Rant of a Grammar Nerd, Part 2

September 26, 2011

So you still think grammar isn’t important? “I can write however I want” you say “I can write and write and write and go on forever and my meaning will still be perfectly clear I will write run-on sentences to my little heart’s content there’s not a thing you can do about it so there ha I told you so.”

Horrendous. My fingers are bleeding just from typing that hideously incorrect “sentence.” Grammar isn’t just an archaic conglomeration of smudge marks that snotty, learned people call commas, semi-colons, and hyphens. Grammar is an essential part of writing. No matter what occupation you get yourself into, you’re going to have to write. Trust me.

If you still don’t believe grammar is important, check this out. I did not write this, but I think it’s pretty cool.

Version one of letter:

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
Yours,
Jane

John was not happy with the first letter. But then he remembered that dear Jane had always had trouble with grammar. So he thought and thought and thought, and he finally moved the punctuation around so that the letter said this instead:

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy—will you let me be yours?
Jane

Sure, the letter is a bit awkward, but it gets the point across. Learn yo grammar!

And, what you’ve been waiting for…

3 More Grammar Rules

1. To, Too, and Two

“To” is a preposition.
Correct usage: My mom gave a gift to me.
They went to the mall.

“Too” means also.
Correct usage: I’m going to study for the test, too.
Gerald, too, wants to attend the dinner party.
(Notice that “too” has commas around it.)

“Two” is a number.
I want two pieces of cake.

2. Good vs. Well

“Good” is an adjective, which means it describes a noun.
Correct usage: You did a good job in the game.
This milkshake is really good!

“Well” is an adverb, which means it describes an adjective, a verb, or another adverb.
I’m doing quite well, thank you.
You did really well on your test.

3. NEVER EVER EVER EVER put a period or a comma outside quotation marks. EVER.
I could go on forever about different rules regarding this principle. However, this one makes me the most frustrated, so I chose it.

DON’T do this:  “Mom,” I said, “I’m leaving for school”.

Nonono!

Write this: “Mom,” I said, “I’m leaving for school.”

Sigh. Okay. I’m going to be okay. I’ll get over my OCD someday. Until then, I’ll still get gray hairs and lose a few years of my life every time I spot a run-on sentence or grievous punctuation error in a printed publication.

Grammar = <3