Sunday, January 30, 2011

Comma Spliced Blog

Nell Hardin
  Nell said you would get an F on any work that contained a comma splice. In high school, she wasn't "Nell", she was the dreaded "Miss Harden", our English teacher. After we graduated, we were permitted to call her Nell.

   I am still in fear of the comma splice. I fear other grammatical errors as well. (The last two sentences came into being as a comma splice; but they were conquered.) I have often wondered, as I have delved into the world of blogging, what mass errors in grammar I have made. "What would Nell say?" I ask myself on a regular basis. I do not even want to know what Nell would say. I fear Nell.

  My scholastic friends often help proofread (for a good laugh, no doubt) to help me out on my uneducated attempt at linguistic creativity. I do appreciate their help (Special thanks to Ben Waggoner, Ashley Faircloth, and Jill Faircloth), as I do thank God for the infamous red lines that pop up under words as I write. Possibly, through all of my trial and error, I will improve in this area of grammar. However, I am not holding my breath.

  I often wish we would correct ourselves more often, and be as critical of each other when we speak. My mother often did this at home, as did  Nell when I was in boarding school. When I was at boarding school, the professors sat at the head of every table with twelve students. For four years I sat at her table for meals. I had no clue why. Was my need to speak correct English so great? Yes.

 "How are you doing today, Gregory?" Nell would ask.
Greg: "Aw, I guess I am doing pretty good!"
Nell :"You mean to say you are doing WELL, correct?" (see, right there, a comma, semicolon, or a period!!??)
Greg: "Yes Ma'am"

  The destruction of our language is in full force these days. Unfortunately, I believe in some odd way I am guilty of it as well. No, I may not speak in some urban language that has not been mapped out by the professors of language, but I do use slanguage in my speak. Transforming how we (or I) actually speak into a written format is a slickery task. Texting has created an entirely new language; that will have to be dealt with at a later time.

  What is wrong about writing like you speak? Have you ever read old documents or books from the 1700's or further back? We have changed. Were they wrong? Not sure about that. So I write in a "conversational style" or some such. I am OK with this. I embrace this. I implore the reader to ignore the occasional grammatical error and hear what is being written. I do wish that I had slept less and paid more attention in Miss Harden's English class.

Click here to see the Five Most Common Grammatical Errors 
Click here to see Five Grammatical Errors that make You Look Dumb

I will be visiting these sites often.
Do not think of Miss Harden when you read my blog.




Asha said...

I write my blog the way I speak also. Hopefully, I don't sound uneducated. People who know personally love that about reading it because they say they can actually hear my voice inside their heads. Whatever floats thier boat, I guess.

Dawn Garlow said...

I love this post, Gregory! :) It did very much make me think of the Iron Ruler, Nell Harden! I owe her EVERYTHING for teaching us correct English Grammar and how to write it!! She was my saving grace through college english and lit classes and she continues to be my salvation as far as "writing goes". She was an excellent teacher and taught us well. I am sure you caught more than not while you were sleeping in her class. I mean, how could you not!? It just sort of seeped in without warning or maybe it was extreme FEAR! ha ha Whatever the cause, I am extremely grateful!! :)
She taught me everything I know and then some!! GO, NELL!! SHE ROCKS!!

Nancy Stewart said...

I long for the Nell days. As you mention, languange does morph, but ours seemingly is completely Nell-less. Have fun with the way you write, by the way. Compared to what I hear day to day, you are positively Oxfordian!

Gregory said...

Asha I do agree that the reader needs to "hear" our voice!. I usually lay on the sarcasm or the flavor of the day thick so no one will be confused!No worries about your blog style and writing. You are quite grandiloquent.

Gregory said...

Go Nell, Rock on Garth!!! Dawn you crack me up. Miss Harden was a true inspiration. I just took me like thirty years or so to realize it!! Ha! No joke though, every time I write something I feel as though I am in her class dissecting the sentences.

love ya,

Gregory said...

Nancy I do believe I will quote you on this post. Oxfordian has such a positive ring to it. Thank you for the read and the comments.

Love your blog btw. (See that! That is what I am talking about!)


shah wharton said...

Hey - Sorry to change it, but your post will now be Monday 7th if that's okay - I completely forgot its awareness Wednesday tomorrow, then feature Thursday, both of which are new weekly events! Sorry. It helps me out actually because im away 7th-11th Feb in UK and needed to get content booked in! Chuffed to bits ;) Shah at

Gregory said...

Seven is relatively a lucky number. I think that would be wonderful! Chuffed heard! Thanks a ton.

friendoblu said...

You have forced me to comment. I love Miss HardEn. She is a beautiful person. I know, because she lived next door to me and my mom, just after we moved to BL when I was 8. She was deathly afraid of snakes and I tortured her with pictures of them. Not nice!

Looking back, I love the beauty of her sentence digrams - wow! And her expectations with love. But, language changes and evolves. So, don't feel bad about those splices or starting a sentence with AND. I teach grade one and we really do use punctuation, and other things, to express ourselves rather than feeling we are inferior because we don't "know the rules". Just my take on it.

I am VERY limited on FB, but i have really appreciated running into you there, amidst other BL friends. All the best! Kathy

Gregory said...

Kathy thank you for reading this mess of a blog. I have not posted in a while. I may have to resume my annoying ways. Keep in touch. gf

Grant Waugh said...

This article good

Gregory said...

Thanks for reading Grant!