Thursday, March 4, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Grammar

In honor of National Grammar Day … it IS “March Fourth” after all … do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?


More importantly, have you read them?

How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?

For more Booking Through Thursday responses, click here.

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.

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

I agree with you. My full BTT answer can be found here: http://www.rundpinne.com/2010/03/booking-through-thursday-grammar.html

nashvillebookworm said...

I still wake up on cold sweats over my days in journalism classes and the AP Style Book quizzes. :)

Carina said...

When I went to teacher's college, they talked a lot about evaluating the grammar separately from the ideas, but not about ignoring it completely. Not sure how many people actually manage to do that, though.

My response is here.

Bibliobabe said...

I agree - grammar is important! You are lucky to have it all in your head - I could use a refresher course of some of it.

Lori said...

I don't have any grammar books, and I don't fret much about it personally. I do worry about it for my kids future though. Here's mine.

Alyce said...

I don't have any style manuals, but I do have a Copy Writing/Editing for Dummies book that has most of the common errors in grammar, punctuation and word choice set out in an easy to find and understand format. :) I used to have a style manual in college though. I just found that I didn't use it as much after graduation.

Jenners said...

Anyone who doesn't think knowing the basics of grammar is important is out of their mind. But I can see that it is important not to get too hung up on being right that you can't write.

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