Today's rant…

Pet Peeves: The grammar of prose.

1. Ellipses. There are four when they end a sentence, and three when they are part of a sentence. End of story. I’m sure there are various interpretations of the spacing around said ellipses, but I won’t endure eighteen at a time.
Example: She stopped typing for a minute… then started again after a pause. She had no idea what to write next….

2. Tweenager AOL-Speak. Grammar is, at its most basic, intended to make speech and writing logical and easy to interpret. While
Like, OMG U R so rite! Kewl!

3. Sloppy sentence construction. I don’t mind fragmented sentences, so long as they have some coherence within context. I don’t even mind the occasional run-on sentence, given some logical progression of ideas.

4. Confusion of contractions. It’s a sad thing, to see one’s peers and friends confuse contractions and possessives. Grammar is a logical thing, its rules and guidelines are ones of common sense and simplicity. If only most folk could look at the concept behind the rule, rather than the pain of memorizing it.

5. Thanks to a friend, I’m now noticing the subjunctive voice, bringing up another peeve: voices and tenses. There are tenses and voices for every situation. Use them.

6. Dangling prepositions and split infinitives. I’m guilty of these, but I’m working on eliminating them from speech and prose. Now, if only I could change the accepted syntax for idle conversation and chatting, so that my “prettified” syntax would be comprehensible to the average peer….

7. General ignorance and lack of concern for grammar. There’s a reason for it. Why complain that grammar is outdated when the most common form of expression for society is the typed word? Don’t bother memorizing rules. Focus instead on making your prose clear. If that means using a different word, please, use a new word! I for one enjoy learning new ones.

~ by jackelopette on July 24, 2003.

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