Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pompous Grammarians

It happens without fail. Someone writes a Letter to the Editor about "proper punctuation." The only problem is that the letter itself has a grammatical error.

Take today's Advertiser:

Anyway, according to this book, I am a "stickler" and proper punctuation is an endangered species.

That sentence is missing a comma, which would separate the two independent clauses. It should read:

Anyway, according to this book, I am a "stickler," and proper punctuation is an endangered species.

I know, I know. This kid is in the seventh grade, so I should have some mercy. But while the letter was written in jest, it still exhibited a kind of pompousness that gets me steamed. I believe in good grammar, and for the sake of the language, we should watch each others' grammar. On top of that, I do believe the print media should be held to an even greater standard than the everyday person.

Yet, when the day ends, and we all go home, grammar is just a set of rules that some people know - and use - better than others. That's it. I just don't think grammar is something that people should be beating their chests over. Oh, for the traditionalists, let me phrase it this way: I just don't think grammar is something over which people should be beating their chests.

Good night!

Posted by ruth at September 21, 2005 07:40 PM


I would write it:
Anyway, according to this book, I am a "stickler"! Proper punctuation is an endangered species.
But datz me and I write & spell however the hellway I please ~ in my blog anyway. I think because of the interent there is a literary feedom or creative license with punctuations. If you understand what the person is trying to say why ask why the punctuations are where they are or are not. But datz me. :)
Posted by: Lika on September 22, 2005 06:37 AM
My suspicion is that newspapers only run spelling, grammar, and punctuation rants when there is a spelling, grammar, or punctuation error in them.
Posted by: Ryan on September 22, 2005 08:59 AM
Esclamation mark should be within the quotation. "Stickler!" instead of "stickler"!
Posted by: jj on September 23, 2005 03:36 AM
Agree with that last paragraph. After all, worrying too much about preposition position is something up with which Winston Churchill would not put. :)
Posted by: Keith on September 26, 2005 10:29 PM

Monday, July 11, 2005

No. Period.

I was just dozing off at my computer here at work. And in a brief moment, I dreamed that a guy was red with indignation over why he decided to leave periods out of his sentences. He refused to use periods because there's enough space to designate the ends of sentences and that he wouldn't use periods if he didn't have to.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005


I wish you knew what it was like
to dig dirt
To see your French manicure dulled
by the earth
I wish you could hear what we
think down here
But the only sound you hear
is the jangle at your wrist
of metal upon metal

Posted by ruth at June 07, 2005 01:36 AM

Ruth, I imagine you as being an archiaologist (don't know if that's the correct spelling) of some sort. Digging, metal to metal...perhaps gold? Anyways' great writing!
Lynn Vasquez
Posted by: Lynn Vasquez on June 7, 2005 05:48 PM

Monday, January 10, 2005

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Yesterday, I sat among the congregration, 20 or so of them, in that tiny Baptist church in Waianae Valley. Every time you stand in front of people, I feel so proud. I feel giddy, and I become like a little girl dangling her feet under the pew. Pastor, that's what they call you.

You look so kind in polyester slacks and aloha shirt. Your thick eyebrows and your silver hair make you look very dignified. For a preacher, you say very little. Your sentences are quaint, and you tell sweet jokes.

Yet, I know your feet and your back still carry the toil of the farm you knew decades ago, when life began to boom just after the Depression. You asked questions about life and what it all means when four tons of pineapple spoil, and you have to throw it all away. I know those kinds of memories hurt. I know you grew up with little money and that pursuing a better life was not easy, not easy like how it was for me. I know the secret decisions you made about claiming a faith, following a spiritual path when no one around you understood what you were doing. You were 27 when you did that, with no promise of a job, a wife, a future. You just had faith.

And this is a faith I inherited. In recent years, I struggled to understand what this faith all means to me, often resentful of how it shackled my arms and feet. For a certain period in my life, I didn't like the things you said from behind the pulpit. You had no idea about how cold my heart was years ago, when I sat listening in contempt of the message you delivered.

I no longer feel this way. I no longer fight with the message and the ideas. I see beyond that, and I see you. I see the love in your heart and a sincerity that is golden. You are humble and strong. You are good-natured. You smile over littlest things. Someday, I hope to be like you.

Your daughter,

Posted by ruth at January 10, 2005 05:25 PM

Aloha Ruth, Mahaalo for sharing such a beautiful and spiritual story. I too, disliked what the Pastors were trying to tell me...for me it was when I lost my husband. Now, I am strong in the Lord again. Now, I am stronger in faith and in mind. No matter what may come my way, no matter how I suffer...he is there to carry me. Please say Mahalo to your dad for me, it is because of men like him that the lost come back to the groom, Christ Jesus!
Lynn Vasquez
Posted by: Lynn Vasquez on June 7, 2005 05:39 PM
Hey Lynn,
Thanks for sharing your story! I will pass this along to my dad.
Take care,
Posted by: ruth on June 8, 2005 01:20 AM
i miss you.
none has ever replaced you.
i love you my friend...
Posted by: christy on July 21, 2005 10:43 AM