The Writing Process II, Part 3: From the Grammar Mafia

Godfather2Those who might have thought the Wayfarer congenial up until now must know The Godmother from New York has taken over this leg of the trip (see Uncle?) and California Girl’s backseat, engrossed in a book.

Last I checked, blogosphere was a beautiful democracy. If you are offended by what follows, remember you are free as the wind to check out or unfollow this blog. My point today is simple: learn the basics. Please.

I am not speaking of the innocent blue-moon typo. This proof of human fallibility is why we’re thankful for the saving grace of the edit. I’m not speaking to those whose native tongue is a language other than English. I’m talking to people who publish anything blissfully careless in the basics. You who faithfully streak your blog with words missing apostrophes or a whole letter as in your vs you’re, unabashed at the moments you regress to the achievements of a second grader. Before we get to the grammar, I’m talking about the mechanics that school drilled into you every darn year, third grade to middle. Do you know how to turn on the headlights so you’re visible to oncoming traffic? How’s the rear view? It’s the preliminary stuff the driving instructor wants to see you know before you pull away.

What have you to say of your intellectual laziness? Why would you give yourself license to be sloppy, to reduce your art, vandalize your presentation? If you were to take offense that I came over and markered your work, it would be curious irony given that’s what you do yourself. You owe it to yourself not to look less intelligent than you are. You owe it to your readers to be clean on paper and screen. Pave their way, shovel off the stones and debris so it’s that much easier for them. Why do you not show up to the office in slippers and the shirt you slept in – even if everyday were the Casual Friday it is in the Sunny State? An inkling of social protocol, respect for the boss. A hassle to learn once for all, you say? Honestly, it is doable. If fourth graders can get it, so can you. The mechanics are just a hairsbreadth up a notch from the alphabet. I’m not talking about complex constructions, style, voice.

Many of you have published. Tell me, would Doubleday or Bantam put out your final copy with the strings of indifferent technical blotches in your story? Okay then, would you self-publish that way? Then why in — name do you blog as you do? So you never claimed to be a writer. You’re here to share your hobbies and talk about your cat. Or showcase your art. If you’re going to put out more than two sentences and want anyone besides Nana and your best friend to see them, retain a measure of self-respect and file and sand, please. Ah, but you mean only to encourage others in their faith. Well, Scripture enjoins us to pursue excellence in all we do, and rewards the endeavor. “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings.” Proverbs 22.29. God-fearing Mafia, you must know. You’re not wired for the screws and ratchet of language; you’re a genius Right-Brain who’s busy being creative. It’s the (professing) artist who believes there is no harm in exchanging blue for purple. What musician would shrug a B for C? They might be only a note apart but a single note changes the chord, Bach lives on to say through his arpeggios of precision. Please don’t insult me. Would you be as satisfied as the construction engineer who wasn’t so worried about the details to the foundation of your house? But he was preoccupied with the layout and paint. The rigorous Left Brains get this. You might be easy about donating a penny to the Ronald McDonald House but see how happy you’ll stay with the accountant who doesn’t believe numbers must be accurate. Don’t gyp your readers.

The blitzkrieg of analogies is to bring home the simple reminder that the fundamentals remain nonnegotiable in every area of life. If you’re going to take up the dignified name of writer or poet and need some work with the simple Dos and Don’ts, do retrain yourself – once for all. I begin with the epidemic glitches which happen to be the most elementary and move up to high school for those who care:

1) Before you throw it in there, make sure it’s a possession (Sarah’s bag) or contraction (it’s = it is) you want to express. That apostrophe stands for something.

You’re book
Your book

2) On this one matter of words ending in s, I dare to disagree with the Writers’ Bible The Elements of Style by Strunk Jr. and White: The authors favor the possessive with the additional ‘s (Charles’s friend) and go on to differentiate the times you tack on the apostrophe by itself (Moses’ staff), but the distinctions are just too much. Stick to the smokers’ room. The book has been out fifty years. Language favors elision over time, likes the path of least resistance. If it can drop something, it will.

3) The pronouns its, yours, hers, theirs take on no apostrophe because they already indicate possession.

its own ethic
song of yours
they took hers
that lodge of theirs

The preposition between takes objects, not subjects.

between he and I
between him and I
between her and I

between him and me
between her and me

The law of elision, i.e. the law of human laziness, will eventually canonize alright. But all right stand as two words.

Also two words.

Use the simple subject pronoun.

Cary and myself arrived at the lake.
Cary and I arrived at the lake.

The reflexive pronouns like myself, himself, yourself need a noun or pronoun in the sentence to reflect back to.

I congratulated me.
There’s the I, the referent.

I congratulated myself.

I’m fine.  And yourself?
There is no you the yourself can hearken back to.

I’m fine.  And you?

Tanya hurt herself.
Tanya hurt her. (She hurt someone else.)

The numbers must match.
1) Each, either, everyone, everybody, neither, nobody, someone call for a singular verb.

Everybody thinks they are cool. (Here, they refer to the subject everybody.)
Everybody thinks he is cool.

2) When none means not one or no one, it takes a singular verb.

None of them are going.
None of them is going.

3) Either and neither take a singular verb.

Neither of you are coming.
Neither of you is coming.
Do you know if either of these is used?

4) It’s one number:

A number of cases have revealed that
A number of cases has revealed that
[One number of cases]

You can only think when writing.
You can think only when writing.

In the first instance, the only thing you’re doing is thinking because the only modifies whatever act follows. What you meant was to qualify the circumstance that allows you to write.

the point of what us writers are about

The underlined phrase modifies of and behaves as one noun. Try “the point of the story.” When uncertain between the object and subject form of a pronoun, cover the distraction and you’ll hear it:

what us [writers] are about —> what us are about

Now you know the phrase needs the subject: what we are about

the point of what we writers are about


If you’re still here, feeling positive that I wrote this just for you, I assure you it is not personal. How I would love the luxury of time to be able to keep track of who violated which writing law when. Maybe if I drew up a hit list of bloggers…

If you’re gun-shy at this point, you may breathe: I’m giving it back over to the Wayfarer. Decided on the hate mail? Send it to me. She’s a sweetie. I wish she were tougher. The girl refuses to police grammar in readers’ comments. Oh, homeschooling calls: Holistic Godmother goes off to teach her boy the ways of the Grammar Mafia.

Until next time.

242 thoughts on “The Writing Process II, Part 3: From the Grammar Mafia

  1. I often feature Grammar Girl on my It is funny how far we get away from the basics after junior high. I don’t think texting and other shortcut communicating has helped improve our language skills. Don’t get me started talking about movies and television. The last show I loved for language was Dawson’s Creek. Even though it was aimed at teens and young adults, the writers didn’t bow to the clique-speak of the day.—Anyway, that’s my two cents on the subject.

