Tag Archives: grammar

Grammar Nazi

Who's and whose. It's and its. Bear and bare. See grammar. See grammar rollover and play dead...it happens, especially in the train of thought sometimes with the best and busiest of writers. Don't sweat it. That's why professional editors fit into the communication community quite nicely (and of course, being human they occasionally miss errors; more frequently these days it seems, as Paige attests). Self-editing is important in the case of casual writing for those who can bear it, but the attempt at frank thought by others less diligent is often more important, unless of course one runs smack up against a GRAMMAR NAZI. But be careful as you don that suit. You might be surprised to find that homophones are just the beginning of what a true grammar nazi is keen to enforce. I recall an assignment in junior high was given to look for errors in the local newspaper and other media of the time. I was hooked. Still delight when I find the errors. Of course, I never take personal offense anymore, and you'll get over it. Mere trifles. I did, and I was smug if not frosty about this and so much other sheet music when I was young—but I do congratulate those of you who still care about how you present your thoughts, and am not suggesting you change any of your linguistic insights. Just thought I'd trot out my own grammar nazi among familiar minds for old times' sake—please forgive any errors that remain in this text, even as I attempted to perfect my script.


Efforts Of Comportment In Linguistic Scholarship

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Palin Supporters
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The mainstream media keeps trying to make Sarah Palin irrelevant and within the NYC-Washington Corridor she is exactly that. But the highbrow mainstream media might want to put down their lattes and New York Times and embrace the concept that Palin is still relevant. Her words and endorsements will matter in the 2014 Midterms. And beyond? Who knows.

—David Brody | The Brody File

My friend with the Mexican mustache, savvy art collector and former Mike Gravel campaign strategist, José Rodriguez, could not contain his glee that he had gotten another whiff of the Sarah Palin meme, and so rushed right in to let me know how beneficial to the nation she would be should she stretch her wings to fly right at the old bastards who are in cahoots in destroying the economical sustainability of this nation in the long run, just one of their many political sins, "Cruz Palin 2016! Please help make the GOP irrelevant."

I had to capitalize and punctuate his words to meet the standards of this punk rock blog. You must understand, I have always been a grammar Nazi, having fought at least two underqualified English teachers in junior and senior highschool right straight to the revolt of the class when they tried unsuccessfully to assert their ignorance over what I knew to be true. I would walk away with a F in Comportment and a visit to the principal's office on my final day of Eighth Grade with an A in scholarship. That story I tell elsewhere, so I'll just flash my hall pass to get on with this one. So. Later, in the Tenth Grade, I refused to reread Huck Finn as I had read that book silly a dozen times as a grade schooler on summer break on my own, instead cutting up in class, clown and resident know it all, but was woefully prepared for the more sophisticated written essays of the highschool finals, so to my surprise I turned in an empty page. Still, Miss Harris, whose fiancée, was just starting out on the PGA tour, and who had only come to Glynn Academy as a sub after Christmas holidays to replace the beautiful young but tough Mrs. Mayhew who took a leave of absence to have the baby she'd been carrying long before the first September bell of the school year 1970-71. Mrs. Mayhew was also my first Negro teacher. I liked her. She was deliberate, adjudicated, serious, temporate, friendly, charming, but when analyzed as a complete package suggesting woman in charge who knew her place she was as tough as nails, as I said.

Did I mention I later ran for Senior Class President at another school from which I in two years would graduate, on the platform to bring a junk food canteen to campus? An idea that has become the contemporary norm but is now frowned upon just like it was back then at the front of the caloric revolution, an idea of freedom of choice, of brief respite, of the mouth-watering zest that sometimes is just a little bit more satisfying and attention-grabbing than the traditional wares of zealotry...
At the end of the first quarter of fifth period Mayhew English, we got our report cards. I was pleased I had received an A in Scholarship, but was stunned when I saw a B in Effort. I also received an A in Comportment, but it was the B in effort which startled me, as rumors soon circulated that I had received the only A in that fifth period class, and that she had only given out four A's across the five classes of sophomore English that she taught that semester at Glynn Academy, located in Brunswick GA, Glynn County along the famous "marshes of Glynn" made memorable by some romantic long-bearded mid-19th century minor poet named Sidney Lanier, for whom the nearby grade school where my youngest brother, John, now also a painter but always a woeful student, was attending.

I recall the class had mostly been rote memorization at that point, no essays, just spelling and a rehash of grammar studies we were forced to memorize year after since since we were first taken from group tables and put into individual desks like the big kids we would become.

Yo Rodriguez. Palin's not running for anything, but Cruz will take a bite out of that left-wing biscuit of you'rn...or put another way, I'm sure he'll step right up to announce without a drop of insincerity, "I'll be your Huckleberry. Seems I recall a chief strategist, a mutual friend of ours I'll just call Paul, declaring on the same night he announced he was considering a run on the Green ticket for Governor of New York state as we were all sweating over dinner at the 14th Street Busboy's & Poets in the summer of '08, that destroying the Democratic Party was at hand, and favorable. What a tangled web...and what strong, large memories some of us have. While yes, some just have large mammaries. And others, not that it matters on the golf course have neither."

