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Sunday, November 23, 2014

My issues with accepted modern grammar rules;

Things that I as a writer would like to say about grammar. At the risk of angering a lot of people….teachers, and editors especially; I want to say that I honestly believe most grammar text books should be thrown in the trash or used for kindling. Most of what is accepted in modern American educational standards is truly troubling to me. The modern so called rules of grammar are not proper according to classical English as most claim. What’s more is that even if they were they would still be outdated notions as so many of these rules are now. Language and culture is not static but ever evolving and changing. I find the failing to recognize this simple truth to be absolutely ignorant and irritating.  Another thing I would like to mention is that to have a bases in reality something needs to at least attempt to make sense and many of these so called rules do not and need to be done away with once and for all.

I will give you some examples of this. It is very common these days to write forty dollars by putting a dollar sign in front of the number instead of behind it. Why would anyone do this? It makes no sense. We do not walk around saying dollars forty…no, we say forty dollars. The sign should come after the number because that is the way we speak it. Another issue that I am bothered by is this modern practice of putting punctuation marks inside of quotations marks instead of after them, when the end of the quote is the end of the sentence. Why would anyone do this, it makes no sense. Ask yourself these questions; “what do quotation marks end”? “What do punctuation marks end”? Here are the answers. Quotations mark someone speaking. The marks at the end of the quote mark the end of said person speaking. Punctuation marks however mark the end of a sentence. How can the sentence be over before a person stops talking? I like the Judge Judy quote… “If it doesn’t make sense it isn’t true”. I have asked many people to explain to me why these so called rules are considered right and proper and no one has ever given me a satisfying or what I call legitimate answer to my inquiries. These rules need to be truthfully and honestly examined and then we can throw them out and put rules in their place that not only make sense, but that are in touch with our actually contemporary language and culture that has evolved past the old paradigms. Another issue I am having as of late is with people who believe me to be yelling at them online because I use exclamation points freely. They truly seem to believe that an exclamation point indicates a raised voice. While it could indicate that on occasion, where people got the notion that it only means that is beyond me. A declarative sentence gets a period. A declarative sentence is merely a stated fact. An example of this would be “Jane kicked the ball”. An exclamatory sentence exclaims OR speaks to a strong or intense emotion or feeling. An example would be “Dick kicked the ball hard and high, so that it flew like an angry bird”! As you see the exclamatory sentence is more descriptive and imparts a feeling. I don’t know about the rest of the world but I have many strong emotions which I can verbalize without screaming. I can have emotional thoughts without ever vocalizing them at all, as a matter of fact. So why people believe that exclamation points mean you are screaming is baffling to me.

Yet another issue that has come up as of late is that I have gotten chastised because according to the person who read my work…. “Your sentences are not structured correctly”. I am currently unaware of any American who speaks in so called correctly structured sentences. We do not speak that way and if we did it would be strangely, overly formal sounding and slightly obnoxious. We speak in fragmented thoughts and run on sentences. So since we all speak this way and understand each other, why do we not write in this way? It makes no sense to do something constantly aloud in real every day life and then turn around and call it incorrect if we write it down in the way in which it happens.

As a reader when I am reading a sentence it is slightly annoying if there are too many commas in a sentence. So there are other options I employ as a matter of regularity that I guess irritates so called grammar nazis. The first is the dot dot dot method. This indicates in modern writ an ongoing thought or run-on sentence. Another method really makes people upset for some unfathomable reason, and that is the use of the semi-colon. For people who are confused as to what a semi-colon does or is supposed to do let me offer this; among other things the semi-colon is used when one wants to join a fragmented, run-on, or additional thought to a previous sentence before one ends the sentence.

That is all I have to say for now, but I am sure there will be more to follow eventually as anyone who knows me will attest, I love to complain about that things that irritate the fuck out of me!!! Oh more then one exclamation point…I can feel the grammar nazi’s getting pissed off right now. Hahahahahaha

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