March 11, 2005

It's Really Not That Hard People

I love how Truss can take an apostrophe and a comma and turn it into a humorous, interesting, and surprisingly long section of a book.

The section on “its” vs. “it’s” definitely hit a cord with me. Last year I fixed countless copy mistakes dealing with those two words. I stood in front of the classroom yelling “With the apostrophe- plural. Without- ownership!” yet people still made the mistake. I’m not sure if I just didn’t get through to them or if the concept is truly that hard. Maybe I should have tattooed it to their hands…

Being an English major people naturally expect me to know everything about the language and grammar. Yet I’m not ashamed to admit that I certainly do not and have learned from Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. (I like to give my friends the smart response of, “I don’t know! That’s why I’m in college!” whenever I’m asked something I do not know.) I really never paid attention to the apostrophes, or lack there of, in amounts of time such as “one week’s pay” or “two weeks’ notice”. I thought the title of the movie was just fine.

Now onto commas. Ah commas, how I love thee. How I sprinkle thee all over my papers, into virtually every sentence I compose. Without the comma, I don’t know what I would do. Seriously. I’ve noticed that in my papers nearly every sentence contains at least one comma. There is just something so right to be about attaching thoughts together with a simple little mark. When I help edit a friend’s paper I inevitably add them into run-on sentences and wonder why they can’t appreciate the comma as I do. For a while though, I’m almost ashamed to admit, I abandoned the comma in favor of the dash. Now, I still a good dash and use it frequently. Yet in tenth grade my teacher told me how much she liked the dash over the ‘ol comma and I, aiming to please, converted to The Church of the Dash. However, the dash is not as versatile as the comma and I eventually went back to my old friend. Because, seriously, how many times can you put a dash in a paper?

Posted by VanessaKolberg at March 11, 2005 08:22 PM | TrackBack

Grammar branding? Sounds f-reaky, Dr. K.

Posted by: ChrisU at March 11, 2005 10:19 PM
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