Posted by: CJ | April 9, 2009

A grammar-phile? Really? Isn’t there a topical cream for that?

On a lark, because I was buying Rick Perlstein’s books on Goldwater and Nixon, I decided to buy Zinsser’s On Writing Well. While clicking around amazon (where else would I buy a book?) I saw several other writing books. I was saddened to realize the most popular were punctuation and grammar-nazi books. I mean, really. I know that our children’s not-even-passing acquaintance with correctly written standard English is unfortunate. Probably a sign that we need more imposing nuns with rulers, perhaps one for each computer and cell phone in America. But amidst all the decline of culture and civilization grammar and punctuation where you draw the line? You proudly declare your prose fascism, blocking creativity and imagination in the written word for the greater good of society?

If we aren’t already all doomed then we deserve to be.

I need to go cleanse myself by reading Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary.



  1. A recent survey at my school had 6 teachers saying our students need to learn to diagram sentences–not one of the people saying that was an English teacher, and none were Special ed, either. That means a that almost a third of our core teachers think we should do that. Interesting, yes?

    Especially when we don’t teach enough grammar in elementary/middle school for kids to recognize nouns and verbs….

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