There is No Limit to Learning

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This chapter titled "Correctness", from the book Style by Joseph Williams, packed a punch.  Williams starts out simple by writing, "To a careful writer, nothing is more important than choice, but in some matters, we have none - we can't put the after a noun, as in street the.  But we choose when we can" (Williams, 8).

I followed his knowledge clearly as I read, but Williams put many rules and clarifications into 18 printed pages; and that is a lot to take in at once.  For instance, what are Hobgoblins?  This is what Williams says about it, "For some reason, a handful of items has become the object of particularly zealous abuse.  There's no explaining why; none of them interferes with clarity or concision" (Williams, 19).  This is the first rule he puts with the explanation: "Never use like for as or as if."

Now I feel as if I am really learning something.  (As you can see, I had resisted using the word 'like' in that sentence).

Williams goes on to talk about words that attract special attention, (some of which I learned a more sufficient definition for) and then pronouns, clauses, and folklore: Oh my!  I now know that I have to reread this chapter a few times to fully comprehend these rules; most of which I learned in middle school but couldn't always remember.  All of these grammar technicalities rub me the wrong way.

I feel the same way as my classmate Maddie does about grammar; I never really caught on when I first learned it and I always based my knowledge of sentence structure on what sounded right to me.  However, after reading this chapter and already applying some of the rules to my writing, I have high hopes for the rest of this book and what affect it will have on my writing structure.



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