An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How About Some Nutella with that Grammar?

This past Monday was National Grammar Day, a day which calls us to march forth on March 4th to celebrate punctuation, grammar, word choice and style. It's a day which highlights important issues (lie vs. lay, who vs. whom, i.e. vs. e.g., affect vs. effect) and showcases how a misplaced comma can be deadly.

Huh. I totally celebrated World Nutella Day in style (Feb. 5, in case you're wondering), but somehow I missed National Grammar Day.

You can see where my priorities are.

People assume because I am an English major and work as a writer that I have the answer to any and all grammatical dilemmas, but I don't (just ask my editor). I can hear the protests even as I type this -- But you are an English major! You are a writer! -- and, yes, both are true. But while my degree and my profession indicate that I am knowledgeable in the grammatical arena, by no means am I an expert.

Let me put it this way: there are English majors ... and there are English majors.

On one side are English majors who are grammarians. They are scholars on mechanics, semantics, and linguistics. They can diagram a sentence into tomorrow, get offended at comma splices, and hold a dangling participle over your head. They make great editors.

Then there are English majors who are literarians. They quote Chaucer, discuss Faulkner's writing style, and lose themselves in a bookstore. They attend poetry readings at the downtown cafe`, keep a journal, and fall in love with their Shakespeare professor.    

You can probably guess which type I am; however, just to be clear please know I can diagram a sentence, I make sure my subjects and verbs agree, and I don't leave any participles dangling. I do think grammar is important. Really.

It's just that I'll take a Nutella sandwich over a split infinitive any day of the week.


Ray V. said...

Grammar...a learned discipline acquired taste.

Bia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bia said...

Grammar...too much discipline.
Nutella...tastes better.