I've gotten special permission from the grammar police (who have a three full-time permanent liaisons and eight internships here at Writing About Writing due to all my errors) to share some grammar memes today and be spared their truncheons of bitter irony--since, you know...I make most of these mistakes on any given day.
|Wiley. I think this is from Non Sequitur. |
It's a hilarious page with lots more great comics that you should check out.
Think of this as a preview of what's to come if you vote in the totally awesome poll of awesomeness for more spontaneity. You may see two potpourris in a row! And one of them on a Sunday! Dogs and cats....living together...MASS HYSTERIA!! But I'll throw a joke or two in there of writing nerd humor so mere anarchy won't bother you--heck you'll be so busy laughing, you won't even notice the falconer screaming "Come back, Percy! Come back. Come back!" like Rose to the lifeboat.
Honestly, I'm not prescriptive about grammar at all. If meaning exists, then language has done its job, and the reason we strive for precision is so that situations of potential ambiguity can be avoided. How I see grammar used in practice comes across more like moral high ground preaching. Don't even get me started on how much bile has been spilled and spleens vented in the name of homonyms. (I'm all for a "My stupid what?" joke when the wrong your/you're shows up, but
Or maybe I'm just feeling kind of lazy on a Sunday and I just want to put up a few pictures and be done with it.
So on that note....
|There are 12 tenses in English--each its own nightmare of rules for how and when to use them.|
This is from Doug Savage at Savage Chicken (savagechicken.com) and please go check him out because even though I got this from a viral meme on FB, it is technically copyrighted.
Idioms are awesome to play with. I mean, once you hack your way through all the "shake a leg" jokes that totally just keep getting funnier every time, and never in any way get old or overdone. Totally...
I like Oxford commas and I want them to stick around. The problem with the struggle between "always" and "only if the meaning is confusing" is that one of those is always clear and the other requires people to use there judgement. Have you ever maybe noticed anything about people's judgement...just in general? I wouldn't trust most native speakers with a semi-colon, much less an optional comma.
Speaking of semi-colons....
Back to my point-- However, liking the Oxford comma doesn't mean I want to go anywhere near the debate about it. You would think these people were arguing about the genocide in Darfur for the level of rhetoric and anger they use. You'll never see them get worked up about ANYTHING so much. Ever. Oh my god. Have a glass of warm milk. It's a comma. It's not a melting polar ice cap or Galactus. And if you lose the Oxford comma debate, don't worry! You'll get to sit around with a brandy snifter and look through your monocle at troglodytes who leave it out when they should have put it in and get all prescriptive up in their asses about the ambiguity. Self-righteous "I told you so"s can be a pretty damned fine consolation prize with something as not-the-end-of-the-fucking-world as language conventions.
|Jasonlove.com More giggles there!|
|I tried it. It's mostly accurate.|
I would be very surprised if this anecdote were true--especially to see EVERY student fall victim to typical gender stereotyping, but it does illustrate how much of a difference punctuation can make. (~singing~ "What a difference a dot makes. Ten and four little marks. What a difference a DOT makes....and the difference is YOU!")
I was just thinking recently about how silly Air Supply's "Two Less Lonely People In The World" would sound with proper grammar. "Now there are two fewer lonely persons in the world..."