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MFA in Writing at Vermont College

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ghosts, Graveyards and Grammar

When I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I turn on all the lights and drag along my Louisville Slugger…  I am not going to get surprised by the unliving empty handed.

Just the idea of some former resident of my house scuffling down the hall, rattling chains while I’m trying to do my business gives me the heebie-jeebies.  I mean ghosts don’t come back to tell the current resident they’re out of milk… no they come back to haunt you out of the house.

The only good thing about a house ghost is that they are alone.  Now you go to a graveyard and it is a different story.  We’re talking gangs of ghosts prowling around waiting for you to come walking through the wrought iron gate. 

I do not like ghosts.  I do not like graveyards.

But I would rather face a bunch of Thriller video dudes coming out of the ground and chasing me down the street than try to understand grammar.  I mean why does the English language have to be so challenging?

The farm was used to produce produce.
We must polish the Polish furniture.
When shot at the dove dove into the bushes
They were too close to the door to close it
The buck does funny things when the does are present
Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear

Writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham
The plural of tooth is teeth but booth is not beeth
One goose, two geese so why not one moose, two meese?

See why I am so confused!  I can’t take the insanity of it all.

Here is a compliment I received during a recent critique regarding a bit of dialogue in my story. Your character “talks too much and he gets usage a bit wrong.  He’s pretentious and a bit stupid.  Good example of showing character through dialogue.”

The problem is I thought the dialogue WAS grammatically correct.  Does that mean I am pretentious and a bit stupid? Oh goodness, I better get a handle on this grammar thing. 

Why do we ship by a truck and send cargo by ship?
Why do noses run and feet smell?
Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposite?
You fill in a form by filling it out!
When the stars are out they are visible but when the lights are out I am in the dark!

Grammar is scary!  Ghosts and graveyards have nothing on grammar.  In fact, grammar can easily get the best of death.  Just check out these grammar mistakes on headstones. 

I know this is going to be me.  I will be resting in eternity with a grammar mistake on my tombstone.  For the love of William Strunk please do not let this happen to me!  I can’t go down in a flame of grammar mistakes.

Perhaps I am overreacting.  I suppose things could always be worse.

1 comment:

  1. I like "constant craps" haha

    ~Hannah and Kevin Schill~
    (P.S. That one was Kevin)