Friday, September 2, 2011

Fess Up Friday: I'm Not a Grammar Book, a Spell Checker, or a Dictionary

Here's another reason why I don't go out of my way to announce to the world that I write: People who unnecessarily feel the need to apologize to me at the end of an email in case they made any grammatical mistakes in their writing. Or people who use my writer status as an excuse to cut a note short, as in, "I better go now before I spell something wrong."

As a writer, I zone in on errors only when it relates to work, especially my work. I don't correct or acknowledge usage errors in friends or acquaintances' grammar or misspellings simply because I just don't pay attention to those things when I'm reading a friendly  email or Facebook comment or postcard or  whatever informal correspondence I get from peeps. And even if I notice a boo-boo, so what. But  trust me, there are pah-lenty of writers and avid language enthusiasts who like to  smugly point out to someone when they should have used lie instead of lay, the past participle instead of the past tense, and yada yada yada instead of blah blah blah, and hence, they make the rest of us look like That Steel-Eyed Grammar Whipping Guard with the Bleeding Red Pen. 

I confess: I make grammar and spelling boo-boos too. So what if I'm a writer.

And while I'm here, I also want to add that just because I write and took Latin in high school, it doesn't mean I know every word ever conceived in the English language.

I still rely on the Internet for  learning   the some of the fancy schmancy stuff. Sometimes I'd learn a neat word and think, wouldn't it be cool if I could actually use  this word out at a party without sounding totally pretentious? 

A fancy schmancy word I do like....hypnagogic. I get a lot of my ideas for stories when I'm in a hypnagogic state. What about you? Alright, DISCUSS, I say in my best Linda Richman twang from SNL's Coffee Talk.

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