Ascent 64 – National Grammar Day

GramarI’ve long been fond of writing in a proper manner albeit today was the first I’ve actually observed National Grammar Day. (I’ll be double-double checking this post to ensure no grammatical faux pas, or fodder for the grammar police.)

English is such a beautiful language, as enshrined in the myriad of works throughout the ages. It is deliciously complex at times and mastering it is akin to a long-term love affair. Since I was a young child, I was an avid reader. While the other kids were out chasing balls or impressing girls on their bicycles, I was comfy on the sofa with my nose in a book, happily traversing time, space, other dimensions and fantasy worlds.

I’m a believer that reading is one of the most essential activities for our kids. And, my son Christopher is a testament to that. He had a college-level vocabulary at 8 or 9 and could engage many adults in conversation. He would also spend many hours reading on a variety of topics and loved a good tome as much as his Dad.

I remember the classes in English Language and Literature in school. Some were engaging, others were (at times) excruciating albeit they contributed to my passion for the language today. Which serves me well as I am an aspiring writer and often write articles & blog posts.

It is rather interesting being English in the United States with the differences in spellings and terminology. Two cultures separated by a common language. The spell checkers often irk me as they don’t like my Anglo spelling of many regular words. I know I could switch the base language of my computer or phone to Her Majesty’s English yet that seems like the easy way out. I confess there are times when my grammar is questioned and I use the “That’s how it’s done in England” retort. Amusingly, many happily accept it as I strive to stifle my smirk.

GoodGrammarI confess I do like to draw on my vocabulary when I write. Not to impress, but rather to more appropriately illustrate and provide context to that which I am attempting to convey. The proliferation of text and IM has impacted the language somewhat as it encourages the use of acronyms, abbreviations and slang. Which are, of course, perfectly acceptable if you’re throwing out a brief message. For true correspondence & intercourse, it’s like conversing with a neanderthal – an unfulfilling exchange for both parties.

Do I judge people on their grammar. That would depend upon one’s definition of the word ‘judge’. Good grammar is a great gift to oneself – and to the world. The prose you construct could serve to educate the next generation. Are you contributing to evolving the love of the language or to it’s demise. Not that I’m trying to exert any pressure.

Thank you for accompanying me on this meander down grammarly lane.

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