammar check (I often turn it off entirely). Then, when time for editing rolls around, I sigh and groan a little bit, but I ultimately use grammar to check it over and make my novel a better one.

Still, I maintain that learning grammar for the English language is a job and half. Because America is a melting pot, we have snippets from languages all over the world. I’m glad that I’m a native speaker, because I wouldn’t have mastered it otherwise. I’m including a poem below that shows how crazy it can be at times.

 

So what do you hate, or love, about grammar?

 

http://www.icaltefl.com/dearest-creature-in-creation  (I dare you to try and read it out loud all the way to the end)

Words: Identical yet infinite

As an author, words are my stock in trade. They are the door that allow my into myriad worlds and they are they magic that allows me to convey those worlds to others. But in truth, what are words? In the English language, the alphabet is composed of only 26 letters. Imagine that, a little over 2 dozen shapes allow us to formulate an immeasurable amount of words. Not only that, they allow us to convey anything that the human imagination can come up with.

Also, even though words can look the same and/or even be the same exact word, their meaning can change. Take, for example this mug:

coffee mug

Although grammatically correct and spelled right, the four hads are rather overwhelming.  Indeed, instead of clarifying it, I found that I had to read it a few times for its meaning to sink in fully. But, although somewhat confusing, when read, it does convey a sentence that makes sense. So although all four hads are identical, every single one changed the meaning of the sentence until you arrive at the final meaning: The woman has felt no effect from all the coffee she has drank.

Another thing I am fond of are the games where you take a random list of letters and make as many words as you can from them.

make words

It trains your brain to be flexible, to think beyond the words that we use every day. It’s amazing how the same set of letters can be combined in so many different ways. Identical yet different.

Identical

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