Grammar Rant

Has something ever bothered you so much that you had to interrupt the post you composed in your head at 4:15am when you were trying to get back to sleep?  By the way, composing posts don’t help you get back to sleep; they just make you want to get up and write.  But back to being bothered. . . .

I just put the boys to bed for naptime.  (With any luck, Tornado E will nap a bit too.) Tornado S picked out The Boy and the Tigers by Helen Bannerman.  It’s a cute story about a boy tricking some tigers into first not eating him and second giving him back his clothes.  For those with better memories than I or those from across the pond, you’ll know this story as Little Black Sambo.

Now I don’t know if this is Bannerman’s original text or not, but the grammar is horrible.  So much so that apparently the last time I read it to the boys, I actually edited it.  First off there are too many “ands.”  I know this is more of style thing, but serioursly do we really need to start off every sentence with an “and” or list with “and?”  (“flour and eggs and milk and sugar and butter”)  My head hurts.  Then it’s like the author just grabbed a bunch of commas and just threw them onto the page like colored sprinkles.  While I’m all for colored sprinkles on everything, commas are not colored sprinkles and should be used correctly.  No wonder so few people know how to use commas if books they began reading never used them correctly.  Then nearly every sentence is started with “but,” “so”, “and.”  It’s just more poor grammar usage.

I know that on my blog I stretch the rules of grammar, even break them, from time to time, but I know what I’m doing.  I’m also writing in conversational speech.  This is a book being read to children, a book that children will read by themselves when they learn.  Isn’t it important for them to have good examples on writing?  Wouldn’t that make it easier for them in class as they’ve seen good examples over and over?  And who the hell didn’t edit this book?  Why couldn’t have snagged a job as an editor straight out of college?  Because I know I could do a whole lot better.

Thank you for sticking in with this grammar nerd rant.  A funnier and more embarrassing post to come tomorrow.

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