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Monday, April 04, 2005


A bit of a strange title, I suppose, and for it we thank my mom. As I was chatting with my parents last night on Skype, my mom took the opportunity to see what her dearest son (I'm the youngest, you know) has been up to. And being the wonderful, proud mother that she is, instead of commenting on the pictures or asking questions about my most recent trip, she proceeded to give a play by play account of all the many small grammatical mistakes she found in various posts. She then asked me how to post a comment.
"No comments on grammar," I said.
"Oh, never mind then."

My mom has always been big on the grammar thing. When I was a boy she corrected me all the time - I was a lazy speaker. I would then get angry at her and use even worse grammar, and maybe throw in a few edgy words - not quite curse words, but not nice words either like hell crap or darn (and one day while playing horse with her, I even said damn...she did not like that one bit). One day I realized as I listened to people and realized how stupid they sounded when they used bad grammar, that I must sound pretty ignorant, too, and so now I try to use good grammar at all times (and I guess as an English teacher, that is a pretty important requirement). I can not seem to escape the criticism though, and now not only do I have a mother scouring my posts for little tiny mistakes, I have a girlfriend who jumps on my every wrong tone when I speak Chinese...alas! Poor Alan.

I hereby acknowledge that you will encounter some grammatical mishaps and misspelled words as you peruse this blog page. For that I apologize. I usually am writing these at about 6:30 in the morning when my brain is not functioning, and I rarely have any idea of what I'm going to talk about when I start to write. Perhaps I should write them out first and then spell-check and edit and polish, but I need that time to work on other things, and so you, the reader, must suffer. I think we are all grown-ups here, though, so let us merely shake our heads at such mistakes and move on. OK MOM!


Blogger Badaunt said...

Sometimes I worry a bit about using perfect grammar with students. What if they get used to it, and can't understand normal people when they go abroad?

Perhaps you could tell your mother you are preparing your students to meet normal people, who wouldn't recognise a dangling participle if they tripped over it.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Alan Brinker said...

A lot of my students use Chinese grammar when speaking English. Even then they use better grammar than I have heard used by a lot of American students...

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Natalia said...

So, that's why you are correcting me all the time?

2:36 PM  

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