Thursday, 15 March 2012

Misspelling, Punctuation and Grammar...

Ever get really frustrated at people who misspell 'definitely'? I do...but it was in my early twenties when I realised the correct spelling was not 'definately'... *hangs head in shame*
I know I'm not an expert in the English language, I wish I was...but I'm not. My writing strengths are in my imagination and capturing a story...but I have to work hard at the editing and grammar side of things. I have to restudy syntax and all those other grammar related words when I come across them!

I had a fantastic English teacher in High School...full of vivid enthusiasm and passion for the subject, and I loved English. I was inspired and encouraged then he left and was replaced by an eternally dull pedant who made it her place to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that my work was not as good as I thought it was. She then proceeded to mark me down every opportunity she had. For a while I felt crushed and rebellious, and perhaps my fifteen-year-old self would blame her for my rejection of sixth form.

I feel that I missed out when I see so many writers with degrees and writing qualifications, and I wish I'd chosen to study further. I truly have no idea why I didn't. I had a place in sixth form and top marks in English and Art, but I found myself a full-time job in the Summer holidays and that was it! No one tried to change my mind and I got no opposition to work. I feel very strongly these days about my own children completing their education and I encourage them purposefully to take their A-levels, so it surprises me that my own parents didn't protest at my decision to leave school, but leave at sixteen I did. I often wonder what direction my life would have taken if I'd done things differently. I did eventually get an A-level in English at evening classes, but I'm afraid my result wasn't my best...I was too busy meeting my husband and falling in love!

Recently on Facebook someone posted a link and when I read it, I grinned and thought: I wish I'd been taught like this... a few simple lessons with visuals and humour...might have made it stick better!

Click on the links below...





8 comments:

  1. I feel as if this is the one subject that's not taught thoroughly enough in school. From my constant reading and obsession with sentence formations and word spellings, I'm better at it than most. I think spelling has to come naturally, for the most part. Ever since I was little, I could spell words out of thin air. It just came to me naturally.

    But grammar. Oh grammar. Teachers didn't teach us squat about it, not one bit. I understand the basics, but when I'm thrown a hard question, I get stumped. Sentence formations come naturally to me also, so when I see horrible sentence formations in books, I cringe.

    But I think everyone struggles at this. Suzanne Collins is one of those authors who butchers sentences to the point where I cringe, but people absolutely adore The Hunger Games(including me).

    Sorry for the long comment! I was just very intrigued by your post!

    My final thoughts: If a story is good enough, it'll cover up the smaller problems such as those suggested in your post. All that matters is the story itself.

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  2. Thanks for your comment Kai, I agree, I wish I'd been taught more about the basics at school. Now twenty years later what I did learn has faded and I rely more on my natural instinct with words! It helps to brush up, but, like you, I still get stumped when someone starts getting technical!
    I loved the links...as they would have helped me so much at school!

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    1. They're still trying to teach us this stuff in the 11th grade, but every time my English teacher does, she teaches us the stuff we already know. I wish they'd go more into depth about grammar instead of reteaching us the same things.

      Have you ever visited grammar girl's website? She also gives lessons on grammar, and she's very helpful.

      http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/

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    2. I'll check out her site, it all helps doesn't it! I follwed Siragirl on twitter too, her blog is brilliant for writing and technical tips!

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    3. That's @sirra_girl on twitter or Sirra on my blog list...she's good!

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    4. Thanks. I'll check her blog out soon!

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  3. We had a lot of basics at school. Unfortunately, most of the information faded over the years, not only in English. (You should see my terrible geometry skills!) But I've noticed that many writers have this problem - even those with a major in English. I've especially noticed this with comma usage.
    But practice makes perfect, right?

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    1. My maths is terrible! It does fade...the only maths I remember these days is what I use in everyday life, so I guess it's the same with grammar!

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