A Small Confession- I Actually Like Learning about Grammar

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"I know precisely when my own ...stickler personality started to get the better of me.  In the autumn of 2002, I was making a series of programmes about punctuation for Radio 4 called Cutting a Dash." 

-From page 5 of Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

 

When I read the above quote, I thought, "Why is this lady writing this book so passionately when she just became a true grammar stickler 6 years age?"  One of my very best friends has been obsessed with correct grammar for the same amount of time, yet she has never considered, nor plans on, creating a book about grammar, even though she is an English major.  It seems like she created the book for the same reason that Barbara Ehrenreich sees to have created her Nickel and Dimed--to make a great profit.  It really makes me rather sad that these books are giving off this vibe for me; however at least Truss seems to have had fun making her profitable novel. 

Despite this initial sentiment, I really have to say that I love the book.  I actually like learning about grammar.  Don't worry though--I don't diagram sentences for fun, but I am really enjoying the manner in which Truss presents grammar.  I can really identify with many of her comments on ungrammatical signs ( I even saw a horrible one today at a Japanese restaurant, but I can let them slide a little bit because they are not native English speakers and writers).  I even have some grammar pet peeves, such as when people write "alot" instead of "a lot."  I'm not saying that I am a grammar guru.  I'm sure there are some grammar mistakes in this blog entry; however some mistakes are just so obvious that they make me cringe.  I'm very glad that Truss created such an interesting grammar book so that we don't have to be bored out of our minds while trudging through the usual grammar books.

 Read some other ideas about this book

3 Comments

I think Truss was completely surprised by how well this book sold. I'm also not sure that there's anything wrong with writing a book because you'd like to pay your bills with your writing talent. Her radio series interviewed quirky and odd people who were eccentric about punctuation, sort of like those antique shows that have experts appraising weird stuff that people drag out of their closets. But her writing style is lively and she makes this important stuff seem interesting, too -- a valuable skill for a writer.

Erica Gearhart said:

Thanks for the comment Dr. Jerz. I can see that it may seem as if I were criticizing writing in order to earn money. What I really meant was that both of these books, but especially Ehrenreich's novel, give me the feeling that the authors are writing only for money rather than writing for the audience to enjoy the story for what it is. I guess I feel like they are trying too hard to write bestsellers. Maybe this is because I typically prefer fiction and am not used to the particular style of non-fiction writing; however I have read quite a few non-fiction pieces that have not come across as these two have. Take a look at my second blog on Truss' book too. As I read on, I began to see the errors in some of the comments I made here. I agree with you completely-there is nothing wrong with writing to make money, and whether or not Truss' main goal was this or not, she does make this stuff fun and interesting.

Kaitlin Monier said:

I understand what you mean. I am not obsessed with correct grammar either, but it bothers me to see simple mistakes. Most common errors are something that should be common knowledge.

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