Home Bio Schedule Sponsors Photos Contact

Sunday, October 21, 2007


My day was almost ruined on Friday when I returned from skiing at Hatcher Pass and sat down to read my email from the day. (Almost-- luckily I'm pretty resiliently in a good mood.) It wasn't because there was any depressing news, rather it was because of the depressing grammar. Misplaced apostrophes and misused homophones abounded. Those were only some of the more flagrant errors that accosted me. There was one atrocious newsletter that I received. I'm sure it had good content but I haven't a clue what that content was because the grammatical errors distracted me from actually reading the newsletter. The only thing I really remember, and I remember it like a scene of carnage that you didn't want to see in the first place but still can't get out of your mind, is this: "make sure your kids ski's are in good condition." It's enough to make me cry.

I'm not speaking from a holier-than-thou perspective: my written grammar isn't perfect. My spoken grammar is worse. When I speak I end sentences with prepositions and when I write I tend to often split infinitives. (you're not laughing at my joke?) If I were to start my own club it would probably be "Jocks Against Grammatical Abuse". JAGA for short, and I'd pronounce it with a soft "j".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would a soft j be like the Z in Zaza Gabor?

October 21, 2007 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Granny said...

As long as you are discussing grammar, please consider the verb "lead" as in "He leads me beside still waters." If you want to refer to the past, it needs to be "He LED me beside still waters," not "He LEAD me beside still waters." Nuff said.

October 22, 2007 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mishandled possessive's get my goat.

October 22, 2007 8:54 AM  
Blogger LAV said...

j pronounced like a "y" which maybe I should not have called a soft j.

Thanks Granny, I know I've made that mistake a lot. Keep pointing it out (but hopefully you won't have to).

anon- you're making me cringe.

October 22, 2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the grammar rant! While I self categorize as "not grammatically perfect," I still care. Here's an article you might like on quotes and the placement of the period. Although I don't like Mr. Safire otherwise, his weekly column is usually a fun read.



October 23, 2007 6:10 PM  
Blogger LAV said...

thanks for the link Beth. It was an entertaining article. Punctuation & quotations is something I haven't really gotten finalized in my mind yet.

October 23, 2007 7:24 PM  
Blogger Knut-Eric said...

"At the same time, though, I have no patience with those ignorant and silly beliefs about good English that have bedeviled us for so long. Such fetishes as insisting on it's I , not ending sentences with prepositions, and avoiding split infinitives are all dismissed as the nonsense they are."

from the introduction to R.L. Trask's wonderful Mind the Gaffe (which I highly recommend).

Grammar has never been this entertaining.

October 25, 2007 8:12 AM  
Blogger Colin R said...

ApostropheAbuse.com will probably drive you crazy, then.

October 29, 2007 9:18 AM  
Blogger LAV said...

colin r- I'm still twitching in agony from reading apostropheabuse.com. save me!

October 29, 2007 12:29 PM  
Blogger LAV said...

Knut-Eric, I might have to ask for Mind the Gaffe for Christmas. Although I'm not sure I can handle it challenging my cherished grammatical beliefs.

October 29, 2007 12:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Blog Archive