Another poem about punctuation.

confused, baffled or bewildered - signpost

Grammar gurus rewrite the laws once taught in all our schools,
formerly undisputed when the teachers made the rules.

Miss taught us that a comma goes where we would pause to breathe.
Now grammar buffs say otherwise; so, who should I believe?

Some say it doesn’t matter now to who or whom you give,
or if it's prepositions that you end your sentence with.

So, you and me can write the line with ale-mugs in our hands,
while manuals of lost grammar rulings sink 'neath Goodwin Sands.


How do you feel about grammar and related issues?

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14 thoughts on “Grammercy!

  1. I love to write but editing is not my skill set. I’ve been told in the distant past that I should never consider becoming a writer because I struggled with spelling. Little did they know we’d have spell check in the future. I love to write, I suck at editing, thank God we all have our own gifts and you can hire a good editor. I get frustrated when someone will not look past a missed comma to find the intended message. Just my two cents…Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I quite enjoy editing my own work. That’s when it gets polished (and I don’t have to think about what-am-I-going-to-write-next). I also edit our writing group’s stories for self-publication in anthologies, which is why I found myself looking up so many points of grammar and punctuation. After five anthologies (and my own books ) I hope I’ve learned not to over-edit. Standard punctuation and usage doesn’t always fit with the individual writer’s voice so, as long as the sentence makes sense, I’ve learned not to force it into the straitjacket. But then, I’m not a proper editor.


  2. I have Grammarly and ProWritingAid to help me. I was floored when I used the word ‘whom’. Grammarly corrected me and wanted me to change it to ‘who’! Are you kidding? I was shocked.
    If the rules of grammar are becoming so fluid how do we know what’s right and what’s wrong? Grammar is the basic building block. If we’re not sure how to construct the basics how are we going to make sense of anything? It’s going to be a free for all. That’s insane.
    Many people still don’t know the rule behind using ‘me’ and ‘I’ in a sentence.

    I have a Bible app on my phone. The following is from a 1395 English Wycliffe version:

    Genesis Chapter 1, verse 1:

    In the bigynnyng God made of nouyt heuene and erthe.

    If spelling can change, why not grammar? I’m not saying this because I agree, but because I’m confused.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does change (who and whom are a case in point. ‘Whom’ became unfashionable because so few people used it – or knew how to. I still prefer it though, when I can use it without sounding forced.)
      Colons seem to be unfashionable, but there are times when nothing else does the job (although most times now I’m giving in and using a dash).
      I think ALL our writing group use the word ‘whilst’ which seems outdated to me. But I don’t change it to ‘while’ when I’m editing for the anthologies because ‘whilst’ is their choice. I suppose it’s our age…
      (There’s another one up there. I was told at school never to begin a sentence with ‘but’. but I do it a lot.)


      1. OMG!!!! 😱I thought all those from the UK used ‘whilst’!🙄But is another craw in my side. I have used it at the beginning a sentence and felt guilty using it like that. I’ve mainly used it because I don’t want to backtrack to change the period to a comma, thus making the sentence even longer.
        Another word I got in the habit of using years ago is the word ‘amongst’. Is that a word that’s used mainly in the UK? Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit weird using it knowing it’s a ‘British’ word, but I like it. Does this make me a traitor? Will I be tried for treason by my own government? I don’t even want to think about it.😪
        It seems to me it all depends on the whims of those who make up the rules.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. True – grammatical errors do give a bad impression of the organisations that let them out into the world. It complicates matters for the creative writer though, when English usage seems subject to the whims of fashion, with no official mandate other than the advice of writing gurus.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am knocking 70, but my mother was an English teacher and quite keen on how the language was used. I remember having a teacher at school who used to make us parse sentences down to the nth degree, until it became so automatic that I now do it …well…automatically. I do make the occasional slip-up, but the thing that really annoys me when I see it are sentences such as ‘He and me went to Birmingham’, when it should be ‘He and ~I~ went to Birmingham’ Firstly, because having lived on the outskirts of Birmingham I fail to understand why anyone should want to go there voluntarily (only joking – honestly!), and secondly (and really) because it’s so easy to sort out. Missing out the first two words of the sentence you get ‘(He and) ~I~ went to Birmingham’; you wouldn’t say ….’Me went to Birmingham’.

    Alternatively, of course, you could just put ‘We went to Birmingham’, which would solve a lot of problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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