Words have been my playmates for decades. Ever since the Ladybird heroes of the sixties, Peter and Jane, and their huge black letters introduced me to dogs and balls and trees and toys, I have been surrounded by their magic.
They have taken me to enchanted forests, deserted islands, posh English boarding schools, scary American neighbourhoods. They have pulled me inside books and kept me hostage within the pages until the last one was turned, finally setting me free to return to my ordinary little life.
Those words were correctly shaped, spelt and structured long before my young eyes were allowed anywhere near their tight grasp. They had been checked and double-checked by editors, proofreaders and printers many months prior to appearing on my wobbly bookshelf. They were simply perfect. Each letter was in its place. Apostrophes were where they were supposed to be, or not there at all. All the grammar rules we learnt at school were respected to a tee. Or to a tea, or to a t? Who knows now? In any case, the words I found in all of my books were written just the way they were supposed to be written.
So what the f**k has happened?
I have tried to keep quiet about this, I swear. I certainly have no intention of becoming part of the “grammar police” force, or even worse a “grammar nazi” (I saw that terrifying term used recently on a blogpost).
But I have to speak up now, I’m afraid. I cannot button my lip any longer. Words are being used and abused and I have decided to stand up here and defend their right to exist in their original form, however dull and dreary that may be.
Yes, of course typos can happen and since we are all writing infinitely faster than ever before, mistakes are bound to happen. And there are rarely editors or proofreaders now checking the vast amount of material which flies freely and fitfully around the globe. But surely we should know the difference between write and right? Or there, their, or they’re?
Perhaps it is just an age thing, a premenopausal feeling of being poked in the eye with a blunt stick (I know it’s meant to be sharp but mine never is) whenever I see one of these screeching errors. Perhaps I am simply a pernickety, ageing, horribly difficult to please pain in the bum. But whenever I see a ‘your’ instead of a ‘you’re’ or an ‘it’s’ instead of an ‘its’ I want to spit on the page I am reading, yank it from the publication and then rip it to shreds. Excessive? No, just very difficult to do when reading on an iPad.
So, to finish off this grammar-rant, or maybe that could now be a grammarant, I have decided to provide below a quick review of the main points which bring the mucus to the back of my throat. And as Peter and Jane would not have said all those years ago – Look and F***ing Learn.
PS If the Chief Superintendent of the Grammar Police reads this and finds some grammatical or spelling mistakes, please give him or her my heartfelt apology’s (😉). Remember that this is all just a peace of thong-in-cheek fawn.
Image courtesy of amazon.com