  2. I’m nearly too scared to comment…but I need to say that I enjoyed learning a few things today from this post! PS Please forgive any errors I might have made either here now or elsewhere in the past. 🙂

  3. You should have posted Clint Eastwood’s photo and captioned it “Make my day!” (laughs)
    Wow! I am stunned. You hit me right in the face. But you know, I love it! Your post is an eye-opener. I will try harder to proof-read my posts in the future. I really want to learn more. Reading your posts is a crash course in Grammar. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. 🙂

  4. Are you an English teacher? You must be, your attention to detail is astounding. Again, I say thanks for the corrections you’ve made on my blog, and I appreciate the grammar lesson. I am not, never was, nor wanted to be an English teacher. I’m a meditator, guitarist, woodworker and sometimes writer. I do the best at what I attempt to do but am not perfect; I make mistakes.

    • I appreciate the feedback. The Godmother was addressing the indifferent – not those who do what they can. =)
      I taught 5th gr and then the gifted n talented elementary. Almost pursued at PhD in language, literacy, and culture; have always wanted to teach at the university level. I shared glimpses of my bio in the Versatile Blogger Award post just behind the Mafia’s. Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it.

  5. O my goodness, I think I need to go back to 9th grade English and review our grammar lessons! Now I know where to go for help. I loved grammar in school, especially diagramming sentences. They were my favorites. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you could give me. I try to be as theologically accurate as possible and then after that, I try to make my writings as grammatically correct as I can. Sometimes I spend more time making it grammatically correct. Any help you could provide me would be welcomed. Thank you!

  6. I am a fanatic about grammar, but I even (re) learned a few things from this awesome post (since I’ve been out of school a few years). 🙂 I feel the way you do and am not offended. Love it and thank you! Lauren 🙂

  7. Oh my! You scare me but I love you in a non-stalker, I can learn from you way. Yes, I do know that there should have been some dashes involved there, but I am on my phone which is near death. I am the queen of the typo, and while I can find the typo of another in an instant, it may take 4000 to find my own. The comma; Oxford yes or no and after that where? So much to consider.

  8. I wonder if everyone would be so correct if, like some of my patients, they had suffered a stroke and were unable to remember a great deal of what they had drilled into them in school. If their language skills had been eaten away and they frustratingly couldn’t get it as correct as so many demand. Or if they suffered from various other plights that put them on the back foot where language was concerned, would they take my advice and write, write and keep writing to bring back those parts they had lost, and at the same time express their frustrations on the page for others to relate to. Would they shy away from it because time again they had been humiliated for being “unabashed at the moments you regress to the achievements of a second grader.”

    I find it all well and good to demean those that didn’t have the education I did… actually no, I don’t find it well and good at all. Some were out earning a living at a young age, supporting members of their family. There could be countless other reasons. Yet here they are, sharing their story. Maybe that’s not good enough for some to read because they missed a dash and used an i. I’m only pleased I don’t miss out on those stories.

    • I’m leaving this comment up and out in full view. Of course I was waiting for it.

      I trusted it was obvious that I was speaking to a certain population, those more than capable of being more careful in their craft — most absolutely not the ones you think of. That would be nuts. My heart just isn’t like that. This came not only from my love of the art but also the love for my readers.

      • Of course, I understand that, but I think the post is still important. Perhaps it was in humour but I think some of the comments are demeaning in particular the example I used. Not everyone has a talent in grammar, just as not everyones talent is maths, and yet they try and I love that. I hope people always keep trying and that people will always appreciate it. All the best.

      • Kate, it was most obviously in humor, fueled by zeal. I have never talked to my amazing readers — or anyone online — in that tone. The opening line introducing the Mafia made that clear. I have never put up a biting comment anywhere. I was not saying everyone should be talented in this way. Who in the world would say that? As I mentioned in response to the other comments, so supportive and gracious (just like my dear readers), I was addressing the careless and indifferent who know better (that is, know their responsibility to hone their knowledge) because they’re thoroughly capable. It was a timely clarion call. There IS sloppy writing online. There, I said it again. But the Mafia doesn’t worry about being liked. I don’t expect you to check this out – I know you’ve checked out, never to return – but just letting you know one of my recent posts on the writing process is entitled “keep it real.” I wish you the best out here. Peace.

  9. I don’t see any guns pointed in my direction, but I do have a lilting southern drawl in my speech and my writing. Does that constitute a foreign language? Wondering if I am off the hook. I am bookmarking this page for future reference…just in case.

    • It SO happens Godmother is charmed by southern drawls. I will tell her – out of my study of linguistics (which I mentioned in the recent award post) – that in no way constitutes a foreign tongue. Which, remember, she does not shun. Thanks for letting me know you’ve flagged it. Godmother will be pleased – she did work hard. And oh, she nods appreciation for the follow and plans to revisit. Love, Diana

  10. Valuable post! possibly essential when I review my posts when I’m to bored to write something new but feel like I have to work on something.
    I love the series!

  11. A good grammar review can help. I just read your post on cliches and misuse of my favorite vice, the exclamation marks, and I feel self-conscious about this urge to slap one of those offending pieces of punctuation right here! There! Back before “there”. Sorry! It’s as foul a vice as smoking.

    That’s still tho fewer than my excitable nature demands I use. The hardest part of writing, for me, is to remove dozens of exclamation marks from text before sending it out.

    Give me credit, too, for missing the opportunity to misuse “less” in the sentence “…That’s still fewer….”

  12. In this tome, you allude to a change in Miss Congeniality. As a beautiful democracy, one need not submit themselves to the blog, which is a bit like a world set up that we might never have found.
    You assert that one at least learn the basics of writing, so that when one questions him/herself, he/she should know the answer; it was given.
    You are not worried about blue-moon typos, which refer to the hand-eye motor skill of typing or looking at the page/screen. One of those babies is forgivable, but if you keep it up, you know what the conservatives say about abortion.
    You can’t just publish anything! You are duct-taped to the chair and the sword is drawn.
    There were mechanics drilled into you, entire human beings, were sent through the drill bits of Craftsman hand-held motors and you can’t even remember? It doesn’t matter, it is as simple as turning the lights, and can’t you do that?
    Sadly, all those mechanics were men and as a man I don’t remember. What I remember were literary events, like T.S. Eliot’s monotone in the library, but I can’t tell you what he said. Now, I might not be as impressed. Apparently, for you the mechanics were easy.
    I don’t have intellectual laziness, although I really do. I like to concentrate on the dreams and not on the facts.
    What if I told you that I am blind to a point? I can go over and over something and not see. I agree that it is best to pave the way and make it easier for readers, but I would never ask that of Foucault or Heidegger. I don’t like to blame readers.
    I don’t believe in social protocol. I believe in comfort, especially as a writer. And the boss, as far as I can tell, is only the boss when he tells the truth. I am not much for the outward signs of wealth, but I am certainly jealous.
    Anyway, it is 3AM. I don’t have any complex constructions, no style, and no voice.
    I have always done my best, and I am sure this is the case for every person.
    Luckily, these writers are not looking for jobs as contractors. They are just playing. They might not be as smart or dedicated as you. Maybe, they are great stockbrokers. Lucky they aren’t competitive. I know a lot of Medical Doctors and Lawyers, who write beautifully.
    “But he was preoccupied with the layout and paint.” Should there not be a comma and the lower case “b” in butt?
    Wow, I love that reminder about the fundamentals. I am learning a lot about that concept. I am fundamentally flawed. Maybe I was meant to improve myself.
    What is “elision?” Well, that’s not fair. I hadn’t heard of it. And is language a person?
    I agree with you about dropping words for the sake of a confident stop.
    That was simple about the words that already indicate possession. There is no me in any of it.
    I am not going to go anymore with this. I like how as you say it, sarcastically; it reminds me of Sin and Syntax. Confidence is appealing, no matter who is speaking. I like these fundamental rules. I will have to reacquaint myself with the times in the past, where I probably wasn’t paying attention. I am sure girls were far more important. Who am I kidding?
    Good job, you make a fine teacher.

    • This was no comment. It was a guest post.

      “You can’t just publish anything! You are duct-taped to the chair and the sword is drawn…it is as simple as turning the lights, and can’t you do that?” The ! is no cliché here. Purrrfect. I don’t like anyone to speak for me. But you put your finger on IT.

      Most, men indeed. What is it with you guys? Right, preoccupied with the girls.

      Yes, tell the truth. But
      TELL IT WELL. And clear the clutter – punctuation to diction and construction – so your reader can hear it.

      “I have always done my best…” We all have room to do better, right? Human beings are meant to improve themselves.

      I have observed for many, many years those who are attracted to comfort. They are fun, don’t stress as much as I do, can enjoy the moment more. Of COURSE there are exceptions. The dark side of their easiness is laziness. Those who are so good with the rules have great discipline, can rule themselves. The dark side of their gift, control.

      “Would you be as satisfied as the guy who wasn’t so worried about the details to the foundation of your house? But he was preoccupied with the layout and paint.”

      One sure place style and voice trump grammar. The fragment offsets the long sentence it trails, varies the style, and intonates the voice of the (ironic) hesitant objection from the back of the room.

      You can always look up “elision”. 😉 You saying you make sure to use only words you are positive all your readers know?

      • I looked up “elision” as the next line should show: “I agree with you about dropping words for the sake of a confident stop.” For men, girls are like food; isn’t it the same for girls? I thought both were starving to death.

      • Re: Boys are not food. This explains why men and women are so different, and why my relationships are so infrequent. It does keep the weight down.

  13. I fear I will be at or near the top of the list…

    I do edit most of my posts. For grammar. For spelling. And then, I’ll re-read the post months later and wonder how could I say “that” so poorly. Run-on’s and convoluted phrasing, mostly but not exclusively. Some, intentional. Most not.

    In any case, I did not learn much (new) from this post, but it was refreshing to know how much I’d forgotten (or discarded). Which is why I’m to be near the top of the list.


    Your ideas are clear and your writing is beautiful and a pleasure to read. I hope you won’t mind if I “borrow” a quote every now and then for my own blog. I will, of course, provide full attribution both to your site and to your specific post.


    • The Mafia takes down names only of those who are indifferent to their calling and responsibility to care. As for the Wayfarer, consider yourself among the readers who jazz her to keep thinking and enrich her journey (you kept me up the other night! I couldn’t stop writing in my head, in response to your question on intent, which I wonder if I’ve answered).

      • No. I don’t believe you did answer my question. I’m not sure why. Perhaps, the answer simply requires more background processing in my brain.

        I do believe we (you and I) are writing to different intent. Many of my posts are not to inform or enlighten, they are simply to hear myself think more clearly. And the effort of writing (sometimes) makes this possible.

        The same is true with the quotes I post. They make me think, so I post them. I do not feel the need to agree or disagree with the quote. Although, normally I will be in some sympathy with the quote. And, of course, sometimes the words simply express an idea beautifully, regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the idea.

  14. I intend to print a copy of your post and add it to my writer’s “how-to” folder. As one of those who never finished high school (I left at fourteen), I’m very aware of my lack of knowledge when it comes to the correct use of grammar, but it’s blog posts like yours that help me fill in the gaps in my education – thank you.

  15. Pingback: Sunday Showcase August 18th 2013 | Sunday Showcase

  16. Hey Godmother,
    It’s great to find a blogger who cares about grammatical nuances and who has a talent for explaining them. I freelanced as a professional copy editor for over 20 years and taught grammar to adults for 15 of those. Now I’m retired and I’m in self-designated training to try to care less about the bad grammar I constantly read and hear. Why did I chose this difficult task for my retirement? LOL. The grammar-police in my head didn’t get the retirement memo; they just won’t shut up. Some of my pet peeves keep taking up air space, filling blog spaces, challenging my attempts to ignore. “Hopefully”… “As well”… sheesh! Oops, I almost started to bore you and your readers with my ever-lengthening list. Please thank the Wayfarer for her precise attention to wordsmithing and for the break her writing gives me from this frustrating retirement project.

  17. A woman after my own heart! Thank you!!! I am an high school English teacher, and these mistakes drive me crazy! It is outrageous how many adults (and so many students) do not know the basics – or are too lazy! We have actually just revamped our curriculum to be a little more grammar-intensive. Mastery is lacking, and it follows them on through life (right onto their blogs as adults!). Thank you!!

    • You opened a window for me.. AAAHHHH I can breeeathe. Thanks, K. Incidentally, my 6-yr-old is starting the Classical model of homeschooling next week – a trademark of the approach, SERIOUS grammar and mastery of the basics in all content areas the early years. I left NYC for Bryn Mawr College and then Univ of PA, (the latter school) where I studied Linguistics and minored in Classics (Latin, Greek). Went on to teach 5th in Philly, then GATE elem in suburbia. Xxxx Diana

    • Oh, you English teachers, there are so many rules and the rules themselves are unclear; take the rule for affect and effect, for example. The answer generally is affect for verb and effect for noun, but at least for me such rules aren’t clear enough for me to be certainties, things I might remember. At one point, I was taking the entire Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and running it through each short story. It got to be too large a project each time. I think what you may want to consider is that where you are an English teacher, you may have a natural acumen vs. the ambitions of someone else, for whom writing serves another purpose. I can remember getting poor grades in all my English classes and not being able to write until I practically graduated from University. I scored 300 out of 800 on my SAT in English, but I was in the Quill and Scroll Honor Society. It was in my final semester, the second time around, (after my BA in Speech) that I was writing for the school newspaper and for some reason it jelled. It should be the job of English teachers to help students to write in a manner that is natural for them.

      In other words, when I wrote reviews of art, movies, and books, I was off in another world of utter bliss. Even now as I process from reading History of Madness by Michel Foucault, then reviewing it, and then turning it into a prose/epic poem, the process is so long and arduous that it is just as I remember it in school, there was never enough time for people like me, who need to take one anal retentive step at a time. And we were also victims of the fact that we would loose interest because there were so many things we wanted to do in the short periods we were given to write. School is a horrible place to learn to do things in the way you need to do them.

      I am still having problems with a method I am employing, where I take things and synthesize them, say a poem, and write it anew but I also use the words of the former poem, both expressing the meaning of the consumed poem as well as putting forth a new meaning in terms of how it affected me and what it means in the context of society. This also goes for an analysis of news such that the truth is extracted from the news, which could be considered spun, where you consider everything at once to get at what is really happening.

      My point is that I don’t think writers are lazy. Sometimes, they are just too close to the words to know when they are incorrect grammatically. I do want to support HW’s admonishment that we need to let things rest before we publish them and also to reread things a couple of times because, at least for me, I notice things I have wanted to fix after setting them free prematurely.

      • You needed to have homeschooled. You would’ve ended up at Harvard.

        “It should be the job of English teachers to help students to write in a manner that is natural for them.” Love it. A million-dollar point. At the same time, no one argues about having to rehearse the rudiments of driving – some things are not negotiable. Sure, there comes a point (quickly) where it’s apples and oranges, as using affect for effect and lose for loose will not land you in the hospital or grave. But point is, you can’t jettison rules altogether. Convention keeps us on the right lane, and if you’re smart enough to write (ideas) as you are, you’re smart enough to train your brain to keep along the guard rails. Largely, if not mostly, for the sake of readers. The rules serve a purpose. When absorbed and applied by the writer, they don’t take center-stage but help bring out the beauty and truth of your words. The rules make a terrible master, but the most selfless, giving servant. Even Strunk n White said to train and obey your ear. There are times the music of the language will and ought to trump stodgy rules – the places you, MS, will shine.

        It was the restrictions of methodology and time that schools have no choice but to impose on students in their assembly-line teaching that straitjacketed you in the writing. In a context that freed you to write your way and gave you the time to develop your mechanics enjoyably, your experiences would have been altogether different. Don’t blame the rules of the road and the laws that enforce; it was the instructors who kept dragging you back to park when you wanted to fly.

        Earlier this month I, with a group of parents, watched a 10-yr-old fill a large easel board with sentence diagrams and blueprint articulations of polysyllablic terms like prepositional indirect object. She went about 20 minutes straight, drew out all the injunctions of the director of the homeschool program who was asking her to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what she’d learned after only 30-something lessons in the Classical Homeschooling model. She is one of tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of kids across America who know her grammar. Once it’s second-nature, and it always is with them, it’ll grease their wheels.They learn at a bite-sized pace, keep drilling as they build. Methodical. My boy starts grammar in three days, to song and music. Learning to drive at 6.

        Those I was addressing were, for the most part, lazy. I’m not sure why you tacked on the addendum supporting my Gift of Time in Revision post after your vehement disagreement there which I acknowledged to be legitimate.

      • Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments! I know, English teachers can be hard to please! And you are right, it does tend to come naturally for some of us. I actually love grammar = crazy, I know. I think every person goes through the writing process differently, and that is fine. A writer def. needs to produce in a way that feels natural. But many writer (at least maybe blog writers) do the first two steps (prewriting and drafting) but they never do the 3rd (revising – working with the content itself- the wording, organization, expression of ideas) and the 4th step (editing – grammar, spelling, mechanics, etc). I def. think that trying to do all of those things during drafting can take away from the art and love of writing. I tell my students, ‘Just get your ideas out. Try not to revise or edit until the next steps.’ But at least teenagers, they are often lazy and turn in a rough draft as a final draft.

        I have no problem if some people aren’t familiar with the rules; they can feel arbitrary at times. But fo the most part, the internet makes them easy to clarify. I have to check my at times too.

        My opposition is for sloppy writing. I get a mistake here or there – esp. on blogging…many (myself included ) are not professional writers with editors. Yet, some mistakes are carelessness and can easily be fixed with some editing. I tell my kids that the grammatical mistakes get in the way of their ideas – and we definitely want our idea to come out loud and clear!

        Thanks so much for joining in the conversation!!! 🙂

  18. Sorry for all the typos above (looks like I’m not practicing what I preach! I was commenting from my iPad, and this time I didn’t proof myself! Sorry for my ‘sloppy’ response – didn’t use the Writing Process there! lol).

    My guess is that a lot of people who blog weren’t necessarily the writers in school, and they picked up blog because of the medium – to keep in touch, journal, etc. But for a blog that will get an audience (outside of your family and friends), it has to be clean! Has to be! And I tell my students also – you are putting your name on this piece of writing (even so much more so when you are ‘published’ on a blog!); make sure it is something you are proud and represents excellence!

    I think of my sister. She has a great blog (, and she was never a writer in school, didn’t love school, was an average student. But I am very impressed with her grammar. It doesn’t come naturally to her, but she writes well. Just a little effort!

    (Loving this conversation…I could go on forever! lol)

    • I had wanted to continue the conversation and got lost in busyness, Kate. Your sis certainly is creative, from the looks of her blog. Wish I had her magic eye. I feel just as you taught your students. Indeed not all bloggers are writers. But if you’re going to publish anything – put your name on it – good golly, keep up some self-respect and respect for the world of blogging and clean up the clutter a bit.

      • My sister is so creative like that. She definitely has her niche! And honestly, I am impressed with her grammar. She wasn’t the greatest student – average at best, but I am proud of her that her grammar is on point for her posts! She gets it!

  19. Having spent my entire professional life teaching English, of course I am attracted to your blog post on grammar. I especially like your reference to misplaced modifiers and also the subject / verb agreement clarification. Do you also notice many authors use “different than” rather than “different from”? Oh vey!

