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March 4

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BTT: News Bulletin: Grammar Brutally Murdered, Suspects Still at Large

by Ann-Katrina

TIR Books

booking through thursday It’s Thursday and you know what that means…another edition of Booking Through Thursday is here.

This week’s question is: …do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books? More importantly, have you read them? How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I could go on forever, but I’ll try to restrain myself.

To answer the first part of the question, I do. While I was organizing and cataloging my books, I decided to organize and catalog my writing, grammar, and style guides separately and learned I had somewhere around twenty (not including books on the craft of writing or storytelling). And yes, I’ve read them. In fact, I refer to some of them on an almost daily basis.

sinsyntaxclassic-guide-better-writingThe Elements of Style

To answer the second part of the question, yes, I do feel grammar is important. It’s more important than some people realize because we often don’t notice it until it’s egregiously bad. Good grammar helps convey a message with ease. Poor grammar, however, stymies it.

With the proliferation of texting, instant messaging, tweeting, and other mediums which limit the amount of time devoted to crafting a grammatically correct message, it’s as though we get to watch grammar die a slow and painful death at the hands of technology.

People may say grammar doesn’t matter as long as the point gets across, and to a degree that’s true. Grammar doesn’t need to be perfect all of the time (and I’ll be the first to admit I have my moments), but it’s important to be mindful of how your grammatical choices enhance or detract from your writing. It takes more mental power to process a passage that uses poor grammar than one which uses good grammar.

Comments on BTT: News Bulletin: Grammar Brutally Murdered, Suspects Still at Large

  1. # Jamye wrote on March 4, 2010 at 10:20 pm:

    I agree! Sometimes I think of the art of letter writing too, and how it’s degenerated into choppy texts and sloppy emails (not that I’m innocent of that!). People used to write beautiful, eloquent hand-written letters to each other, and not just writers, regular people. When is the last time any of us sent or received snail mail that wasn’t bills or junk mail? So sad.

  2. # Lori wrote on March 4, 2010 at 11:34 pm:

    It has been forever, since I actually held a real letter. They were always nice to get. Here’s mine
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday (#7) =-.

  3. # Unruly Reader wrote on March 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm:

    You hit the nail on the head! It is so much easier to read a well-written sentence. It’s almost as though writing well is a courtesy to the reader.

  4. # Jamye wrote on March 4, 2010 at 11:40 pm:

    Plus, bad grammar is such a distraction!
    .-= Jamye´s last blog ..BTT: Grammar =-.

  5. # Sara Harricharan wrote on March 5, 2010 at 12:24 am:

    Great answer! I do agree, often we do not notice how bad a piece is, unless it is really quite awful. If we just paid a little more attention–maybe we’d get somewhere. ^_^ Wish I could get my head to wrap around it.

  6. # Ann-Kat wrote on March 5, 2010 at 12:40 am:

    @Jamye & Lori: So true. I miss receiving handwritten letters. It was something I used to do quite a bit for my friends and family–write them a letter longhand and snail mail it–but I’ve been lazy. I need to start again. :)

    Also, poor grammar is distracting. I’ve given up on some books because the poor grammar pulled me out of the story one too many times. :/

    @Unruly Reader: Love how you phrased it. Writing well is a courtesy to readers; it shows respect for them.

    @Sara Harricharan: Paying attention is the key. Unfortunately (and I am guilty of this myself) we tend to be so busy that paying attention seems to waste too much time. LOL

    *sigh* I still have hope though. If everyone took an extra minute to double check, there would be far fewer miscommunications in the world. :D

  7. # Jo wrote on March 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm:

    Ooooooooo! I love your answer, and I completely agree! I think that you are right that language is constantly changing and that grammar rules change with it. Some people, however, with the advent of texting, twitter, etc., feel that grammar should just get chucked out the window. Um, no. Love your grammar! Be kind to it! It can save you!

  8. # Ann-Kat wrote on March 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm:

    @Jo: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I have to admit, your comment cracked me up. “Love your grammar! Be kind to it! It can save you!” LOVE IT!! I must use that sometime…or maybe get it on a t-shirt. :D

  9. # debnance wrote on March 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm:

    I love the format of your blog!
    .-= debnance´s last blog ..Sunday Salon: In Mexico with Pepe =-.

  10. # Ann-Kat wrote on March 9, 2010 at 1:15 am:

    Thanks debnance. :)

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