The Forgetful Frog #26: Confessions of a Grammar Wonk

The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog October 13, 2016 20:51

forgetful-frog-image3-300x2301-300x230-132By The Forgetful Frog

Confessions by a grammar and spelling wonk with carpal tunnel syndrome.

All my life, I have held the line with regard to spelling and grammar. Over the years, I have had no choice but to acknowledge that these things do, indeed, evolve. I have even made peace with the notion that evolution is good, as well as inevitable. However, I have also made peace with being among those who resist. I have steadfastly refused to split my infinitives. I have even refused to apologetically split them (just kidding).

Now, I have no choice but to join the ranks of those who simplify writing, words, and grammar.

Gone is the subjunctive tense, with its annoying apostrophes. If a misspelled word can be easily deciphered, that’s good enough.

If I split my infinitives, or otherwise insult my written work with spoken informalities, my only test will be whether or not my readers concentration might be broken. Here is a perfect example: in the previous sentence, the word “readers” should have an apostrophe, to indicate the possessive form. It could go before the S, to indicate that I am speaking of one reader at a time. Or, it could go after the S, to indicate possessive plural form.

As you can easily observe, I’m sure, I am a hopeless grammar wonk. It is in my DNA, and it will be an effort to forsake it. But I have decided to try!

I thought I should write at this moment, because I am feeling happy. Too often, I am afraid, I write when I am unhappy. That’s because my writing is my form of therapy. But it does not make for cheerful reading, most of the time.

Right now, though, the world seems bright. At least, my immediate world. I will not comment on the presidential prospects, for example. Except I can’t mention presidential politics without saying I am saddened by our two leading candidates. I have a strong preference for one of them, but would have preferred voting for Sanders. But maybe I should not mention politics. I will not be offended if the previous sentences are edited out. (Editor’s note: Everyone else is talking about it, why not our beloved Frog?)

In any case, leaving aside politics, the world is treating me kindly. Every time I use my walker, I try to remember to take steps without holding on. It’s right there for me to grab, when I need to. I can usually manage only a step or two before grabbing it. But that is more than I could do a few months ago, so I try to see it as progress. Slow and steady, they always say. As a child, though, I never bought into that fable. If the rabbit had been speedy and modest, he would have won by a mile.

The real moral is not “slow and steady,” it’s “always do your best.” Slow and steady might always get you there, but always doing your best gets you there as quickly as possible. Or, perhaps your best never does get you to your goal. Looking back and knowing you did your best, though, will help you avoid regrets.

Who am I to give advice on avoiding regrets? I have a slew of them! Maybe that’s why I feel qualified to talk about them. I look back on a few key moments, and wonder if I really did the best I could. That’s a painful moment.

I got a comment! I got a comment!

I am yelling to my husband, who is outside watering the yard. I have settled down with my morning coffee and, checking my email, discovered the second person who has written a reply to my blog.

I cannot begin to express how gratifying it is. Not only is someone enjoying and appreciating what I write, they have taken the time to let me know.

Admittedly, the first reason I write is self expression. A very close second, however, is the hope that someone might enjoy or be encouraged by my paragraphs. I am constantly fascinated by the importance of both of these motivations. If either one were absent, I think I would cease writing.

Thank you for commenting! I hope you can imagine how wonderful it is for me!

We returned yesterday from a trip to the Seattle area. We were visiting one of my husband’s oldest and closest friends. Once again, the joy of special activities outweighs the exhaustion. But I will not pretend that I am not exhausted. I do think, however, that I am becoming accustomed to moving through the world using a walker. As we learn, time and time again, practice helps. I certainly won’t say it makes perfect, but I am increasingly comfortable with my walker, and that is very pleasing. I have not completely abandoned the hope of using a cane, but for now, I am using the walker and trying to lean on it less and less, every day.

Slow and steady. And remember to have fun!

To be continued…

forgetful-frog-image3-300x2301-300x230-132Rose Oaks is a foothills resident in her 50s who writes with the help of a computer tablet and speech-recognition software. She hopes that her notes on coping with disability will help others facing difficult challenges know they are not alone. Read more Forgetful Frog blog posts at this link: Readers’ Journal.


The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog October 13, 2016 20:51
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