Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Grammar Mama

Until a week ago, I did not know how to spell diarrhoea. Or manoeuvre.

I also knew diddly-squat on the differences between "its" and "it's". Elementary I know yet with the advent of Microsoft Word's spell check, my spelling and most of my grammar have degenerated to the state of stale Swiss cheese and now with the automatic spell check option, I am none the wiser. Hence if you got a handwritten Christmast card from me last year, it wasn't my fault!

Yet on the other extreme, becoming a grammar snob is so unbelievably anal.
Can you imagine combing through publications to find that one fatal typo, the one rouge apostrophe to ruin the day of the already highly-strung writer? More and more of these self-appointed language centurions are now even writing to the papers complaining about the state of our English. I say, may the one who has never made a grammar gaff cast the first paperweight!

More than the writers, I look at the industry's pencil-chewing proofreaders in new light now. Besides the indigestion, the stress that comes from having to be constantly aware of every semicolon would be insane. One would wonder who would ever want such a crummy job?

Apparently I would. You see, I just got hired as an Editor. To deal with English language teaching materials. So when your kids start spelling Christmast my way, kindly remember that it is really not my fault.
Blame Bill Gates.

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