Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grammatical Errors, The Bane of Literature?

Grammar is the soul of a sentence, or any text whatsoever. And getting that wrong is the artistic equivalent of blotching up a perfect painting with ink stains. The errors are literary speed-bumps on a highway of fluid writing. While in a technical process, sentences with grammatical errors don't make any sense (and grammar Nazis are quick to point that out), almost nothing goes on as planned in the technical sense.
Grammar may be the soul of the text, but the essence is in the style, the formation and the story.

The break in the fluidity can be easily compensated by a brilliant writing style. Unfortunately for most, achieving that is harder than the grammar itself. Grammar is not always indicative of intelligence or attention to detail but rather a product of one’s education and upbringing. For example, it is perfectly okay to write 'defence' in Canada whereas in the US, defense is the correct choice. Depending on the website or newspaper or book you read, there are two different yet valid, totally reasonable and defensible spellings of a word. There are countless instances of this and yet, we cannot help associating 'bad' grammar with low intelligence, sloppiness and lack of refinement.

If you've written anything on the Internet, whether on Facebook or a small post, a short time later you've probably experienced a feeling of pure, unalloyed irritation when you observed someone correcting your grammar. Aside from the fact that everyone on the Internet is irritating all the time, this particular irritation is compounded by the fact that, dammit, they're kind of right!-cracked 

Now I am sure people will call me a hypocrite for being(or even faking badly) a Grammar Nazi myself. And I am not going to defend the label. But that's for the Facebook posts and other random 'thoughts' of people. You seriously shouldn't mess up an average 100 character post and using unnecessary words without knowing their meaning is just a strict 'no'.

 Another thing that a writer feels annoyed about is the fact that judging his work by a few misplaced errors is not the measure of its worth and certainly not his/her style. Obviously, grammar is important where one is writing a scientific paper, or a well read prose, but for articles and writers with a strong sense of wording and a powerful style, theses errors are just the hazards of the job considering that there is no official regulatory body in the English language.
"Much was said, and much was ate, and all went well." Clearly this sentence was written by a fourth grader –but not ushered into acquaintance with proper grammar. Like, say, Jane Austen? That’s straight out of her novel 'Mansfield Park'.
The only people in charge of how words are spelled are the users, and as established, we're idiots. And if you've ever tried to get a bunch of idiots to agree on something, you'll know that consensus is pretty hard to reach, and the consensus that is reached isn't always the wisest choice.

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