Thursday, March 4, 2010
More importantly, have you read them?
How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?
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In a way, I'm embarrassed to admit the answer to this question...
I have several grammar, writing and style books in my house. I have a few MLA guidebooks, a few AP stylebooks from my former life as a reporter, several grammar books and a bunch of other random writing and grammar books. Most of them come from my college years, where writing and style books often were required course books, but I keep them around because I think having references is important.
I don't refer to/read them particularly often, mostly because I've internalized many of the grammatical rules. I'm not being elitist here or anything, I just spent so much of my life writing and teaching others how to write that the rules just became second nature.
Grammar is incredibly important in my book. I cringe when I see misspellings and blatant grammatical errors in my reading, whether it be books, newspapers or blogs. I've been known to point out errors on signs and in advertisements to friends (Most notably, the "20 Items or Less" checkout at Wal-Mart - AHHH!). It bothers me when I hear obvious grammatical errors on TV and in movies, except when a character's background supports poor grammar. These people are professional writers and should know their stuff, but many don't.
Unfortunately, grammar is overlooked far too often in schools now. I have friends who went on to become teachers and were told, during their student teaching tenures, not to "worry" about proper grammar on papers. It was the ideas that supposedly counted. As a result, we have kids who cannot form coherent sentences but who spend so much of their time writing through text, instant message and blogs. It's just sad and makes me fear for the future of actual writing.
I could go on for a lot longer on this subject, but I will spare you all my grammar diatribe. In short, yes, grammar is vital and I strive to use proper grammar at all times.