16 October 2008
I am such a nerd.
I know this about myself, and I'm totally fine with it. I've made my peace, as Leslie would say. I've made my peace.
One of the many manifestations of my utter nerdiness is my interest in grammar. I wouldn't say I'm a grammar nazi, or even a grammar queen. More like a connoisseur. I'm interested in language, in general, and in finding ever more perfect ways to express myself, in specific. In person -- in speech -- I don't care too much about grammar, because we have so many ways of conveying meaning: through body language, through facial expression, through tone of voice and gesture and pitch. Grammar's job is to help language be as meaningful as possible. In speech, it's not as needed. On paper, it's far more important.
Still, it makes me sad to think about the people in this world who feel crippled by their lack of knowledge and skills when it comes to grammar and punctuation. I've never been in this particular group myself, but I HAVE been a member of the crippled-by-lack-of-knowledge-and-skills-in-MATH group, and I'm sure that they're equally unfun. Somewhere along the line, someone made you feel stupid about your inability to correctly capitalize a letter or factor a polynomial, and there's been a part of you that's just a little broken, ever since. I get that. I know.
So when Jill asked me to teach a grammar class at StoryStudio Chicago, I told her I didn't want to teach anything traditional. I didn't want to add to the grammar stress people are already carrying around in their hearts. Instead, I decided to create a class I'm calling Grammar Therapy. I'm thinking of it as one part grammar and punctuation instruction to three parts giving yourself permission to make mistakes sometimes and regaining the confidence you need to write without worrying as much about grammar and punctuation.
Also, we'll probably make some fun of the French.
Anyway, it's going to be fantastic, and if you or anyone you know needs a brush up on grammar & punctuation or permission to split the occasional infinitive, come on down.