Thursday, 4 March 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Grammar


Every week Booking Through Thursday asks a question. This week the question is: In honour of National Grammar Day … it IS “March Fourth” after all … do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?

More importantly, have you read them?

How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?

elements-of-style Well I am a future English teacher, so yes, I have grammar books at home. Several of them actually. I have three books that are for ESL (my favourite is Engelsk Universitets Grammatik by Jan Svartvik, also known as the Silver Bible :D). I also have a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White and Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. I have read all of them. Not cover to cover (except Eats, Shoots and Leaves) but large portions. I should also buy myself a copy of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition for gradschool but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I do think grammar is important. Grammar is an agreed set of rules that makes things easier to understand. I get tetchy when people use incorrect grammar. Especially when they make simple mistakes. Swedes in general have an issue with subject-verb agreement that drives me absolutely nuts. I had to sit on my hands yesterday when one of my masters level classmates used “do” instead of “does”. Sometimes I make grammatical errors, especially when speaking, often they are on purpose for effect. In order to do that you have to know the rule in the first place.

At home I am known as the grammar nazi because I will correct the family in both Swedish and English as well as people on tv. What can I say? Bad grammar annoys me :D

Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North.clip_image001This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Care said...

Thank you for the warning. I will be extra careful to obey grammar rules here in the future. I am not very attentive to rules when I blog-comment. (I am smiling as I type! I do not mean to say that I'm intimidated by you. I'm cheering on your stickler-nature and desire to be a terrific English teacher, really I am. Tone of voice gets lost in typing, would you not agree?) In fact, I welcome any correction I might need here. Am I grammatically correct?) :)

Zee said...


I tend to be a bit more lenient when it comes to blog comments. I figure that it is a bit like speaking. Sometimes your fingers are faster than your brain, or maybe the other way around. Some errors are bound to come in.

Plus, I correct my family...and people on tv...I didn't say that they listen to me :P as a matter of fact they have all picked a particular grammar error that they know bug me and insist on using it. Regularly. In order to drive me insane :D

Carina said...

I agree about people breaking the rules for effect - you definitely have to know the rules to begin with in order to do that effectively!

My response to the question is here. I also have Strunk & White somewhere!

Amanda said...

National Grammar Day is as cool as National Punctuation Day.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful answer! My answer can be found here:

Lori said...

Yeah, what she said, thanks for the warning. Here's mine.

Bibliobabe said...

Too funny about being a grammar Nazi. My Dad would correct my sister and I insistently at dinner when we were talking. It almost made me stutter!

Here's my answer:

Nymeth said...

I feel like a big hypocrite, because while certain mistakes drive me nuts (its/it's, they're/their, etc), I know I make PLENTY of my own :P

Zee said...

I know I make mistakes too. Everyone makes mistakes, what bothers me is when people SHOULD know the correct usage. An English major who makes mistakes with Do/Does should be ashamed of themselves quite frankly :P :D

To me it isn't the clear mistakes that bother, a slip of the tong or slip of the keyboard is one thing when it is a conversation (for example on twitter) it is another thing in formal writing or on the news, I guess in a "serious" setting.