outing myself and attempting to change my ways

Some of you might be thinking I don’t use capital letters in my posts and comments because it seems to be “the thing” to do.  Others might think it’s my literary voice coming through.  Neither of those are the correct assumption.  The truth, the shameful truth, is I have purposefully not used capital letters in the hopes that you would not notice my complete and total grammar suckage.  Or if you did notice you might be tricked into thinking it was just part of the whole no caps, literary voice thing.  It’s also the reason for my love of the dash.  I am consistently confused about comma usage – and colon or semicolon usage.

I know there are rules for those sorts of things, and I should learn them.  But I don’t want to.  I want my lack of good grammar to be seen as quirky and cute.  However, I’ve now been called on the carpet for it.  I know you’re wondering who would have the gall?  The answer to that question is my dad.  I haven’t asked his permission to post the following quote from what is a very lovely email, but I’m doing it anyway.  And the only change I’ve made is adjusting C14’s name.  (I’m more than certain the last sentence I typed is incorrect.  I could be wrong about that.)

By the way, we love you and yours and pray for you and them daily. (NOTICE THE PROPER PUNCTUATION.) I know C14 aspires to be an author. Help him out with proper grammatical construction before you free him for poetic license.

If he were the only one questioning my grammatical abilities that would be one thing.  But just the other day, a Thai friend told me that she had been instructed to never ask for grammatical help from an American.  They are awful at grammar.  I know that’s a generalization.  I know some amazingly grammatically correct Americans (I even married one), but the thought that I could possibly be reinforcing this generalization has made me rethink my no caps and willy nilly grammar approach to blog posting.  I feel the need to at least attempt to change my lazy ways.

So, from here on out, I pledge to use many, many more capital letters and to do my best to get a handle on proper grammar.

I should probably carry a copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves with me everywhere I go. And maybe start working on a few Shurley Grammar jingles.

For those of you out there with superiour grammar abilites, I welcome feedback. (Think constructive criticism.)  But I don’t like being called stupid.

8 thoughts on “outing myself and attempting to change my ways

  1. Oooh. Now I’m going to be nervous when I comment. I think the beauty of blogging is that you can be relaxed and not have to ‘overthink’ things!

    No need to be nervous here. I’ll be so focused on my own grammar issues I won’t even notice any others!! And then I’ll get lazy and forget I care about grammar at all. 😀

  2. Be careful what you ask for.

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a delight. I have a copy beside me now and have gifted several to a certain school.

    But, FYI, your writing is quirky and cute. Please don’t let a new-found slavishness to grammar Nazis (me included) dilute too much the natural tone you use. Otherwise, you’ll be just like everybody else–and who wants that?

    I know, it could be very dangerous. And possibly demoralizing. But I think I’m going to take the use grammar like seasoning approach. Sprinkle a little here and there. I’ll try not to over do it, mainly because I’d be making most of it up. Which might drive some people I know crazy! Placing commas, semicolons; and colons: in the wrong place just because, I can.

  3. You are most definitely not stupid. It can and does confuse the cleverest of us. My blog friend ‘Stray’ (chasing-sheep.blogspot.com) is a very clever woman and she made this grammar cheat sheet to help herself and posted it on here (http://www.newloop-clients.co.uk/downloads/punctuation.pdf) to help anyone else who finds it confusing.

    It might not help the most with commas etc, but it’s a good ‘basics.’

    basics would be good. cheat sheets are great!! thanks.

  4. I agree with mom24 now I am nervous!

    no need to be nervous… it’s just me and my obvious lack of follow through. look no caps in my comments! 😀

  5. There is a reason I have a t-shirt containing the the top 10 reasons to be an engineer. #5 Can’t spel. There is a reason I went into a math/science. I can’t spel, I can’t write correctly, and frankly…I don’t care! I think you should blog however you feel! And if that is free from capitals and punctuation you just go right on a head!

    spelling usually gives me no problems. there’s this fancy thing on my computer called spell check (i had to pay for the upgrade) or something like that. it’s my most useful tool. unfortunately, it looks like the capital usage might take a while to adjust to!

  6. I’m not that big a fan of Eats, Shoots and Leaves; I found the tone offputting, and it wasn’t adapted very well for differences between British and American usage. But that’s just me… if you enjoy it, more power to you!

    Personally, I’d recommend Grammar 101, by Claudia Sorsby. It’s clear, concise, and not too dry. (You can see a preview here.)

    Online, you might check out the Purdue Online Writing Lab, which includes pages on comma use and other punctuation.

    With that said, I wouldn’t get too hung up on this, at least in your blog. You have a strong voice, and your intended meaning consistently comes across, which is the important thing.

    (Oh, hi, I’m Shmuel. I’m a professional editor, and I found this through Holidailies.)

    Hi Shmuel! Welcome. If a professional editor tells me not to get too hung up, I’m thinking that’s like a license to go crazy. I usually have my husband proof read anything that should look a bit more professional, but am getting better. Thanks for the links and the tip on the book.

  7. not to worry, I have the same issue. I blame it on my Mississippi grammer ‘lack of education’. I had the opportunity to take a writing and grammar training here at work because of my misuse of grammer. Anyway, I love the way you write, I like the ‘conversationalism’ of it. It makes me believe I am listening to you speak to me. Don’t lose that!

    wish I had that Mississippi excuse! at one time I knew the rules and even used them. I find it much easier when I’m actually hand writing to get it right. so for now everyone gets what they get. which appears to be no caps at the beginning of sentences for you!

  8. I love it when bloggers don’t use capital letters because I don’t find myself checking for correct grammar.
    Not that I care either way, it’s the ideas that are important.

    that means I was right!! *patting myself on the back* and you are so right, it is the ideas that are important!

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