June 29th, 2012, 10:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New York
Its the chalkboard
When I read posts made by a person who is a schoolteacher and said posts contain words incorrectly spelled or grammatically incorrect it totally turns me off .
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Now that I have said that I will say this...
This is not the only board with grammar police. I see it in every board. I even frequent a message board for guitar players (rock 'n rollers) and even there are many people who bring up grammar all the time.
I chalk it up to this - because of forums and the Internet more people are actually writing all the time. Now I agree with the person who said "I don't care about grammer as long as the idea gets across." I always look for ideas over presentation first - you actually get a lot more out of life if you do NOT judge people by their appearances.
That being said - when it comes to grammar I have my own peccadilloes.
I see more people misusing the term "wary" than I see people using it correctly. People will write they are "weary" of a something, or "leary" - the correct terms are "wary" and "leery".
Now - I was shocked recently to find that the word "till" is proper grammar in this sense, "I waited till midnight to turn off the light"
I had always thought the proper word was "until" and that the correct usage was the abbreviated "'til" Wrong! It turns out that 'til came from some early advertising campaign where someone colloquialised a common phrase that had the word "until" in it. Imagine my shock! I used that incorrectly my entire life until less than a year ago.
Now - as someone who has regular copy editors revising my work all the time let me tell you, you never know how truly bad your writing can be until it is scrutinized by a professional editor.
Grammar is easy. Wait until you have an editor who can't stand passive voice. It took me a year to fully understand the passive voice concept and assuage it from my repertoire.
In professional writing there is actually a conflict between good action writing and good grammar. If you always use qualifying statements your writing gets very long and boring (sort of like this post so far) - and that does not make good copy. One of my team, Janice, our culinary editor, does not use proper grammar at all when she writes, yet she is the most published writer of us all.
Try taking a 2000 word article and see if you can reduce it to 1000 words without changing the message.
Which brings up another problem I have in my writing: repeating myself. I can state the same idea five different ways, and to me it seems like I am making a different point each time, but in fact I am just putting a different slant on the same topic.
Ahhh.... writing. I am also one of the few to whom writing comes naturally. We are lucky. I ended up a professional writer even though I never sought the job. The people who needed me found me.