Becky Says...

January 2004

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January 29

By shortly after lunchtime today, enough of the ice had melted that I could see a welcome sight---pavement in the parking lot. So I got myself to work, finally. It was a little odd to have Monday on Thursday, but I was glad to have the chance to get a little caught up. Getting there tomorrow should be even easier...a lot of melting took place today.

After work, I had a chance to read some journal entries. Two in particular caught my attention. Selila and Christina both have written pieces that provide much food for thought, with commentary on grammar and spelling and judgmental people.

And I agree with them. I have written to both of them. To Selila, I mentioned that I not only get paid to proofread, I also invent words when I need one. To Christina, I mentioned that grammar was intuitive for me, as well. In my case, I think it's that my loves of words and music come together, and I know how the constructs should sound.

But something I don't love is ever making people feel bad for making grammatical errors. It doesn't make someone less intelligent if they make an error. It is something the smartest of us do from time to time. And in personal communications, it really shouldn't make a rat's ass worth of difference.

I have to admit that I sometimes correct people without being asked for the correction. I try only to do it if the person has used a word so wrong that it changes the meaning of what is being said. For example, there is a huge difference between "interment" (burial) and "internment" (imprisoning someone), though the two are often mistaken for each other. And I do try to be polite about it. This doesn't make me right to do it. I think I should print this paragraph in large letters and red ink, as a reminder.

Grammar is a lot like etiquette, I think. Neither should be used as weapons.

Text copyright 2000-2004 Becky