I’ve talked about grammar before in this post. I want to talk about it again.
Grammar is like sin. We all have our special list of unpardonable grammar sins. We judge the writing of others based on that list. A couple of my peeves are getting accept/except wrong and using the wrong pronoun (My wife and me went to the movies). For me the sin above all others (not really a grammar thing) is leaving out a word. I look back at an old post and see a word missing. I am mortified. I see this in the writing of professional journalists far too often.
Other grammar sins I don’t consider to be sins as much as they are ways of developing a ‘style’ or ‘voice’ or ‘tone’. I know I break the rules of grammar regularly. I use sentence fragments. I don’t pay much attention to punctuation rules. I punctuate solely for the purpose of flow or readability. I’m looking for a tone that is light, casual, conversational. That’s for my run of the mill musings. For story I try to stick more closely to the rules but even then readability and voice are more important to me than strict adherence to the rules.
I know that going for style or tone can be used as an excuse for poor writing. I also know that taken too far ignoring grammar rules can cost credibility with readers.
So what about it? What’s more important to you? Grammar rules, professionalism, style, voice, tone? And how do we know when we have crossed the line from casual to sloppy?
I would like to know what you think of my blog so please take the following poll.
If you feel like it.
I’m not looking for attaboys here. This is merely a lame attempt at humor.
As a matter of fact I’ve set this so you can vote as many times as you like. I plan to vote hundreds of times for the one with Hemingway in it.