Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GRAMMAR: Who needs it? Blech!

So, I'm reading this tiny little book about grammar. Tiny. So tiny I actually looked back at my Amazon bill to see how much I paid for it.

Well, if you count the days (okay, truth, weeks) I've spent trying to read it, I suppose it's worth it's money in that regard...WEEKS of grammar learning entertainment.

Of course, sarcasm abounds here (except for the fact that I'm struggling to get through this massive textbook). It really is a GREAT book. Really. I wouldn't lie.

I *am* learning a LOT. Just like I learn a lot when I'm flossing my teeth and rinsing with Listerine. A lot. (Think about it... I'm getting the junk out and then using a sterilizing rinse... that's what we do when we improve our grammar, right?!)

Here's what I learned today:
"A common blunder is the use of a singular verb form in a relative clause following 'one of...' or a similar expression when the relative is the subject" (page 9 of this wonderful book, really it is). Seriously. Page 9. That's how far I've gotten after weeks of reading. Granted, I read a 750 page Koontz book and now I'm reading a 1000 page King book in that same time period, but I digress.

For example (of the grammar rule listed above):

wrong: One of the smartest writers who has attacked this problem
right: One of the smartest writers who have attacked this problem

Who knew? Not me. Guess I should spend more time reading this book. But sometimes I think grammar is a pain in the patootie. And yet, for some reason, it's required if you wanna be a published author. Go figure.

FYI: This post is time stamped 1:11 on 1/11/11, just in case you wondered.


  1. Oh you do make me laugh! I'm with you thinking grammar can be a real 'pain in the patootie'!!

    There's a blog award for you over at mine...

  2. Hmm. I wonder if they're going to stop teaching it that way in schools, then? It makes sense, but... that's not what's being taught.

  3. I never got grammar. It befuddles me. I was once rejected for using "whom" in a poem.

    A POEM! for crying out loud.

    Keep us up to date on your progress, Margo.

  4. Su - interesting! I have no idea how they're teaching it in schools. Let's start a revolution!!

  5. Your name caught my eye - it's so Irish! I'm with you on the grammar issue, I find it's something I have to constantly work on. It is always The Elements of Style I return to. (and I'm sure you're not supposed to finish a sentence like I did that last one!)

  6. That is so weird. I always thought "one" was singular, and that you didn't count prepositional phrases like "of the writers." Grammar is so confusing!

  7. Aine - love your name! Thanks for stopping and commenting.

    Carol - I agree. Totally. But apparently, I'm not the boss!