Tomorrow is National Grammar Day. For writers and copyeditors (my wife is both), this is kind of like St. Patrick’s Day and Easter rolled into one. Erin plans to stay glued to her desk all day, weighing in on all the conversation that comes rolling off the Twitter tongue. Given her job, she has no choice, really.
Being a writer and editor myself, I should be just as excited. But I’m from Revere, Mass., where destroying grammar is a rite of passage. And since I write more often than edit, I’ve developed a rather cantankerous relationship with the copyeditors I work with. Sure, I love ’em and all, but sometimes I can’t help but slip in deliberately bad grammar for fun.
Split infinitives? Love ’em. One-line paragraphs? Love ’em. Saying “love ’em” instead of “I love them”? Love that, too.
Coming from Revere, I usually speak without the use of the letter r at the end of a word when it’s supposed to be there. I also use things like killa and pissa at random.
There was a time when I tried to conform. Once I realized I wanted to write, I chose English as a major and communications as a minor. I buried myself in the art and law of sentence structure, punctuation and even speech. I took a public speaking class specifically to work on saying the r at the end of the right words.
You could say I was turning my back on my Revere heritage.
As I hit middle age, my rebellious streak re-asserted itself.
All that said, I am grateful for the editors in my life, especially my wife, for trying to keep me on the write path. (You see what I did there?)
Happy National Grammar Day, y’all.