My Manifesto

TypewriterA friend recently confessed that she feels intimidated about commenting on my blog because she’s worried about making a mistake. I thought I should talk about the intention behind this blog, particularly the posts that relate to grammar and punctuation.

So, without further ado…

I love grammar. Seriously. I know it’s weird but I really, genuinely do.

I don’t think grammar has to be boring or intimidating or overly complicated. I think it can be interesting, painless and fun (yeah, I told you I was weird). And I certainly don’t think making a grammatical mistake is an unforgivable crime against humanity, unless someone actually dies because of it.

This blog is here to entertain and inform. I want you to laugh. I want you to say “Cool. I didn’t know that.” And I want you to feel free to comment if you are so inclined.

I delight in your feedback and truly hope all my readers feel comfortable commenting, discussing or asking questions. I promise I will never be a jerk and point out mistakes (unless, of course, you explicitly ask me to).


47 thoughts on “My Manifesto

  1. Thank you for your manifesto and for your invitation to comment on your blog without any fear of being picked to grammatical pieces.

    Cool! SoundEagle loves that you love grammar. If /when you should be so kind as to visit SoundEagle’s blog, please feel free to “be a jerk and point out mistakes of spelling, grammar or misplaced punctuation” by all means, as SoundEagle would be greatly honoured and edified. . . . .

  2. Hi – this is great! And nicely timed. I am taking a KILLER grammar course in my Masters in Writing program at Johns Hopkins University. I may be back with questions! Right now, my head spins so after class that I can’t even frame a question!
    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed post.

  3. ah. thanx for reminding me of a class i took in cawleedge: the only undergraduate linguistix class. you’re not surprized i got a “D” — and studied hard and really (really) enjoid it. anyhoo: the teacher said that “language is constantly evolving” and we should not have constraints on spelling, etc. hmmm. (i’m not helping langwage evolve, much, eh?) WARNING: i’ll be back! as you’re fun. refreshing. you don’t have a bunch of cats, do you?

    1. Ha! Thanks for your comments! I agree, language is always evolving. The dictionary has seen a lot of new words added just in the past 10 years.

      I certainly hope you’ll be back! And no, no cats at the moment, just way too many dogs! πŸ˜‰

  4. It’s refreshing to see writers who still believe in the importance of proper grammar. I enjoy reading your stories!

  5. You should read my blog. I’m Dutch and have a lot to learn to write in English… πŸ˜‰ I can be hard to find the right (English) words to express my thoughts and feelings…

    1. I visited your blog and I think you do a pretty good job writing in English – certainly better than I could do writing in Dutch! Your artwork is beautiful, by the way. Keep up the great work!

  6. So, why is it that young people today simply cannot – seemingly for the life of them – manage apostrophes? I teach PR, Marketing et al at university level and am appalled by the lack of literacy and numeracy skills in those who have spent twelve long years in primary and secondary education. And the little bastards can’t spell let alone write competently. Aaaaagh!

    Never mind, I’ve had my medication now and the blood is gradually seeping back to where it should be.

    But, geez, it’s annoying! Hmm . . . perhaps some more medication. These bottles of Jim Beam just aren’t big enough but the pharmacist assures me I’m doing well.

    Like your blog, your manifesto and the way you go about it. All power to you, Suzanne! Best wishes from Down Under, mate!

    1. First of all, thank you very much for your comments David! I hope you’ve found a good balance with your medication… πŸ˜‰

      The apostrophe abuse – along with all the other grammatical atrocities out there – used to drive me crazy too. But the only way people will learn is if someone teaches them, which is what brought me into the wonderful world of blogging!

  7. Ah, the medication. Working on spilling less than I sip. Might get it right one day! Yes, your equanimity is well-placed, Suzanne. We gotta teach ’em. I just feel sorry for them (that they don’t know) and that the education system has let them down in terms of preparing them adequately for life. Though, given the impact of social media on literacy, one despairs of ever having future generations able to express themselves meaningfully. Guess we just have to work harder. Hope you have a lovely day, mate. David.

  8. I am a copy editor as well, self-taught ever since I skipped college to pursue jazz. My pet peeve (and we all have them) is the misuse of the apostrophe in “its.” I tell my husband, “Unless you are saying ‘it is,’ there is no apostrophe.

    Grammatical mistakes jump off the page when I read the paper. I cannot believe some of the inept uses of semicolons, etc.

    Finally, when will the radio and TV networks stop talking about “people that” instead of “people WHO”? Yeah, my family calls me the Grammar Nazi, but my daughter graduated high school as Valedictorian and still uses complete words in her text messages to me!

    Suzanne, we are two peas in a pod. Cee u in da funnie papperz! Amy

  9. I love that your daughter uses complete words when she texts you – that’s awesome! I’m happy to meet a fellow pea – welcome to my little pod!

  10. I used to teach middle school Language Arts. I do think grammar is very important but I do think producing thoughts into words is equally important! So, I would comment about mistakes in grammar at the bottom of their papers and never red marked all over them. It encouraged them to write more freely, in my head, that was so special to be able to read more of their thoughts. I have a daughter who is missing the spelling and grammar “gene!” I tend to tell her that her artistic flair is what makes people love her and she is an excellent artist and expresses herself in words well. Writing it tough for her… Thanks for the thought provoking blog!

    1. What a great approach to teaching! We are all different and it’s so important to recognize that. I’m glad your daughter has a mother like you, who is so encouraging and accepting. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I am an avid writer, but I grew up during a period where creativity was more important than grammar. By the time I got to college, well my third attempt at college, a community college, I was a pretty good writer, but I struggled with sentence grants and run-on sentences during my writing 122 class. I decided that I needed to know this stuff, so I enrolled in Writing 121. I did a lot better, but I was struggling with concepts such as thesis statements, I took Writing 120.
    My real learning came when I volunteered to be a writing tutor. I began studying grammar books. I still have a lot to learn. Thanks for this blog.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Susan! So much can be learned when you take a hands on approach like that. My passion for grammar really exploded when I took a class in German. Seeing the differences between the two languages was so cool and so intriguing. πŸ™‚

          1. Let me know when you figure that out. When I was younger, I tried to just sleep less and sometimes to not sleep at all, but that didn’t work in the long-run.

  12. Hi Suzanne! I completely agree with your manifesto. I think that grammar would be a lot more accessible if people could just write about it in a friendly and entertaining way, like you have. I’m trying to do a similar thing on my blog and it was inspiring to see what you’ve done here. Hats off to you! I will definitely enjoy looking through the archives. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Sue! I am always thrilled to meet like-minded people. Now I will have to come and visit your blog! πŸ™‚

      1. You’re welcome to drop by anytime. πŸ™‚ BTW after looking at your website, I realized we’re both members of the EAC. What a small blogworld!

  13. I think I’m in love with your space already!
    Having written nothing meaningful (except for e-mails) since college, I’m enjoying the journey back into the English language. I hope you don’t mind if I hop over here and learn more as I go. Bravo!

    1. I don’t mind at all – nothing pleases me more than sharing my passion with others.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. πŸ™‚

  14. I’m looking forward to your posts. “Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style” inspired what I thought were some great pieces I’ve written in the past. I’ve caught little grammatical errors in posts on my blog, and I’ve corrected them, but that just tells me I need to spend more time working on my grammar before I publish. πŸ˜‰

  15. I just found you, and it makes me happy to meet other who love words as much as I do! I was looking for an easy explanation for my son on semantics and pragmatics (and a whole slew of other topics….because, you know, the rabbit holes) and found your site. Love it! Thanks for being here.

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