By the vary nature of being writers, we need to be aware of grammar and how thing should be said properly. Once, when I was younger, I submitted a story into a writing contest that “would of” and “could of” instead of “would’ve” and “could’ve”. Or would have and could have as I would do it most of the time now. That error, in part, gave me only honorable mention.
My reasoning with grammar is that if we speak as we should write, then our writing with be better the first time around and we can focus on more serious problems with our manuscripts instead of handling grammatical errors we should have fixed the first time through. With that in mind, I often try to speak, shall we say, properly, even though I do fail quite often.
So, my question for you this week is:
What grammatical mistake that people will use often drives you insane or do you find yourself correctly?
For myself, it’s good versus well. If someone uses good instead of well, I’ll correct them (if polite) including radio DJs. (No, I don’t call them, but I do make nasty comments at the radio.) I’ve been doing it for a little over a year now and most everyone in my family is getting much better.
I am personally a fan of rule-breaking in writing, if it is done well. Basic grammar is important to be understood but, on the other hand, writing with broken grammar or strange spelling can really set the scene or make the character come alive – I’m thinking Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) or Alan Duff (Once Were Warriors) for example.
I read “Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and I loved that book, in spite of the fact that traditionally, his grammar would be considered incorrect. And although I agree that most of grammar is suggestions, It’s still helpful to have an agreed upon point to begin.