  20. Wow, what a great post. I wonder how many people are now second guessing their work? Seriously, it’s an excellent post on reminders. I tend to agree that sometimes as we grow and especially in the world of technology with the abuse of the English language in texting, proper writing tends to fall wayside. It is always good to refresh ourselves on proper usage, in fact I am currently enjoying reading , “Woe is I.” A humouristic read and simple ways to remember proper grammar. Sometimes on a blog, we tend to leave a typo here or there, simple oversights. Some who blog do not aspire to be writers though and just write for self-expression without really going over their work with deep scrutiny.

  21. Just to let you know, even though I have seen many modern writers put a full stop before an ‘and’ my friend is currently doing an English qualification and says that is not what we should be doing as it is grammatically incorrect. When you wrote – “I’m fine. And you?” That would be incorrect. I was always told at school, never to put a full stop or comma before an ‘and’. My friend says that a comma before an ‘and’ is acceptable now. I am not perfect and I don’t say I am but no one is. No matter how much we think we are informing people of the right way of doing things, we may be wrong. I have learnt not to be so critical of others. I know people who are dyslexic and they can’t help spelling things incorrectly some of the time. I care about them and what they have to say, no matter how it looks. I like being quirky and standing out. I spell guineapigs as one word because I think it looks better but according to my dictionary on my Mac that is not how it is spelt. I like standing out from the crowd. I am quirky and proud of it. I want people to feel free to write how they want to on my blog. I love interacting with people from all walks of life and I embrace imperfections because each person is perfect at being themselves.

    If you see any imperfections of grammar in my writing, please accept that I have tried my best. I don’t mind someone pointing out my writing errors in a nice way but I get a bit scared of leaving a comment on here because I feel every bit of my writing is being scrutinised.

    • Quirky, I have been meaning to visit all this week and was so nicely surprised to see you beat me to it, enabling me to hop over more easily.

      “I’m fine. And you?” If I’ve written it this way somewhere, technically it is obviously a no-no according to the rules. But writing is not a robotic exercise. Writers write, flesh and blood write, and we make art with our words.

      Sin and Syntax:

      “To break the rules consciously or go around them on purpose is a pleasure multiplied: willful violation, defiance, or deviation with a wicked glint in the eye. The sound, the taste, the thrill of language, its rhythms and edges and riffs…”

      This license to conscious, masterful, willful violation applies in all the arts – certainly in music. If you missed where I was coming from in this post, I can’t defend myself, QB. I leave the obvious humor and the well-meaning passion to themselves. As I mentioned in some of the comments, I was spotlighting an area that I felt warranted attention, where avoidable carelessness reigns, where bloggers and writers easily can do better and do justice to their art. Most obviously I would not speak to those with limitations of any kind. I simply am not that kind of person. And as I’ve said (there I go!), it is in part my respect for my readers’ time that motivates me to give readers my best.

      Your closing disclaimers on any imperfections in your writing I may have noted remain N/A. No need for such defense at all. I don’t go around policeing grammar on the blogs. I seek to cultivate the amazing relationships of mutual support I have enjoyed to date here.

      • Wonderful. Thanks for clearing that up for me. It seems that you may not have intended the post in the way that I read it. I am glad to read that you like to cultivate the amazing relationships of mutual support that you have enjoyed to date. I feel the same way. Thank you for taking the time to write so I can better understand your meaning.

  22. Pingback: 1000 Readers Recover Missing Woman | A Holistic Journey

  23. Lawdy, lawdy, Miss Clawdy, we are two peas in a pod. As a former teacher, I have this unearthly urge to take a red pen and circle the mistakes I see on some blogs. We are talking about the basics. How hard can it be to learn basic grammar? Am I expecting too much from people? All I know is that it drives me nuts to see such poor writing these days. I must say, though, that there are superbly written blogs as well.

    • Interesting: “unearthly” is the word because yes, you and I seem not of this world in this regard LOL. B, just as most – if not all – issues are not the problem themselves but a manifestation of something deeper, I submit that the laxity that drives us nuts is just part of a broader erosion of vigilance we have seen over time. The term “old school” is telling. I don’t want to obligate you to another post so here’s an excerpt from my Technology series: The Dark Side of Efficiency. The series came out as a magazine article in October:

      “Though limited schooling often gave way to marriage or a trade in the pioneer days, when children did study they did not read and write clipped thoughts. Those able to pursue an education learned proper grammar and speech, were taught to recite the history of their nation so they could understand their place in the world, joined the Great Conversation of literature. That is, students took in and engaged written works that were a complete thought. Edith Schaeffer said, ‘They need to love books, for books are the basis of literature, composition, history, world events, vocabulary, and everything else.’ There was an organic wholeness to the process of formal learning, of building the stamina called for in the training of the mind. Students did not have the option of flipping channels, websites, or even their own book pages every 30 seconds, dissatisfied with pictures or content that did not titillate. Rather than take the time to sit and drink in great works, more and more postmodern kids are looking to quench their thirst for visual excitement. The next hit.”

      I taught 5th before heading up the GATE program. The “anything goes / there is no such thing as a single truth,” simply the god of postmodern relativism, has gained worshipers in all areas, from the public to ivy league university classroom and even the Church where we have loosened standards in theology. Naturally something needling as grammar which requires a moment’s pause in THINKING will go out the window.

      I really appreciate the hearty support, B, and look fwd to my own revisit. Just juggling homeschooling, week’s errands, and what I hope will be a special year-end post in the works.

      • No need to answer this reply, dear friend, but I wanted to respond. I home-schooled my son from 7th through his graduation. I know how time-consuming home-schooling is. I worked full time as a supervisor for a sheltered workshop at the time. I spent many hours planning and writing my lesson plans. I was privileged to have two children a with superior I Q, making my job as teacher easier in some ways.

        There are lax standards in every area of life. I am appalled at the fact television reporters haven’t a clue when to use: You and I in a sentence. It is so simple, you and I in the subject, You and me in the predicate. Why is that so difficult to learn?

        I do enjoy venting with you about the little things that can drive us crazy. Happy New year, friend. I hope you have a celebration to remember.

    • Barbara, I was glad to know you better. =) Always good to share teaching experiences, in whatever context we found ourselves. You are Super-Mom! Simply Herculean, to juggle full-time work and homeschooling – successfully, at that.

      A quick word on my latest post. I opted for the “reach deep” over the adverb “deeply” in auditory contrast to the “reach high.” I appreciate the matter-of-fact advice of Strunk & White as well, to go with the ear and let it trump grammar sometimes. Therein lies the beauty of language, right?

      Talk later.

