Grammar Police

Just thought I’d write a few notes about spelling and grammar.

My cousin and I talked about this once.  He thought spelling and grammar rules existed to box writers in, to limit their expression of ideas.  The author Jon Katz says he never goes back and changes his mistakes, he is constantly moving forward and doesn’t get hung up on his mistakes of the past.  I can respect that, though I will point out that he is a very good writer, and many of us would have a complete mess on our hands if we took this approach.

Also, for the many people to whom the rules make no sense, they discourage writing at all.  And that is sad.  I think everyone should draw and paint and sing and write.  It’s what makes us human.

But correct spelling and grammar aren’t meant to obliterate your voice or stress you out, they’re meant to lend your voice strength and clarity.

I’m not the most articulate person in the world.  I can have a hard time getting my ideas across.  When something is written in a legible, structured way, at least there won’t be any confusion caused that way, and you can focus on the ideas being communicated.

I’m a good speller and grammar rules have always just made great sense to me.  I used to shut down on anything I read if the spelling and grammar weren’t correct.  I’ve trained myself out of this, because that REALLY is limiting.

Grammar is a tool to be used to further clear communication.  For God’s sake, don’t worship a tool.  But use it if you can.


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