Sunday, March 18, 2012

English doesn't always equal English. Mind=Blown

I got my script back from the lovely editor lady! My ego is shockingly unbruised! She even said nice things about it! But she did mention my overuse of the exclamation point, which I will take under advisement. It could possibly be that she's on to something. I may tend towards over-dramatic on occasion.

I managed to produce two whole pages that didn't have a note on them somewhere. I feel justifiably proud of myself for those two pages with no mistakes or typos. They weren't consecutive pages or anything, but that's a goal to shoot for next time.

My mistakes were a few confusingly phrased sentences, formatting errors and as always.... grammar. I've always struggled with commas. Suprisingly enough, I used to be really good with commas when I was a kid. Then I got to the second grade. We had to use them according to actual rules... and my comma ability just went straight downhilI. I just want to sprinkle them in everywhere because it looks right.

There was much pondering and soul searching about why I've been vanquished by punctuation. Honestly, it's embarrassing, but I think I figured out the reason. I blame Garrison Keillor. He's one of my early literary influences. (I couldn't even type that with a straight face, I sound like such a pretentious asshat.) Perhaps 'blame' is too strong a word, but the point remains. He's one of the first authors I read and couldn't get enough of. I wanted to write like him when I was a grown-up.

Have you ever read anything he wrote? You should. It's hilarious. The news from Lake Wobegon, where all the woman are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average. He writes like he's sitting right next to you telling you the story of his hometown while you both wait for the bus. Or you're on the bus going to his hometown and he doesn't want you to miss a thing.

It isn't until you're a full page into the story that you realize there's only about six periods and thirty seven commas on that page and furthermore, you don't care because you've been sucked into the world of Lake Wobegon like Alice tumbling down through the rabbit hole, if the rabbit hole was Minnesota.

I decided that a childhood infatuation with Lake Wobegon was just an excuse for not doing it properly so I sat down and consulted the internet. Where do I always turn for advice? Google (mostly) taught me script format. It wasn't going to fail me now. This comma thing was going to get sorted once and for all. Never again would I have multiple people telling me I'm doing it wrong.

Seriously, nine year olds can do this! There's no reason for me to struggle along pathetically.

Turns out... British English and American English have slightly different rules. I did not know this. So if I'm getting American people and British people to comment on the same story... they're never going to agree and I will always see, 'add a comma here/delete a comma there' notes!

I'm not defective! It's the Laws of Grammar! It's not my fault! I can stop being frustrated I keep making the same mistake over and over! I hate that, I want to make new and more creative mistakes. Exciting new and more creative mistakes. Old, familiar mistakes are just boring.

I feel like singing. Well, if I could sing, I would sing. You'd probably pay me to stop if I did sing, and I don't want to inflict that on you. I like you, you read my blog.

Now that I have defeated the comma... I turn my attention to my overuse and abuse of the exclamation point.

Stay tuned for the epic battle.

No comments:

Post a Comment