To Patrol or Ride Along

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 44 Comments

According to the internet, which is infallible, this is the
Grammar Nazis flag. 
As a writer, I feel like people think I spend all my time correcting their grammar in my head. That I'm the ultimate Grammar Nazis just itching for the opportunity to correct and educate the unwashed, unlearned masses. I've even had people apologize to me in notes for their poor spelling and horrible syntax. I assure them, it don't make no difference to me. As long as I can decipher the message, I'm good.

As a matter of fact, I love a natural voice. I find colloquial differences and nuances in speech intriguing. I often fear our obsession with being proper will rid us of our color. We'll all become boring as a news anchor. No accents. No idioms. No fun. All because we're all worried about being judged an idiot. 

And maybe you do judge people on their grammar. Perhaps butchering the rules is like nails on the chalkboard for you. 

Not me. Personally, I can assure you- I'm not judging your language skills. I'm too busy trying to log all the subtleties of your speech into my memory banks. I want to remember the inflections, the creative off-label use of accepted speech, and the non-verbals that go along with the words. 

All of that combined is the cheat I use to give voice to characters and construct their dialogue.

So, here's my opinion in a nut shell: Writers shouldn't be on grammar patrol; we should be on a ride-along. We shouldn't be judging the vernacular, we should be listening and absorbing, packing it away in our brain cells for a rainy day when the muse decides he'll pour a bit of story into our heads. 

If grammar was always king, we'd not have this adorable green guy. 


But I will admit. There are some grammar snafus that will make me giggle. I can't help it. I never claimed to be perfect.



Thanks to our hosts in this weekly check in: LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker

1. I rewrote my first chapter, yet again. I think after 25 tries, I've got it.

2. It rained!! Everything was so dry and crispy, a bit of moisture was a God send.

3. I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow. After attempting to do it myself, some professional help is eagerly anticipated.




Tara Tyler has a new book coming out in four days!!

Amazon ~~~ B&N ~~~ Goodreads

Book Two, SIMULATION
Release date: September 14, 2015

In 2082, androids are an essential part of daily life. Some are helpful, some would make better toasters, and some are so human-like they're creepy. Back in Atlanta, Detective Cooper's latest client has him searching for her boyfriend who she thinks was replaced by a simulation, an illegal clone android. The guy also happens to be a popular new congressman.

To make matters more complicated, Cooper keeps crossing paths with his ex, FBI Agent Geri Harper who is looking for the same guy. As Cooper closes in, Geri is kidnapped. But when she resurfaces in Washington and goes on a killing spree, he knows it isn't her. Now under suspicion himself, Cooper must find the real Geri to prove her innocence, not to mention hunt down the powerful villain behind it all. Never a dull moment.


44 comments:

  1. The 'to funny' one is hilarious!
    I'm not a Grammar Nazi, but I will admit to correcting people's pronunciations in my head. They can structure the sentence any way they want, just say it correctly.

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    1. I get corrected when I travel south all the time!! Seems this Yankee has a real hard time with Southern place names. Though I still think Staunton, VA is saying their name wrong when they call in Stanton. They're not adding the u sound!

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  2. I want to go to funny now! (I guess that should be Funny?)

    I never have a problem with spoken grammar - I talk so fast, I always trip over myself and make so many silly mistakes that make me blush.

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    1. I'll go with you. We should start an international fun spot called Funny. That way, people can actually go to Funny.

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  3. I'm with you there. I don't bother correcting people either. I'm too busy listening and observing and collecting all the goodies for stories. Have a terrific weekend! :)

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    1. I know! I'm more of a story thief than I am a writer.

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  4. Big laughs from me to you, Liz!! Yoda-man!

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  5. lol To funny is a good one. The only time I correct things in my head is when I see billboards or signs spelled wrong.

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    1. Yeah. But they don't annoy me as much as they are good picture moments.

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  6. I do tend to correct people's grammar and punctuation in my head, and my students' grammar and their assignments in their test papers with a red pen ;)

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    1. Being a teacher, you're probably hard wired for it! You get a pass.

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  7. I guess I am a grammar Nazi which is why I enjoy proofing books. I get so teed off with mistakes in books I am reading, makes me cringe. Especially if I can't do anything about it. Sometimes, with a library book, I want to make the correction before I return the book. I restrain myself but......

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    1. Writers need to stay on their toes. I mean, would you go to a doctor who didn't know where a pancreas was located? People expect a certain degree of word skills from a writer.

      And you're a great proofer! I'm lucky to have you.

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  8. Yay to getting that chapter done! 25 tries sounds about right ;) Moving to the Ozarks (Hill-Billy Area) healed the Grammar Nazi in me. I still am frustrated by obvious typos or blatant grammar mistakes in published books (those things that show there was simply an editing problem), but otherwise, run free!

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    1. I live in hillbilly north, so I am surrounded by colorful speech!

