What Not to Do Wednesday: Mind your Grammar

Mind Your Grammar (Sung to the tune of Home on the Range)

“Oh, give me a home, where the grammar books roam,
And the commas and periods play.
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
So the skies are just peachy all day.”

If only I had listened to that song. Alas, that other song, “Bigshot” comes to mind when I think of one of my first stories submitted.

“You had to be a Bigshot, didn’t you?
Had to write without the rules.
You had to have the last word, last night.
Now the judge took you to school.”

A-hem. It could have happened to anyone. Anyone, that is, who neglected those little grammar rules. Anyone who forgot to check minor details. Like how to write conversation with the proper formatting.

Because unless you’re someone famous like Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy of No Country For Old Men fame who can write (and sell) books flouting the rules of punctuation, you must mind your grammar. Proofread your work carefully. Double-check those guidelines for manuscript formatting. Keep a reference book close by, even if you think you’ll never need it.

Soon enough, little grasshopper, you will have learned your (grammar) lesson. And some peachy day, Fame will say, “Go ahead, Bigshot, you can write pages and pages of conversation without so much as a quotation mark…and here’s a movie deal to go with it!”

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