I suck at grammar, so sue me. Since my inception (is that the right word?) into this industry, I’ve been struggling to learn how to properly punctuate a sentence. The only problem? I’m using the term “learn” loosely. The truth is, I’ve been lazy. Editors have picked up the slack for me. I’ve been reprimanded for horrible uses of the comma, the semi-colon, and of course, the exclamation point!
It sucks even more that I claim to be a writer but lack the necessary equipment to qualify as one. I couldn’t be a plumber without a plunger.
Or, could I?
I began writing by accident, and I didn’t think I’d ever make it this far, so I didn’t care too much about brushing up on (or learning, for that matter!) English. I wanted to write words, lyrics, poetry, and creative essays.
To be honest, I didn’t have a fair shot from the get go anyway. I learned nothing in high school about writing, grammar, English, punctuation, or rules. NO JOKE…. I even spent my senior year in HONORS ENGLISH. (That just occurred to me.) I came from a very small farming community— population 1,300 people. Anyway…. it gets better, I promise……
My high school English teacher called me Sparrow. His play on words did not go over my head.
Sparrow, the species of birds ——> Robin, the species of the birds.
Sparrow Brain ——-> Dense
Hence ———-> Sparrow
He was hilarious, or so he thought, and probably dead now.
I obviously got an inadequate education in anything to do with punctuation, grammar, and the rules of the English language (I already said that), although I’m pretty sure I was taught something. I can’t blame it all on Mr. Griffin. Can I?
In college (community college, that is!), I scored so low on the English portion of my entry exams, I’m assuming the administration thought I was from Russia, and that English was my second language. I was placed in English 125BCD (or something dumb like that), and remember being shocked at the syllabus. I’m pretty sure we had to study spelling, and how to keep a journal. Once again, NO JOKE, I still have the book, and the only thing I remember from that class was how to annotate as I read. Which to me—considering I was from B.F.E., was the coolest thing I was ever taught.
For the record: I still write in every book I read. “I learned that in college, YO!”
Considering I only lasted three semesters in school, I failed to complete anything beyond the “English for the Lazy” (note: I’m ONLY referring to myself here. Considering there was absolutely NO GOOD reason for me to score so poorly, I can only chalk it up to stubbornness and laziness.
So, today, as I attempt to live as a full-time writer, I understand the perception of my authority is based largely on my ability to SPELL, and PUNCTUATE.
Until recently, I assumed a grammar-editing program was cheating, but apparently, it’s not cheating at all. It’s called being smart!
Have no fear friends with hypothetical red ink pens! I have paid for Grammarly and will no longer bother you with inadequate writing skills (just kidding!).
I write as I speak, rarely use a thesaurus, and become confused with an overload of lessons I’m rushing to learn. I’m developing the curriculum for educating myself, and that, my friends, takes a lot of time.
My freestyle writing days are behind me.
Live well, and comma on! <—— (did I get that right?)
Note: This post was checked using the software program. If there is any additional editing required in this piece, please direct your comments to the help desk at Grammarly.
*Post originally posted at Bubblews.com by Robin Matteri*