    • “I’m probably too old to change though.” Ah-ah-ah-ah (stilted staccato sounds that mean no) Now, we are as young or old as our thinking, as you know, Ian. And if you are humble enough to hang your head, you are wise and young enough to start turning that leaf….

      *Side grin*

  24. Good stuff, where do you stand on the use of commas in sentences, and sentence length. I’ve noticed your sentences
    can run on a bit. This is more of a style thing. The structure of paragraphs and sentence length change the flow of the writing. I’ve often been told that I don’t use enough full stops.

    • Good eye. =) It IS style, I am aware my sentences can be lengthy, and do try to juxtapose them with shorter ones. I am fully conscious of all the elements to juggle with every sentence (as opposed to drunk and unconscious LOL), and don’t shorten when the flow feels right. Similarly, I am mindful of post length – gen’l rule being shorter is better. Here too, I vary it (you’ll see the post just behind the most recent was a short poem). I won’t cut a 1000-wd+ post only when I feel it asks to be kept whole.

      • I think it’s impossible to say one way or another, horses for courses. When I was posting on a writing forum, the feedback was always completely varied and contradictory. One person would say they loved the style, the length of the sentences, the word use. The next would say they didn’t like the use of so many complex or specific scientific terms, and they thought I should break the sentences up more. I tend to write longer sentences, I’ve always been like that, but what feedback do you take to heart? For every negative comment there was a positive one. I read on another guy’s blog that he thought writing forums can do more harm than good as the forum often has a stylistic agenda. Anyone who’s seen not to be conforming is harangued by the bulk of the subscribers to tow the forum line. Yes, I liked your poem, I’ve never been one for poetry, but I can appreciate a good verse when I see it, keep on trucking!!

      • As a time nazi – and likely just from temperament – I doubt I would join a forum. Sharing as a direct answer to your ques, not a boast. I have over 4000 comments on this blog and have yet to hear word that is less than positive on my writing. The closest thing would be two comments on the tone, on this grammar post but even those bloggers softened after my reply and I don’t even think one read the post through thoroughly not to take ready offense.

        I was the grad student who didn’t care a —- what my classmates thought (hated small group), after a long day teaching. I was shelling out the bucks and going home late to hear what the expert had to say. Meaning, our choices largely derive from our nature and that was just me (should be “I” but don’t wanna sound stuffy). And for the type of writing I have found myself doing out here, forum support is not really applicable. But if I were to foray into the fiction genre, my staple diet the first young chapter of my life, it might be helpful. But in your shoes, I would just do my thing. I don’t think confidence is cockiness. The greatest writers have varied in their signature style. As I said in Part 1 of the blogging series, be all you.

        You jog something in my short blogging history. My readers have helped me know myself better as a writer, and I have been told I’m a versatile writer. I am not one to fish for kudos, but as we’re talking writer to writer, would you kindly tell me if you agree or not? I like it real. There’s a reason I’m choosing to ask you:

        To really answer, you would have to go through a good many of my posts, but you can just give me your impression from what you’ve seen and the two posts I share. The second also addresses your ques on sentence length. Nothing new. Readers have remarked that my writing is efficient, but I talk about style vs. conciseness in that post. You know what? I am talking with so many bloggers and trying to get back to readers, sorry if I’ve shared the second link already. (I don’t THINK) I have….


  25. Hi Diana, I have to say, I don’t like the ‘let the clichés RIP’ piece. You’re undoubtedly an accomplished and versatile writer, but I find this style overblown, over-written. I like the information imparted but not the style, it feels like you’re trying too hard. I’ve a short story I wrote in the same vein, very highbrow, eloquent and poetic, it can sound contrived. However, the second piece ‘save the spit’ is lovely. I’ve read ‘Elements of style’ and ‘On writing’ too, and try to keep them in mind whilst working. ‘Spit’ is concise (as it should be, given the nature of the post) informative, direct, and free from emotive, arty word couplings and floaty sentences. I too change my style dependent on what I’m writing, and I find that I get the most positive responses when I write in a journalistic fashion, perhaps a non-fictional piece on the music scene. But I think that style is an entirely different kettle of fish to pure fantasy, sci-fi, etc., and I find it much easier and quicker to write non-fiction. Purely for my own tastes, I prefer your direct, down-to-Earth style over your poetic, flighty, fanciful style, but that’s just me.

    I think the difference between blogging and forums is, that most people post positive comments on blogs (I might be wrong, I haven’t spent too much time looking at other blogs), perhaps because they want one in return, perhaps because it feels like, if I haven’t got anything nice to say…, but, with forums, people are posting their work purely to gain a reaction, to receive commentary, and there’s little benefit in everybody pointing out the things you’ve done well, so, for the most part, you receive the unvarnished truth, focusing on what that reader finds disagreeable. As a new writer, it was my first point of call, and, as you might imagine, I had by bubble thoroughly burst. But ultimately it was a positive experience as I found people who genuinely appreciated my style, along with some enlightening criticism. I don’t post there any more as I found the whole scene a bit cliquey and buttoned-down.

    All in all, you’re certainly a learned individual, with a wealth of experience and a range of interesting styles. My only criticism (stylistically) would be your choice of words, sometimes, and sentence length (I am often guilty on both counts). I believe Stephen King said something like ‘don’t use a ten-dollar word when a ten-cent one will do’, or something to that effect.

    For example, in your recent ‘Greatness, Finale:’ post, in the second paragraph, you used these words – requite, unremitted, acrimony, depollutes, treatise, and transgression. Now, I am a huge fan of language, and vocabulary, in fact, one of my most regular criticisms is that people can’t understand my work because of the words I use, and the amount I use them. My first reaction (internally) was, well, perhaps if you read a bit more, and educated yourself, it wouldn’t be a problem, but then I came to think, perhaps it’s egotism, showing-off with my fancy vocabulary, and perhaps it was actually getting in the way of the story telling. As you said, there’s a time and a place for everything (blew the dust off the pen), but as I said before, it’s horses for courses.

    I like what you do, and hope you continue to do it, don’t pay too much mind to my comments, I’m just one voice amongst the masses.

    Incidentally, what was the reason you chose me for a bit of feedback?

    Many thanks, Dom

    • Oh, and, with your academic appreciation of the art, I would value your opinion on my own stories. Don’t fear to criticise or pull apart what I’ve done, I’m here to learn, and there’s only one way to do that. Cheers.

      • I’d planned to revisit. Commenters get first dibs on my time. Except I’m swamped at the moment. I’m guest authoring on a superblogger’s site and trying to field the response there while juggling my own blog. Please be patient. I’ve been behind getting back to readers.

