Sunday, October 27, 2019

Another loss...

It wasn't the fainting or even the forgetting that told me something was terribly wrong with me.  It was the mistakes in my writing.  I never had mistakes before.  Okay, here or there since no one is perfect, but this was all the time.  My boss noticed, because she is a rather skilled writer.  I can give her that even though we oft differed greatly on how something should be written.  She noticed and was not happy at all.  Me?  I was staggered.

I had to edit myself all the time.  And it got to the point where I had to ask my dear friend Becky to edit my assignments for work.  I no longer trusted myself.

I no longer trusted myself as a writer.
That was devastating.

My mistakes were primarily subject/verb agreement and missing words.  I could not edit my own writing. It is rare that a writer can to a degree sufficient for publishing.  But I was still a rather good editor for others.  It is one of my greatest skills.


Now, I have begun to forget the rules of grammar and how to spell words.  For a long time, I have oft struggled with how to form letters.  It is why I now dislike writing by hand.  It is a truly exhausting endeavor between trying to form letters, trying to spell words, trying to concentrate, trying to comprehend, and trying to compose in a coherent fashion.  Now, add in grammar questions and mistakes, and I throw up my hands.  And yet I still believe that all thank you notes, at a bare minimum, need to be written by hand.  It is an act of respect and a demonstration of appreciation for the gift or help or honor bestowed upon you.

The grammar is a problem not only in writing by hand, but even with typing.  Especially with typing. There I am, writing along, and I get stuck on a rule of grammar.  Even comma rules!  Me!  The Comma Queen!!

For example, when you have a sentence with two independent clauses that are, rightly, separated with a comma that is placed after the end of the first independent clause and the second clause begins with an introductory phrase that is set off with a comma, do you use only a single comma after the conjunction, placing one after the introductory phrase or do you use two, placing one after the conjunction and again after the introductory phrase, which would result with a comma before and after the conjunction?

[Whew!  I believe I navigated the comma usage on that extremely long but grammatically correct sentence.  Older writing oft has sentences that are an entire paragraph long.  And they would have paragraphs that are as long, or longer even, a entire page.  Writing where you have to really work hard to follow the construction, but the reward was ever so worth the effort!]

I get caught up in grammar questions and find myself both frustrated and grieving whilst trying to write.  The sorrow overwhelms me and I stop.  I have lost ever so much, most of which few notice or hear me when I try to speak of my grief.

For me, the loss of my grammar prowess is a death knell to me as a writer.  I have been a writer since I was a young girl.  I wrote the manuscript of my first novel when I was seventeen.  It is how I make sense to the word.  It is how I speak.

I am unable to write without Google now.  Oft I cannot spell a word close enough for spellcheck to give me the correct spelling.  Google is much, much better at grasping what I am trying to write.  I have yet to find a way to use Google for when I know a word I want to use, but cannot grasp it in my mind.  But it has saved me in the spelling department, mostly, when it comes to writing with an Internet connection.

[The word "Internet" used to always be capitalized.  Is it now?  Or has that changed?  Or is it still the rule, but just one that everyone ignores, such as the proper pronouns for referencing people ("who" or "whom" but NOT "that."  ARGH!  I clench my teeth and grind my teeth every time I hear or see that error.  It is everywhere now.  SNIFF.  SNIFF.]

Googling grammar rules is more difficult for me.  I would say that, at best, I am 50/50 at finding the rule that I need.  Maybe that is because I am a fan of complex sentence structure juxtaposed with simple sentences.

An example of Google being superior to spellcheck is the word that I just used: "juxtaposed."  I wrote "juxtacomposed."  Spellcheck could not correct me.  Google asked me if I meant "juxtaposed."  I am ever so thankful for Google these days!

At least, I still have the rules for the use of quotation marks with end punctuation.  Those rules are so often violated that I believe they have been struck from modern grammar rule books.  SNIFF.  SNIFF.  They are so very easy peasy, too!  Commas and period always go inside an end quotation mark.  Colons and semi-colons always go outside an end quotation mark.  Question marks and exclamation marks go inside or outside an end quotation mark depending on their use.  Is the question mark for the quote?  Or is it for the entire sentence?  Answer that and you will know where to put your end quotation mark.  It is the same with exclamation marks.  See?  Easy peasy, right?

The rest of grammar rules?  They are slipping through my mental fingers.  And I grieve.  Deeply.
Will you weep with me?

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