16 October 2008

Grammar Therapy

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.


Anonymous said...

I love it! This makes you a Grammar Cracker right? Oh way bad grammmar but so much fun. As a math nerd I can understand the stress of a mal named variable in a string of polynomials, however. Dangle one participal in the eyes of my ex grammar professor and you'll be damned for... or at least receive an 'F' for your work. Is that an F for eFFort?

Shannon said...

I am way behind on reading your blog, but that kid of mine seems to be a time suck. Anyway this made me think of the funniest greeting card that I saw the other day. On the front was a picture of two twenty-something girls. One said to the other, "I am glad I have you to spend my birthday with." The other says, "You shouldn't end your sentences with a preposition." On the inside the first girl says, "I am glad I have you to spend my birthday with, bitch."

shannon [prices]