Thursday, July 14, 2011


 I went to school during the era of no grammar, which was fine for me because I hated learning definites. I always struggled with exactitudes.
It suits me much better to work within a framework where imagination and creativity are the rules and therefore nothing can really ever be wrong.

Not so with grammar it appears.
For example:
*            Commas have a special place and the frequent use of such means your writing isn’t tight enough.

I am a chronic over-comma-user. I write the way I speak – using a hundred words where twelve would have been necessary. I like to talk.

*            You only use an apostrophe after a word ending in ‘s’ if you would say the ‘s’ out loud. For example:
Rhys’s bike is over there.
But if you were talking about Brett Michaels, You would just say Brett Michaels’ bike is over there.

Who knew?
Lots of people probably, but not anyone who went to school during the 80’s and 90’s.

I learned all this at my workshop with Dan Kaufman, which is on again this Sunday and I’m just as excited about it this time as I was last week.
He is a real profesh. Seventeen years in the biz, eleven of them with the Sydney Morning Herald, and willing to impart his knowledge to the thirty wannabees that filled the room.

He talked of front-loading content, the inverted pyramid, circular structure,
And dangling participles.

I have absolutely no idea what they are but who cares. 
It’s such a fabulous title that that is entirely irrelevant. I never thought grammar could have a sense of humour.
I’ve been trying to bring the phrase up in sentences all week, but not knowing what it means is holding me back somewhat.
I could look it up but, where’s the fun in that?
Once I know what it means, I’ll be forced to acknowledge I’ve been writing with participles dangling incorrectly all my life and that wouldn’t do at all.

Sure, for the most part, knowledge is power. But not in this case.
Knowledge in this instance would just make more work.

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