    • I am grateful for your time, Dom. Every word. =) Well there you go. You go down as the first critic with less-than-glowing input on A Holistic Journey. I should post it, see what the feedback is…ha ha. (I would never waste readers’ time like that.)

      Yep, I’m well aware of the $10 vs $1 from King. I will keep your feedback in mind. One reason I shared the save spit post was to let it say for me that I take pains to go back and edit published posts when I can. So I just might, according to your feelings on the vocab on that post. I think given the mood and feel of that post, the vocab is right on. Funny one of the pointers you make is on my diction, as I labor over every word on anything meant for the public.

      Same thing for the cliché post. I’ll take a fresh look later, so I can be more objective on your input as well as the piece. The point wAs sarcasm and a humor that was a bit blown.

      “A range of interesting styles…” Ahh…I guess that’s a go on the versatility? I tapped you for critique bc you pointed out my penchant for long sentences and I simply wondered if this actually disqualified me as a versatile writer. For the most part, vers refers to style. But again, you’ve been very helpful.

      It also does sound like you have your own preference of style, as we all do. This is part of what I said on blogging, that we all come to a work of art with our own experiences and filters. How you favor strait-laced wording fits right in with your gen’l indifference to poetry. Though poetry of course too is such a broad mix of style.

      In the year-end What We Learned From Blogging This Year group post (no need to go there) I pointed out it’s a comment box, not a reply box. Bloggers seem afraid to leave real critique – or hear it. There’s a lot of bad poetry out here and I almost ache to see likes on them: something really awry. You are right on in the reasons for the difference visible on blogs and support forums. Readers are usu. very appreciative at the small suggestions I drop and go on even to follow. One woman took offense, didn’t even understand when I explained that her lovely piece could be even better if she replaced the flat “to be” with more crisp verbs. I added my critique in a shower of praise. She posts a pretty face and gets a good string of likes. She unfollowed me. And I’d taken the time to look her up and visit bc I do that with those who’ve supported me.

      Enough. Thx a mil and talk again, D.

      • One comment the critiques from the forum often included was ‘I don’t comment on anything unless it’s worthwhile.’ So, as far as your getting ‘unfollowed’ goes, I think you’re correct in what you said, that, even though, perhaps, yours wasn’t a completely glowing commentary on her work, there must have been a reason you took the time to comment at all. I guess a lot of mixed comments is better than no comments whatsoever, at least you have people talking.

        What makes a ‘superblogger’, exactly? I’d never heard that term before you said it.

      • The term is really power blogger. I don’t have time so I just clipped this thread off part 1 of the blogging series. If you end up saying hi to him, let him know you learned of him through me. I’m rolling out some posts under his GUEST BLOGS.

        If people label me as a power blogger or whatever I don’t mind anymore. I am after getting views, comments, and feedback on my writing. if I have to follow half of WordPress I will. -OM – Holistic Wayfarer says: January 6, 2014 at 9:56 am | Edit

        A related tangent: I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be used but I always understood “power blogger” to be a compliment, which is how I use it. – Opinionated Man says: January 6, 2014 at 9:58 am | Edit

        It has actually always been used as an insult directed at me or people that follow a lot of bloggers or have a big following. – Holistic Wayfarer says: January 6, 2014 at 10:00 am | Edit

        Errr….okay. I really AM still clueless on some parts of blogging. Uh…then I guess I should reword my post. I had in mind a number of people in speaking of p bloggers. And I would never insult anyone on my blog. – Opinionated Man says: January 6, 2014 at 10:02 am | Edit

        I am not insulted. Just answering so don’t change it on my account. [image: :)] – Opinionated Man says: January 6, 2014 at 9:58 am | Edit

        I know you didn’t mean it as one, which is why I found the post so amusing. heh – Holistic Wayfarer says: January 6, 2014 at 10:03 am | Edit

        Well, my obvious concern is that those with followings in the thousands would see this post and take offense or think I was being even slightly disparaging. I was in fact holding them (you guys) up, explaining why I knew I would never reach the uttermost echelon of blogger success and acclaim. – Opinionated Man says: January 6, 2014 at 10:05 am | Edit

        I know your intention and I appreciated it. Maybe other power bloggers don’t get attacked like I do lol. [image: ;)] – Holistic Wayfarer says: January 6, 2014 at 10:06 am | Edit

        OK! Yeah, sounds about right. I’ll leave it. LOL

  26. So you said you had 4000 positive comments, for your writing. I guess when you say insult, you must mean that people are getting at you in a jealous way or something, not bad-mouthing your writing, but how you went about gaining popularity? Or do you simply delete any bad comments, so you have 4000 positive ones? Or do you not count ‘haters’ as negative comments? Or have I got the conversation the wrong way round and it wasn’t you getting insulted but opinionated man? ha.

    • I sent just the excerpt but I shoulda just explained. This is turning out longer than what I coulda said LOL.

      1) The 4000+ comments on this blog include mine, of course. How WPress does it. They have been about 40% positive, 59.99% uberpositive. That’s what I was saying in part 2 of the blogging series, that it’s been transformative. I can’t help it if you think me cocky and I’m too busy to worry about it. But we can measure “success” in several ways out here and one of them is the quality of the comments. I really haven’t seen comments like the ones I get on other sites, though among the millions I’m sure I’m not alone. I don’t recall having to filter or delete my comments – OM has had to do that LOL. His blog and mission are very different from mine. His personality, his writing.

      2) I take it you’re asking ME about popularity but since he’s the power blogger…well, there’s a lot to say about this guy but his might be notoreity more than fame. Good guy, though.

      3) Insulted — him, not me. Getting haters – him, not me.

      4) As to how my blog grew, I know you read the posts on blogging. I did unload a lot of my thoughts on the topic there. But actually, when a faithful reader asked me that question (prompting the series), my initial response was, “HUH. Good question.” I feel blessed. It’s been a remarkable surprise – beyond expectation. I’m also a faithful reciprocator, though that’s getting quite hard now with the growth in readership. I do my best to support my readers in some way.


      I value how we are here for one another as writers.

      Back to the homeschooling.

      • No problem, I would be the same if had your success, I wasn’t getting at you. Given how popular you are, I’m amazed you reply to me as often and in as much detail as you do. The whole blog thing is a bit of a mystery to me, what is the ultimate goal of what you, and others like you are doing? Is it simply to be read, is it a fame thing? Do you ultimately hope to publish some sort of compendium of your posts, what was your reason for starting?

        I put writing on the net in the hope that people find out about me, and become interested in my novel. The blog, or website, as I use it, is a means to an end, a promotional tool as opposed to an emotional outlet or some kind of online diary.

