Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week four

I've been enjoying getting into more advanced concepts, such as syntax. Although, I will admit, I took a linguistics class last fall and, between you (all) and me, I did very poorly, so I am hoping that I can pull myself through this unit a little better and improve my track record.

I have always considered my grammar to be very good, though not impeccable, and I have wanted to work on making it as close to perfect as possible for some time. I don't want to be the person who slips up on “lay”/”lie” or says “you and I” when I mean “you and me,” so I am looking forward to learning even more about things like intransitive verbs and other related concepts so that I can always know that I am using the right form. As an English major, I find that people frequently look for opportunities to nitpick and correct my grammar, which would not bother me if said people did not seem so self-congratulatory, as they frequently do in such instances. Generally, I like to respond to such people with a joke I once heard: “I'm an English major, not a speakin' major.” That said, I would like to be able to refine both my spoken and written grammar to the point where such things no longer occur.

To that end, I have largely been working on interrupting myself less in my writing. In my first blog post, I made note of my overuse of dashes and parenthetical thoughts. I have been actively attempting not to use them at all for now; after I get used to writing without them, and saying what I need to say in more of a straight flow of ideas rather than constantly interrupting myself, I will attempt to work up to using them sparingly. That said, it is a little tricky to get used to the way my writing sounds in my head without them. It sounds somewhat clipped and abrupt, though I suppose that, as I become more accustomed to not using them, it will start to sound more natural. I've also been working on really paring down and dividing sentences where necessary to avoid the dreaded run-on. I mean, I got through this whole post without one parenthesis or dash appearing, so I think I would call that progress.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it funny how a decision to make a change can screw with your entire way of thinking? I absolutely love using dashes and parentheticals. I don't really consider them a bad thing, then again, I enjoy using my writing as a way to convey how I actually think. (Academic writing can be very unforgiving when you think that way.) I don't like faking my writing, so to speak. I enjoy showing people exactly who I am--they are free to take it or leave it.

    But if you're trying to use dashes and parenthesis less, you seem to be doing a great job! Just remember not to lose who you are in your writing. =)