When I was at school, teaching grammar was highly unfashionable. Whole Language was deemed more nutritious, like literary wholewheat, you might say. Sadly, the output was sometimes the same. As an avaricious reader though, I fortunately picked up English and its conventions intuitively. Knowing the right way to write never seemed a problem for me.
Suddenly, I don't know much about writing at all.
I immerse myself in words. I spend the day poring over grammar books and dictionary pages, checking usage in different countries, studying style guides, practising editing tests and de-constructing texts to find out why they do what they do. The mystery continues, with each day bringing fresh revelations...
Strange misshapen creatures, such as The Malapropism or The Neologism, are everywhere in documents, hiding in the text like swamp monsters. The job is to root them out decisively, with underlines and clear identifying marks in the margins. Like a sharp shooter. Minus the jaunty boots.
The names of these creatures often sound like medieval torture instruments. And trying to find them has much the same effect. Thumb screws would sometimes be preferable.
Formatting is the devil's work. Every now and then, zombie words will pop up in a document unexpectedly. They are the undead. If you know how to drive a stake through their heart, inbox me.
Intransitive; Participle; Gerund; Infinitive; Subjunctive. This is our native language. I repeat, this is our native language.
In the afternoon, I stopped for a coffee and went outside to smell the roses which are in their first autumn flush. There were huge weeds in the garden-bed underneath, like creatures from Day of the Triffids. I sniffed with disdain and refused to look down at their Frankenstein forms. I felt much better after a few minutes of fresh air.
There will always be days when there are just too many monsters.
I recommend taking two roses and a pansy.
Yours with adverbs
How're your grammar skills? Ever met a conjunction you didn't like?