Funny, as a ballplayer, I was often diagnosed as an over-achiever, capable of great moments, and of carrying a lackluster team far beyond its means only to crash at the last moment. Second place, not third, or last, or in the middle but second place was the recurring theme of my competitive life. Second most econonomic cab driver after just a few weeks on the job. Second most productive and accurate surveyor after being given my shot at party chief with my own crew. Race through dominating the regular season only to lose in the playoff finals to a team we'd slammed by large margins several times already. This was my luck, my meme, my path to the stars. Never quite the top dog, always stuck in the doghouse at number two, and I don't like the way that sounds.

Glynn Academy, 1970
Glynn Academy, 1970
However, after turning in a blank sheet of paper in response to twelve analytical questions, no multiple choice here, sitting in the same desk in the same classroom where I had achieved a rare A only to get a B in effort, you could have knocked me over with a feather when a few days after that school year had ended, and the final report cards were mailed, and I opened that envelope with great trepidation, I discovered to my amusement that Miss Harris had capitulated to my commanding spirit,and had given me straight A's across the board, including the course final. Deportment, Effort, Scholarship. All A's.

If Mrs. Mayhem's intuition had presaged the Miss Harris teacher-student debacle, the Miss Harris scourge would presage the coming generations, although let's face it, student punks were a dime a dozen at least since the times of the Greeks. Did I mention I later ran for Senior Class President at another school from which I in two years would graduate, on the platform to bring a junk food canteen to campus? An idea that has become the contemporary norm but is now frowned upon just like it was back then at the front of the caloric revolution, an idea of freedom of choice, of brief respite, of the mouth-watering zest that sometimes is just a little bit more satisfying and attention-grabbing than the traditional wares of zealotry, an idea I also picked up at Glynn Academy, an historical school founded in 1788, had sported the first "rest area" I had ever seen (although I'm sure large urban highschools in other warped regions of the country were even back then in the very first year of forced integration in the south), an entirely different breed of failure and excess freedom running rampart apart from my own small town observations, aptitude, and media-crunching misapplications. But as I learned somewhere in the finer thills of Huckleberry Finn via the aristocratic airs of the cinematic flair that a tuberculosis sickened Doc Holliday, who hailed from Valdosta GA we should not forget, one should first write about what one knows as long as you include lots of links because the following generations will know nothing about any history that preceded them until it affects them more than a poorly formed sentence from the gangrened mouth of their hanging judge.

The world is a very strange place. Not unlike the movie Tombstone.

Literary Profilers And The Horses They Ride

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Sun Setting On Arlington, VA
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Gleaned from a online post published by Matthew Z:

Reading is almost always an aesthetic preference, unless it[sic] has permission through certain jargon, both "legal" or "political" to engage in praxis. The politician assumes himself to be beyond art because he actually has the power at his fingertips to physically move his ideas around. The artist has no such power of course and is reduced into the realm of aesthetics—that motionless form of subjective preference.

For starters, despite the strategic blandness of a general political attempt at writing, I think it might be useful to consider their words and actions as more along the lines of an aesthetic preference as well. The artist might gasp at this notion, stupidly assuming, through hand-me-down compartmentalizations, that the "brown bagging suit" is not worthy of being even considered in an aesthetic sense. [But, the politician]... is beyond aesthetics because he can actually make things move.

Art is otherwise, happily motionless and heavily protective of its specialized terms in the name of priority and approbation of course, more than anything else really ("Pick me, pick me, I am the best aesthete in the room! This term belongs to me and me alone in order for me to be able to sell my persona, and if you try to apply to something else, my chances become lowered on this front.").

From the first sentence forward, I detect poor writing, poorly constructed sentences, enough ugly grammar to frighten off all but the strangest bird, and a keen need to escape the mundane by driving straight through it with a Mac truck, but that is it's charm, and I jest, only because this first sentence is not true, but is often directed at me and anybody else who struggles to break out of the box of rote linguistics, or worse, profess literary interests for their own sake, with or without the harsh harness of originality further enslaving the urge to explore.

The message, however, is on the money, and yet, one is left with the question of what's next? Most activist aesthetes eschew art in favor of radical politics, but what has radical politics done for us lately? Today's radicals don't seem to realize the frontier has been vanquished. There are few words, and fewer ideas which require our blood sport devotion. We have long since accepted that the golden ages of idealism have passed us by, and now we are left with little but the grunt work of making our lives count one by one, each to our own strengths of reason, inspiration, and passion to make it so. We have certainly been given fair warning.

This call to action is what Matthew Z means by poetry being replaced or fulfilled by praxis, but like so many others before him, his plea falls not on deaf ears but upon cowardly spirits and the cacophony of competing interests. This is not a resolute failure but the patient and conservative spirit of Nature conferring to us its most preferred role. Time is not man's play toy.

But will the poet of today accept this understanding of his own unspectacular clockwork, keen to the literary profilers and the horses they ride?

GT