      When I find errors in books, I can't help but feel a little gleeful. I think, haha- happens to them too!!

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  9. People have said they hate to email me because they feel like I'm judging their grammar. Nope. If someone isn't a writer, I don't hold that person to high standards...but it does make me wince a little when someone misuses an apostrophe!

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    1. That's what gave me the idea. A nice lady sent me a note, with an apology for an errors she might make. I don't want people to think I'm going to overlook an atta-girl because of a grammar error.

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  10. I enjoy learning localisms, but the people who use them seem embarrassed if they find out they aren't in universal use. I have my complaints about grammar, and yes, I am The Queen of Grammar. Someone has to be the queen. It doesn't mean I look down on people whose grammar is less than perfect. I make misteaks all the time.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I think localisms are the coolest things. I love running into a fresh one I've never heard before.

      I think you should wear your crown proudly! You can be the role model for us all.

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  11. congrats on getting your chapter done. I hope your haircut will go as well as the chapter did (not the 25 tries, I mean lol). On the Grammar Nazi thing - I am always cringing when I post a blog, hoping I do not mess up this language too bad. I will stick with the excuse that it is my second language, yet I should know better. So please be kind everyone?!
    Blessings!

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    1. Heck, it's my first language and I screw it up plenty. It's a complicated language. We have so many rules, you need a handbook. And fortunately, I have several.

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  12. I've been cutting my bangs for a while so the rest of my hair could grow. My hairdresser got a good laugh when I finally went in for a cut and perm.

    You know I'm a stickler for good grammar in books (except for intentional errors, e.g. in dialogue), but I'm very forgiving when it comes to texts, blog comments, Facebook, and chatting in person. Lord knows I spout my share of Texas-isms and make my share of gaffes! :D

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    1. I cut my own bangs all the time too! Were we separated at birth? But this time, I tried to get rid of a bit of poof from the right side. It was a fail.

      (I always worry when I know you're reading one of my books. I'm always afraid you'll think I'm an idiot when you're done!)

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  13. I love it when authors throw the 'rule' book out the window! Who cares if it's not correct per se? We're writers, we can do it however we want. After all, it's our book, right? ;)
    Suzy x
    www.suzyturner.com

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    1. Yeah!! That's the spirit. We are like the adventurers of old, only we don't have to battle bugs or carry machetes to cut our trails.

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  14. For me, it depends mostly on whether or not the grammar mistake can be chalked up to typos.

    And oh, sweet, sweet rain!

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    1. I have my fair share of both. Sometimes, I'll read emails I've sent people and the grammar is the least of the worries. I'm really good at half-baked thoughts.

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  15. Congratulations on getting the chapter done. Loved the post.

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  16. I'm a bit of a Grammar Nazi, even when dealing with the spoken word. That kinda bothers me! I need to relax a bit

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    1. Intentionally butcher the language a while. It's freeing!!

      (My son is like you. I say ya'll when he's around, just to get on his nerves. Am I a mean mom, or what?)

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  17. I wear two hats when it comes to grammar. One is the descriptive one because, like you, I'm listening for dialog. The other is my prescriptive (aka Nazi) hat. When it's writ it's got to be writ good. Real good.

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  18. Haha I know what you mean about the grammar police. I usually only correct my kids and anymore it's just on less/fewer. That one does make me twitch. Oh, and I done ... But, to be honest, I was like that before I started writing. So you can be a grammar nazi and not be a writer.

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    1. I correct my kids (and my husband) quite a bit. That's different. That's our duty!!

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  19. Congrats to Tara. I correct people's grammar in my head, but I'm not vocal about it. I don't want to be in editing mode all the time.

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    1. I have met people who will correct a stranger's grammar while talking. I think that's a good way to get a punch in the nose if you hit the wrong person.

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  20. I completely agree. There's so much flavor in the way people express themselves...however, if you don't capitalize "I" on your facebook posts, I will question your value to the human race. (Sorry. That's my ONE THING.)

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    1. LOL!!! I've never paid attention to that. My pet peeve (I do have them) is loose for lose.

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  21. Tara has a new book out? Awesome! I'm in the book for the story. Grammar doesn't bother me if it's not the best, though I do try my best whenever possible. Can't make a 100% promise it will be perfect, though. :)

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    1. If a book is good, I won't pay attention to anything but the story. I once read a self-pubbed story by a local guy who had lived through the coal mine wars. The structure was poor, the grammar was awful, but the story held me from beginning to end. Must have story first. It trumps all.

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  22. Congrats Tara on Pop Travel 2. I will gladly get help from a Grammar Nazi with my writing...as in make that person my editor. I mean why not?

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  23. Grats Tara!

    I think the only grammar things that really make me cringe is when I see something like "Speak English. Your in America." I've had to refrain from commenting on family's posts when things like that come up. Otherwise, I'm fairly good at dismissing things. Enrapture me in the story, and I'll forgive misplaced commas. :)

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