Grammy’s Grammatical About Grammar

It’s amazing to me that people who call themselves writers can be so cavalier about… well, about writing. It seems to me that anyone who pursues a trade would want to perform it with excellence, at the top of his/her skill level. If the person’s skills are poor in a particular area, then that person should find an alternative, something at which he/she can at least find some level of competence. Then practice until practice makes perfect, or at least the best job possible.

I was shocked when I presented to a group of writers a few months ago. I reached the place in my Power Point to talk about having a bibliography of the research they did on their books. Several of the writers said they never did research!

More than once (which is already too often), I’ve heard writers say that their content is what’s important, not their spelling or grammar. To me, that’s like a musician saying, “I don’t have to get all the notes right. I’ll hit enough of them correctly so people will get the gist of the melody.”

Or what if a ballerina thought that the audience already knew the story of Swan Lake, so she wouldn’t have to work at moving her arms to simulate a swan’s wings; she wouldn’t even have to bourrée delicately across the stage to suggest a swan floating on the lake. God forbid she didn’t have proper turnout or classic extensions!

When I have a water leak in my house, I call a plumber. If he doesn’t fix the problem, he doesn’t get paid and I get another plumber. When I read a book, if I have to mentally correct the spelling or the grammar more than a couple times (typos happen!), I set that book aside, never to be opened again.

I read to be entertained, titillated, educated or scared shitless. If I have to subconsciously correct spelling, grammar, or try to figure out where we are in the story because of poor, or no, transition, or because the author has the protagonist doing something totally out of character (didn’t the author research the character’s job requirements or place?), then the book is more work than pleasure to read.

And not only is that book on my do-not-read list, but so is the author,


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