I woke up this morning to a funny email from my best girl, Courtney. It made me giggle so I have decided to reprint it here, heavily edited for my own amusement, and without her consent.
In the spirit of
the "let's tell each other if we make grammatical errors on our blogs"
conversation we had when you were here in January, I have to tell you
that phenomena is the plural of phenomenon. Starving Hobo Syndrome is
a phenomenon while starving hobo syndrome coupled with Free Alcohol
Frenzy are phenomena.
I hope you don't hate me. I understand the desire to use the word phenomena. It's a much prettier word
Thank you Courtney!
Seriously though, thank you.
I think I might be grammatically challenged. While I believe I have reasonably decent grammatical instincts, I have zero conscious knowledge of commas or sentence structure. I'm making this shit up as I go along, people. I just toss in a few commas when the sentence gets too confusing for even me to understand, and I call it a day. Oh sure, I know my there/they're/their rules, but come on, that's child's play. I know you are not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but hell if I know what a preposition even is. (I just did it, right? Ended that sentence in a preposition? Meh, hand me a fudgesicle.)
The punctuation mark that strikes the most fear in my heart, is the dreaded semi-colon. I am certain that proper understanding of the semi-colon could dramatically improve the quality of my life. Sometimes my sentences just drone on and on, and I keep adding millions of commas, and no matter what I do I can't figure out how to end the sentence, but I also can't figure how to connect it's (its...stupid Kate, stupid) many meandering parts, so I add comma, after comma, after, comma, and I pray to Baby Jesus that somehow the reader will find a way to understand my cryptic meaning, and then I shake my fist at the sky and say, "Damn you semi-colon and your illusive (elusive, you bratsche-wielding barbarian) power, DAMN YOU."
To make matters worse, I don't really care all that much about proper grammar. In reading and writing, I am a get-the-gist-of-it kind of gal. I get the gist, and then I get out of there. I don't tend to linger lovingly on each word and comma. The problem with my get-the-gist-of-it system, (BAD COMMA, you are seperating my subject and my verb. GAWD.) is that many of my readers don't share my free-spirited approach to grammar and punctuation. Although I don't care about the semi-colon enough to actually investigate its proper usage, it makes me cringe to imagine someone reading my blog and thinking, "What an effing idiot. Just use a semi-colon for Christ's sake". It is a terrible curse, being both lazy and proud.