Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gramatically Yours

i just read 1-2 paragraphs and found lot of grammatical errors as well.
honestly, i dont like the style.

I received that message from someone to whom I had given the link to my blog and decided to copy and paste it here for the world to see. It humored me how someone who isn’t bothered to use capital letters or proper punctuation is the first to make a comment like that. Honestly, I was a bit upset when I read it and immediately wanted to attack the person that would shove such a cold and sharp dagger into the heart of my ego.

But then I took a step back and looked at it in a different way. I know I don’t always spell correctly. I know the grammar in which I have chosen to write would make my old English teacher’s hair fall out in clumps. I write to be funny, not correct in a grammatical, punctuational or any other way for that matter. Like Pee Wee, I am a rebel and a loner. A lone reed. A lone reed standing in a sea of something, blah, blah, something. I forgot the rest of the quote but it is from the film “You’ve Got Mail” so feel free to look it up at your leisure.

I like using commas. I would even go so far as to say I like abusing commas. I like inventing or modifying words when I can’t think of an existing one that fits. Sometimes I like short sentences. I do. Really. And other times I like to run on and on wherever my mind wishes to wander not caring if the subject matter or focus changes mid sentence or makes sense to anyone but me. And I like to start my sentences with “And.” I don’t know if the end of sentence punctuation goes inside or outside the quotation marks, but I don’t really care. If everyone who wrote concentrated on those details, we would not need editors and proofreaders. I like getting my ideas out. I like that I have ideas to get out, and every time I write in my blog, I think of my friend Christina who encouraged me to do this in the first place. In fact, she used to be my audience of one and it was in the wee hours of a San Francisco morning that I sat in her amazing living room up in the hills off Castro with a straight shot down the middle of the Bay Bridge, all jet-lagged from my previous day’s flight from Beijing that I started this blog by posting a few of the stories I had emailed her over the years. She was the one that edited my profile after I typed it out, cutting it down by half.

Perhaps this means I have arrived. In all the years I have been writing stories, I haven’t had anyone say anything negative. In fact, total strangers like Stephen and Pierre have become friends. I have met people like Suzy who already knew things about me, things I had forgotten I had written about. But that little message made me realize something. At some point I stopped writing for me and started writing for other people. I started writing what I thought would make someone laugh or be about something they wanted to hear instead of just writing about whatever popped into my head.

I have also become a bit lazy and instead of setting aside a reasonable amount of time to actually write the way I like, I steal five minutes here and there and quickly post it online. I miss having the time to sit and just let it happen, but that is my own fault. I spent two years without a television. I moved to India and had no friends and everything was new and surprising and exciting. Everyday was an adventure and lately it seems to be about work and coming home and eating and watching show after show until it is time to sleep so I can wake up and do it all again the next day. My life has become routine, dull and predictable. And that is saying something when living in India.

So perhaps that little grammatically incorrect, capital deficient and poorly punctuated comment has some use that goes beyond puncturing my ego. Maybe it’s a challenge to stir some things up.

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