grammar, the new style

ok. the title of my blog was meant to be a joke. I am not a detail girl. Meaning I don't notice things like spelling or punctuation. I especially don't proofread. I do a brain dump onto the page and hit publish. I am through and it felt good to get it all down. I like lower case and typos and especially all those little dots............. ( recently i learned they were called elipses. I used to only think that word meant more than one oval path).

Then I joined a writer's group and thought if I was going to be a little more serious about my writing I would actually start capitalizing words and cut down on those dots. I still struggle with the proofreading part, but I have most surely improved.

I tried to read Eats, Shoots and Leaves and couldn't finish. I made it about 60 pages in ( keep in mind that it is a pretty short book to begin with). I thought I would like it. I like to read about writing, I like puns, I like smart clever little books. I loved the children's version. I kept thinking it would cute and interesting any second. I kept thinking that if was a real writer I would like it, but it was boring me to tears. I honestly don't give a rip about the history of the apostrophe or care all that much about the correct usage. I finally gave up and put the book aside. I am a classic case of the kind of person/writer he was making fun of. Then I tried to read through the Elements of Style. It was also a beating. How could books about writing well be so dry? However, I assure you they were both well edited and gramatically correct.

About this same time I began the editing process for the first time since the whole "peer-editing" pass-your-paper-to-your-neighbor thing in highschool. I love reading everyone's and the discussion. I didn't think I had anything to bring to the table ( and when it comes to grammar - I don't), but I do see a few things. Sometimes I can offer a better word or say cut that sentence. I know a good word when I see one. I have also learned some "new" grammar rules. Things have changed since high school English. Such as:
1. You are supposed to add a serial comma. Example apples, oranges, and bananas. That comma before the and used to not be necessary.
2. You are only supposed to leave one space between sentences. (It used to be 2).
3. He, Him and His no longer needed to be capitalized when speaking of Christ.
I am sure there are more changes......and I am having a hard time "untraining" myself. I keep leaving out commas, and inserting spaces. They can't change the rules in the middle of the game. Who knew grammar was so fickle. Suddenly keeping up with the current rules is like the ever changing tax laws or the fashion industry. I suggest giving up. Grammar is completely over rated.

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