Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Grammar Musings

I have been reading novels since a very young age. I completed reading my first Stephen King novel in grade six at the ripe old age of what? Twelve? My mother has always encouraged reading and writing in her home, and I suppose that is one of the few things I can happily remember about my home life.

And so, with a lot of reading comes a strong grasp of the English language. I’m proud to say that I received 100% my first year in college in English, and around 90% the next year. This was business English so that meant a strong grasp on grammar. Yes, punctuation is a very serious thing to me.

I cringe when I see 1337 (leet) and yet I’m fluent in the language. Why? Because it’s really just butchered shorthand. Yes, I understand shorthand. No, I’ve never taken a course on it. And while I can understand shorthand, and realize some of the benefits (shortening words like you to u and though to tho), I’m greatly against it. Why? Because, to me, the written word is special. It’s not something that should be taken for granted, and thrown to the side because there are more important and/or fun things to do.

Writing, for me, is a gift. I have a very strong grasp on grammar, punctuation, proper spelling, and description. It is what I was born to do. To express an idea through the written word. I love to write. Fan-fiction, novels, reports on the most random subjects. I can not express how much I love to write! And writing these Musings Threads is great fun! I enjoy being able to show off my talent, and my ideas and thoughts, and have other people read them and respond.

I have a love of repetition, mainly threes. I love, love, love to write about Doggett! Like such. I have absolutely no problem with fragmented sentences (I do read Stephen King, after all), but only if they make sense.

To punctuate a sentence improperly is to make my eyes bleed. I cry when I see the improper use of a period, or exclamation mark. Actually, no. The improper use of an exclamation mark pisses me off to no end. Because it makes the writer seem like they are ‘exclaiming’ or close to shouting their responses. I once ran a Role Playing Message Board called Dizzy Seagulls (there was more to the board than that) and another called Hell’s Gate (about a post-apocalyptic world), and there was this one member who used the exclamation point as if it were the only punctuation she knew.

Let me show you an example:
For instance! if she were to write about her favorite character! Sephiroth! she
would not use a comma or period!

Oh. My. God.
Shut up.

It hurt to read her posts. I’m not kidding! Especially since I’m prone to reading all text like it is a novel. And yes, I can get really into novels. And it made it even harder to have in depth stories. Let’s not even discuss the hours I spent fixing the grammar and spelling mistakes in her posts when I decided to save part of the Hell’s Gate story.

So, you know what? While I’m an open-minded individual, and can understand most any point of view, there is one view that I can not understand. The view of the shoddy-wordsmith. You know who I mean. The one who spells most words right, but just can’t seem to give a damn if s/he gets it right or not.

I don’t understand how certain people just can’t use the written English language properly – unless English is not your first language, because in that case I understand wholeheartedly how hard it is to learn a new language! It’s those people who claim English to be their mother tongue, and yet kill the language the moment they put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.

It’s a hard thing to put up with. I am friends with a lot of high school students as I used to be a band officer for a cadet squadron, and a lot of those kids use 1337, and can’t write worth a damn. And I have certain friends who can’t spell, but still like to use the internet to talk to me. It hurts my eyes worse than a badly out-of-tune lead-trumpet player (and trust me, I’ve heard quite a few of those) hurts my ears.

I guess I just don’t understand how people have a hard time with the written word. I see words when I say them or think them. Which makes spelling certain words backwards a cinch. So yes, if you play Cranium with me, you know I’ll be able to answer all the spelling questions!

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I’m grateful that most everyone on this message board, and every other message board I frequent (and there’s quite a few of them) have a strong grasp on that thing I love the most (well aside from redheaded men in kilts and uniforms – THAT is my top favourite thing in the whole world).

Thank you.

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