Saturday, April 7, 2012
G = Grammar A to Z Challenge
In a time when slang & niche speak find their way into the dictionary at record speed, it may seem that grammar is optional. Some writers have suggested that grammar is no longer relevant. But, seasoned writers know that grammar is only required if the writer wants to be considered literate.
Grammar is the framework on which we work. Like a home builder who sets the house on a foundation, writers set their work on the foundation of language and grammar. Once a writer knows the rules, they are free to bend or even break them. However, the well-trained writer knows that for rule breaking to work within a piece there must be sufficient reason. Without a sufficient reason the writer risks alienating their readers.
Mark Twain: Rule Breaker Extraordinaire
Until Mark Twain there had not been much writing with colloquial Missouri dialect. Twain broke grammar rules to the delight of the reading public. It was quite a risk but it worked. It worked so well that Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer are named as great American Literature.
Twain's rule breaking worked because his readership understood he was a literate writer, a prominent newspaper man and author. The dialect had purpose in telling the story. So they agreed to breaking the grammar rules in the dialogue.
Mark Twain proved that once the writer has full command of their craft they are free to play with language.
If you find grammar humorous, check out these sites: