Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cross your "T"s and Dot your "I"s (or else!)

Humor me for a moment as I steel myself to reveal something very personal...here goes...I am a total Grammar Geek.  (Did I forget to say it was a "Deep Dark Confession That Will Shock Absolutely No One"?) I have always been fascinated by words, and how to spell them, and how to string them together. For example, does anyone remember learning to diagram sentences: subject, verb object, prepositional phrase, etc?  I LOVED that.  If there is a misspelled word in a newspaper, or a misused homophone* in a book, or a misplaced modifier** in a magazine, my eyes gravitate to it immediately.  I also feel the unrelenting desire to point it out to whoever's in range,which I'm told can be annoying. Isn't everyone else outraged by grievous language errors, just like me?

Well, you'll all be pleased to hear that I have taken on a (volunteer) position that will allow me to exercise my English skills to the fullest:  Coordinator for the student newspaper at my sons' school. It's quite prestigious: my first official task was to choose a 4th-grade Editor, by soliciting applications, reviewing the submissions, and meeting with the Principal and Reading Specialist to decide on the best candidate. Very exciting stuff.  Now that "my staff" (2 students and myself) is in place, we can get down to the nitty-gritty task of producing a quality piece of journalism--written by 5-to-11 year olds.  But nevermind the tender age of our scribes--in correcting their work, we will wield an unforgiving red pencil!  (Oh wait, I'm sure everything will come in via e-mail.  Scratch the red pencil.)  Still, I look forward to training them...to show no mercy to run-on paragraphs! To sneer at comma splices! To scorn sentence fragments! (like that one, but since I'm the adult, it's just "my creative style".  So there.) 

Aren't all of you glad I now have an approved outlet for my mania?  I can pick on--I mean impart valuable wisdom to--elementary-schoolers and stop harassing my friends and family!  (Okay, at least about this one subject!)

*The pitcher and catcher practiced there signs before the game.
**The ball hit the boy that came through the window.

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