Grammatical ignoramus

Friends of mine are often surprised at how little I know about the mechanics of writing. It’s true, however. On the subject of grammar, I’m largely an ignoramus. Years ago, in school, it was one of the subjects I did worst in and I hated, hated, hated it.

I have a somewhat lengthy post on the sidelines, unpublished, that explains this to a degree. As I put it to a friend last night, in my mind it’s something like music. Some people can read and write music, some play by ear. Sheet music is all gibberish for the latter. I think I’m like those people when it comes to writing and grammar.

Whatever writing skills I have come from listening to how people talk and from reading a lot and from a broad spectrum. It is the result of imitation – mimicry, I suppose. From usage, I know what certain words mean in a kind of intuitive sense. I know how to structure a sentence and sometimes mix up the structure (or syntax) to achieve a certain effect or voice.

But I couldn’t tell you why they are correctly formatted or why they are incorrect when that is the case. I get headaches and depressed just thinking about it.

I like the idea of grammar. I’m just a bumbler when it comes to it.

My mother, were she still around to read this, would have her head bowed and be weeping in despair.

About Bill Wren

Writer, editor, social media practitioner and observer of how and where people connect and engage online.

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