An Open Letter to Grammar

Aw Grammar. We’ve had such a mixed past. Though I appreciate your ability to make me a better writer, you can get in my way sometimes. Occasionally, I get so preoccupied with the correctness of my writing that I forget the reason that I’m writing. You can be useful, and you do deserve some instruction. However, I think that at a certain level, too much instruction can hinder writing.

You, Grammar, are essential to writing well. I do believe that some grasp of your grammatical concepts are needed for one to be a successful writer. One should know a noun from a verb, and an adjective from and adverb. A writer should also know what kind of punctuation and verb form to use when putting words onto paper. The correct use of certain words and commas is essential. However, much to your dismay I’m sure, I don’t know how much more formal instruction is needed beyond that.

I think that to be a good writer, one needs to be a good reader. This not only helps to generate creativity, but it also exposes young children to your correct written form. They know how a sentence is supposed to sound without instruction. This, in addition to parents and teachers who speak correctly should be sufficient to get the average person through life.

I do believe Grammar, that a person should learn about you until they reach middle school. After reaching seventh grade, a student should know basic math, writing, and reading skills. After these foundations are laid, I think that they should simply build upon them. That means learning algebra, reading classic novels, and learning to write in more specific styles. Students will be introduced to your friends Pythagoras and Plato. But unfortunately for you, I think that unless one is struggling with a very specific grammatical error, you no longer need to be taught.

Now don’t dismay Grammar. There are some who will continue to know you. For example, those who become English majors, or who choose to teach, or who decide to become editors. They need to keep getting to know you. They will be your closest friends, the ones that know your inmost secrets. They will then be able to share those secrets with others when the need arises.

No doubt about it Grammar, you’re important. You’re needed and necessary. But I believe that there comes a time when you need to sever your ties with most of us Average Joe’s. We don’t all have to be bosom buddies. But don’t worry too much, you’ll always have your English majors and teachers.


One thought on “An Open Letter to Grammar

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post, Anna, and I think your decision to personify and address grammar is very appropriate, especially given the strong reactions on both sides that the topic elicits.



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