        A good friend of mine in Manila has been running a blog for some time:
        I’ve never actually taken the time to read it, but I gather from him that he might be considered a power-blogger, as he gets a lot of followers and comments and stuff. His blog seems to be an ‘anything and everything’ sort of place, where he voices his opinions on politics, literature, current affairs, sexuality, whatever. I asked him what it is for, but he didn’t really have an answer beyond wanting people to know about him, and his opinions. Vanity, knowing him, is the most likely driving force behind his net presence.

        I am glad that you came and said hello to me, I feel that, given your popularity, and your academic achievements, you would be (and are) a good contact to converse with about writing.

        I’m just an enthusiastic amateur, but if I can ever be of help in any way, don’t be afraid to ask, nice to know you! (exclamation mark, oh dear), Dom

    • Don’t remember the last time I was this sick. Been putting out fires, taking care of my sick boy, too. Juggling two active blogs, trying to put out my next post. Someone’s hammering on my head and dousing my brain with jalapeno juice. Will visit when I come out from under.

    • Dom, In case you missed the pingback (bc I have at times), I mentioned you and linked to your blog in Do You Love Your Blog? And you might chk out the front page of the power blogger we talked about. He’s offering a promo opportunity for authors.


  27. I blog more often than not so I really thakn you for your information.
    The content has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to take a
    note of your website and keep checking for new details about once a
    week. I signed up your Feed as well.

    • Thanks for introducing yourself. I’m not seeing a follow but I appreciate the interest and pledge to walk alongside. =) Though I’m not navigating out of your homepage readily, your blog looks useful.

      H Wayfarer

  28. Could I simply just say what a comfort to locate someone that truly understands what they are writing about online.

    You certainly know how to bring a major issue to light and also make it important.A lot more people
    ought to look at this and understand this side of this story.
    I’m shockesd that you are not widely used because you surely experience the gift.

  29. Thank you for the like on my blog, Holistic Wayfarer and in reference to grammar, punctuation and spelling, I correct when needed and I don’t look down on others for their mistakes, I’m more interested in their heart response in their own messages and mine, than their errors in writing. I’m not their teacher, if they make a mistake, I do too and more than one because I’m Dyslectic and being able to write at all is a miracle, I couldn’t for many years or read either or tell the time, yes I was made fun of and rejected but not by those who had a Loving heart.

    Another thing we need to remember is what Country we come from makes a difference, in Aussie Land we spell some words differently and also t grammar and punctuation have changed over the years more than once, such as putting a comma after AND, we were told it was not needed and the old style of writing years ago, was all in upper case but today they tell you your shouting! I just love Firefox’s spelling help it’s a wonderful gift to me and I also appreciate those who accept me the way I am but just so you can sleep tonight Holistic Wayfarer, I now have a new Spell checker, I will leave the link for you, maybe you can pass it on to others who don’t measure up!

    Spell Checker -

    Take Care and Christian Love – Anne

    • Hi Anne,

      I’ve approved your comment – that is, let it through the gate – so you can leave your link for other readers and I did so because I welcome all feedback. As I said to a few others in the comments here, the Godmother was not speaking to those with challenges like yours. She was simply addressing carelessness that most readily can be helped. People get lax with standards when it comes to writing online. Mine is always the call for standards in our art. And even if one is not pursuing “art” per se here, we would do well to encourage the better part of ourself and show our readers respect to be as clear and clean as possible. After all, they give us their time.

      As a former college linguistics major, I also am familiar with the vicissitudes of language. At the same time, yes I have learned in the blogging there are differences in mechanics across various parts of the world. And for what it’s worth, I don’t talk to my readers this way. The Godmother hijacked this one. Kudos on the physical, neurological, emotional hurdles you have overcome, Anne. I appreciate your time and support.


      • As I said Holistic Wayfarer, thank you for the Like on our Blog, not sure why you deleted this part of my comment before, perhaps you want me to look a real baddie but when anyone is sincere in giving Likes on Blogs they are encouraging others and this is commendable, we are to be grateful for kindness when given in Love and honesty.

        Thank you for not holding my disability against me but do you know if those you called lazy and careless do not having similar problems but still long to share their hearts and lives with others.

        We are not to judge others weaknesses and shortcomings in a critical way or we are looking in a mirror and seeing our own reflection but this is different with those who sin or seek to put others down, we are to warn them, so I’m warning Godmother to pull the plank out of her own eye first before she seeks to judge others by finding and criticizing the speck in theirs.

        Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

      • Actually, I apologize for the blip on that first line. I was juggling so many comments and am talking with many bloggers at once over different projects and aims in my head I didn’t mean to do that in the multitasking. I had several screens open while I was editing on one of them. And that would’ve been weird of me; I am restoring the thanks.

        You really need not spend time on my blog telling me to remove my plank. It is bigger than I can manage. I am such a sinner. Though I know GRACE, I struggle with the weight of my sin everyday.

        If you care for a glimpse of my heart, you would read more than this one post by the Mafia that happens to have a tone entirely contrary to my tone elsewhere on this blog with my beloved readers. Here is one on the sovereignty of God in my sufferings:

        It is called sarcasm and humor, what I have done on this grammar post. Something I used for the first time in this way on this blog. You are welcome never to come by again, judge me, refusing to get the point of this post. My desire is for excellence and betterment of our art and skill.

        “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” Ps 33:3 We have an injunction to play SKILLFULLY in worship. Not that the measure of our worship is skill or talent. But it is part of it.

        I talk about art and worship here, though I doubt you will get to it:

        With your insistence on preaching to me on my blog and refusal to see the heart of this post – when I made plain in it that I was addressing a certain kind of sloppiness that can be helped – no, it is not Christian love I feel. Take care, Anne.

  30. If I start reading an article or blog post, and it turns out to be peppered with grammatical errors, I immediately stop reading and move on to something else. There’s too much writing out there and not enough time, so I’m not going to waste my time on bad craftsmanship.

  31. Hey Diana-
    jack here

    Nice work on so many fronts.

    You stress the need to excel, and who could argue…
    You give needed examples of flaws, and who could argue…
    You give a wide latitude of grace toward those with limitations…
    You mildly exhort others who may be a tad lazy…
    You ignore things with great restraint…and who could argue…

    Great information, helpful, and the spirit in which it was delivered is noble, and a special kudos for the interplay against differing points of view.

    (If my artwork can be improved by somebody pointing out a legitimate defect, and providing a solution, I would be a fool to argue…;)

    Well done

  32. I thought that it was just me – how good to see such a weighty response to your post. I strive to write well but we all make mistakes from time to time and I don’t get too upset about that. I do, however, find it difficult to read blogs where grammar errors are a regular feature.

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My Two Gold Cents in the Holistic Treasury

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