grammar blues

You guys? If you catch me sticking an apostrophe into a word where one doesn’t belong (“it’s” instead of “its” is the main culprit) will you please HIT ME or something?

I consider myself a pretty good grammar nazi. I know I’ve blahgged this before but you cannot grow up with The Commander as a mother without turning into a grammar nazi. If you wanted to say something like “I ain’t got none,” you had better darn well be over in the school yard or the gully or at Aunt Marion’s corner store or the Pingatore house or somewhere. Any place where she couldn’t hear you.

The proper usage of “lay” and “lie” was beaten into my brain at an early age. I still don’t understand exactly when to use “bring” and “take”. I mean, it always seems to me that at some point in the process of schlepping something from point A to point B, “take” morphs into “bring”. Doesn’t it??? Exactly where is that point?

If there was anything that The Commander missed, it was surely drilled into my head in junior high by Pratt & Loye. They were no-nonsense English teachers — sisters, if I remember accurately — who dressed in that old-fashioned style that allowed a woman to place a handkerchief down the front of her dress for (hopefully) convenient retrieval. A classroom with Pratt or Loye at the helm was a tight ship. No fooling around. Once in seventh grade, Loye caught me cheating, i.e., letting someone copy my answers. Never again!

These days, I occasionally encounter words that I don’t know how to spell or can only vaguely define. Like lassitude, for example. But I know how to look them up so I *do* look them up. If I write something like “gonna” instead of “going to”, I do it on purpose. I’m not a trained writer but if I write in sentence fragments or start a sentence with a conjunction or commit any number of other grammar/syntax crimes, I do it more or less consciously. Proper use of commas, I sorta know. Proper use of semicolons, I am darn froggy on. grok grok And I do not even pretend to control Froggy. grokGROK! In the end, this is just a blahg, and it’s my blahg and I can do what I want and y’all can just deal 😛

But when I stick an apostrophe into “its” when I’m using it as a possessive pronoun, not as a contraction for “it is,” it’s not intentional! Substituting “their” for “there” or vice versa is another frequent error. I don’t know why I keep doing this. I guess bats are scrambling my brain! grok grok. Just lemme know if she screws up. grok grok. I’ll schlurrrrp her! grok frookGROK!

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