Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Post 2466 - You Have Spoken!

My goodness. I muse for a few paragraphs about "who" and "whom" and the world opens up and tries to swallow me whole.

I have received many comments from many people telling me about their grammatical pet peeves. I have received many comments from people who would like me to start a new series about English grammar and punctuation and the like.


I'll do it.


I will write about things that are clearly grammatically wrong. I will explain the difference between "its" and "it's", and what a split infinitive is, and the difference among "there", "their", and "they're". I will tell you what a terminal comma is (there's one in the previous sentence!) I will tell you when to use a semi colon, and what a run on sentence is. I will wonder along with you why people sometimes use a whole bunch of periods to mark the end of thoughts/sentences/whatever they are. I will try to put to bed "lie" and "lay", as well as the difference between "which" and "that".  We will have a good time doing this.

What I will not do is stand over you and beat you over the head with this stuff. I will not be your Grade 10 English teacher who made you memorize the modal auxiliaries and phrase structure rules and all that other crap. If you are looking for that, look elsewhere. There are websites, boring ones, that provide that information.

The English language, as I know it, is a beautiful thing. It is lyrical and rhythmic and full of great wonder. That is what I will write about.

As for my own writing: I like to write simply with relatively short, declarative sentences, and paragraphs that aren't too long. I don't use that many of the things that I will write about (sorry: "about which that I write".) I think about my 4.7 readers and how much effort it is to parse a long paragraph full of big words that only show that I ready have access to a thesaurus and that I read the complete Sherlock Holmes when I was eleven (I laughed out loud when I read one SH story in which Dr. Watson said something about completing his "morning toilet").

I will also figure out for myself whether a sentence that ends with a right parenthesis should have a period before it, or after it. I struggle with that one, as you can see in the previous paragraph.

If you have any grammatical issues you would like me to address in this series, then please let me know. You can tell me via a comment on this blog post, to my Facebook or the Bevboy's Blog Facebook fan page, or as a reply to the tweet that heralds this blog post. You can also send an email to the official email address for the blog. Your choice. Love to hear from you.

Please note that I have created the labels "Grammar" and "Punctuation" to help you find all of this entries in this series.  The posts will not have a consistent name such as "Bevboy's Grammar Lesson, Part Ten", or whatever.

I will jot down the list that I have received so far. Over the coming months we will figure this out together. Your feedback, as always, is most appreciated.

Let's do the first one... tomorrow!

See you then.


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