STAND BACK, I AM ABOUT TO ATTEMPT GRAMMAR.
...Or, at least, some little snippets of grammar education.
Hi, I'm Beedoo!, or, in the Ninja Turtles community, Ravenshell. (No, I'm not starting straight off with a grammar mistake. Yes, the exclamation point is part of my name.) I'm a writer, an occasional artist, and language and grammar nerd (and just nerd and geek in general, really). I have degrees in Elementary Education and English, and I do frequent beta-reading work for folks. As such, I've run into certain errors a number of times in people's work, errors that happen across the board, from amateur ficcers to second-language learners to top-tier writers... enough that when I run across them in people's writing, it makes me mentally scream as I'm reading late at night.
...What? ...They weren't? ... Oh.
All right, I've been informed by my husband that those weren't mental screams after all. That does explain the dark rings under his eyes. Anyway...
Those frequent occurrences are what has
forced inspired me to start this blog. So far, I have a pretty long list of things I'd like to address, but I'll also try to address grammar nits you all have as well, so let me know if there's something in particular you'd like to see addressed... I'm sure you all have those grammar pet peeves of your own.
At this point, I don't know if I'll be playing to an empty hall or preaching to the choir, but if I'm helping ONE PERSON tighten up their skills, I'll be happy to keep going.
Now, some ground rules are probably in order, for myself and everyone else. (And don’t worry, my average Beta-Bitching post won’t be this long!)
1. NO PERSONAL ATTACKS. Believe me, there's some people I would really like to lay into for their awful abuse of the English language, but I'm not gonna do it. I'm here to attack the faults, not the people who make them. I can call them a goddamn idiot on my own time. Don't call someone out for perpetrating a particular error... that's not cool to do.
2. NO QUOTES. Much as I'll tease about people's weird word usage in comments, I want to avoid as much butthurt as possible here, so to avoid bullying, ridicule, and people taking things way too personally, I'm not going to be quoting errors directly, but will come up with similar examples instead. Please don't quote anyone but yourself, as that person might see it and contract a case of the aching glutimus maximus as a result.
3. REGULARITY. Hopefully, I'll have time and effort to spare to make one of these posts every couple of weeks. I'll attempt to stay on track, but with a puppy demanding my attention, I may be a bit delayed. We'll see how that goes.
4. BASIC RESPECT. I'll admit to a bit of occasional arrogance. Or, at the least, I know how knowledgeable I am when it comes to grammar and writing, and occasionally forget that not everyone is at my level. I’ve always been an honors student and have had piles and piles of English classes. I know how to look at my own work with a critical eye, as well as others’. But, not everyone has. Not everyone who wants to write has had the training and tools that I have in my arsenal. And there’s times when I forget that. So I’ll try not to come off as too high and mighty. Generally, I'm easy to get along with, as long as everyone is treating everyone else civilly. If you're being a douche, though, you're going to hear about it from me. Basically, treat everyone with a measure of respect, tolerance, and avoid elitism.
5. LAYMAN'S TERMS. I'm not going to wave around terms like 'dangling participle' and 'past imperfect tense' except maybe in passing, because quite frankly, being a know-it-all with the terminology is not going to help a lot. Mostly, it's going to be because I can't remember them myself, 15+ years out of college.
6. SCOPE CREEP. Trying to avoid it. Scope creep is the tendency to add more and more items to a project, which sometimes gets to a point where it’s no longer manageable, and you just end up with this massive, cancerous hulk of a project on your desk. It’s happening already; I had planned/maybe still plan to do this blog with line drawings, then in my mind, I decided I could do full-color drawings… But the more I thought about actually doing this, the less I even wanted to start on the project. After all, I eventually burnt out on doing our Sitting In A Tree comic because I just was SO SICK of drawing. I don’t want to repeat that here, as I’m just starting to come out of my art-oversaturation period. We’ll see if after a while I think I can manage some art for this. For now, the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
COLORFUL LANGUAGE. Not everyone likes it, but just by the title of the blog alone, you can probably see that I’m not about to hold back on my salty language if I feel it adds something to a point. (Beta-Kvetching doesn’t have the same ring to it.) I don’t see it coming up often, but it damn well could. (I did that one on purpose, yo.) I detest censorship, but I will not put up with racial slurs or anything particularly demeaning toward people.
FALLABILITY. Everyone makes mistakes. So do I. (Especially now, since the puppy has eaten a number of keys off my laptop's keyboard, and I'm looking for replacements.) The point of this blog isn’t to go after the occasional typo, but rather those recurring mistakes that more than one person makes. If you happen to see a typo in my work, though, please tell me about it so I can correct it, and if you think I have something wrong, I’d be happy to discuss the finer points with you via the comments or notes.
Whew! I suppose that’s all the rules I can think of for now; editions and additions may come in the future if issues crop up.
You guys ready? Let’s bitch!
Next >> Beta-Bitching #1: Getting the Lead Out