Category Archives: Grammar

Another Milestone, or Very Cheerful Tidings

So, it’s been a while.  Again.  And this is going to be short.  Sorry about that.

Maybe I can appease you with the good news that, a) this is not another grammar rant, and b) I come bearing Very Cheerful Tidings.

Very Cheerful Tidings Exhibit I:  I have finished this edit of Novel #2!

Very Cheerful Tidings Exhibit II:  I have exactly one run-through left of Novel #2, in which I shall conduct a final grammar check.  After that, I will endeavor to gain constructive criticism from mine peers.  Then—to querying!

Very Cheerful Tidings Exhibit III:  …Actually, I don’t have a third Exhibit.  I just wanted one.  So there.

Thus concludes this Brief Message Bearing Very Cheerful Tidings.

Cara Kennaway


A Thing I’ve Noticed OR What No One Understands About Grammar Nazis

grammar Nazis be like "*are like"Dear World:

I know I haven’t sounded all that understanding of grammatical errors recently.  “Another Grammar Rant” was impassioned and frustrated; “Ode to the Em Dash” was both pretentious and angsty.  I know what I sound like when I rant about grammar, what I sound like when I rant about anything I care about.  I know what I sound like when I’m whiny.

I will freely admit that part of my love for semicolons exists because using them makes me feel correct and intellectually superior.

That’s not why I’m a grammar Nazi.  Not entirely, at least.  Not even mostly.

Recently, I’ve been trying to find some inkling on the Internet that what I do is appreciated, even by a sliver of a minority.  Instead, I’ve found scientific studies “proving” that I, being a grammar Nazi, am a jerk; I’ve found grammatically incorrect memes telling me I, being a grammar Nazi, am ridiculous; I’ve found people who are convinced that I, being a grammar Nazi, exist only to make their lives painful and annoying; I’ve found entire articles intent on proving that I, being a grammar Nazi, am just a bully who is insecure and unwilling to reveal my own imperfection.

That’s not me, either.

Even the kinder things I’ve found have been purely to tell me to be more compassionate, like I’m not already.  To tell me just to give up the greatest passion in my life.

Let me say this now, World: I won’t.  I can’t.  This is who I am.

I will not apologize for that.

I cannot speak on behalf of every other grammar Nazi in the world.  I cannot say that every grammar Nazi is not a scientifically proven jerk, is not ridiculous, does not exist to make others’ lives painful and annoying, or is not an insecure bully who attacks others’ imperfections to conceal his own.

I can speak for myself, though.  Maybe, somewhere out there, a fellow grammar Nazi will read this and realize that there is someone else like her; that not everyone thinks people who love grammar are useless and outdated. Continue reading A Thing I’ve Noticed OR What No One Understands About Grammar Nazis

Editing: The Adventure Begins

...The EndLast night, at approximately 5:30 PM, something momentous happened: I finished rewriting Novel #2 with a final tally (for this draft, at least) of 67,841 words.

Allow me to translate this into Excited  Teenage Girl for a moment:


Continue reading Editing: The Adventure Begins

In Which Aloisa Finally Decides to Write…

Note: this post is not meant to shake the tree or ruffle feathers – it’s just a different perspective on grammar and words. :-) Please realize I wrote all of this with a smile on my face and lighthearted intentions.

Well, what a turn out huh? Bet you never thought you’d ever see me finally pick up my pen (or keyboard as it is…) and devote an hour or so to a blog post. As you see, I am now. I know, it is long over due. I apologize immensely and could spend my time convincing you that I am truly sorry or we could just accept it as understood and move on.

Continue reading In Which Aloisa Finally Decides to Write…

Another Grammar Rant

bad grammar makes me [sic]I just found out it’s National Grammar Day!  How is this a thing I didn’t know about‽  I’m so happy right now!  (And still not using “tears of joy” emojis; take that, Oxford English Dictionaries!)

So, here’s the thing about grammar.  It’s kind of my life.  And that sentence just got me a lot of really strange looks from people reading this, I know, but bear with me. Continue reading Another Grammar Rant

Ode to the Em Dash (The Musings of a Sleep-Deprived Grammar Enthusiast at 1 AM)

Oh, Em Dash! resplendent in thy linear glory!/Behold they versatility!/There you sit--silent, unassuming--on the snowy page,/Quietly clarifying, humbly interrupting./Thou art a prince of grammar--/--A beacon!/A shining knight of rightness!/Thy chivalry--/--That book of grammar, open and forlorn, forsaken by all but thee--/Now scorned, forgotten,/Once a glittering gem, but now/Dusty and wrinkled with age,/Is a monument./Faded even now into the obscurity of apathy,/Replaced carelessly with a hyphen, a comma, an ellipsis,/Still, you stand--/--straight, long--/A quiet, forgotten testimony/To the quiet simplicity of/A perfect sentence.//And yet! And yet there still is hope for us,/The lovers of rightness,/The antiquated./For, though others dismiss thee as tedium,/Too slow in this rush of life,/There still are those of us who are prostrate before the Grammarian Queen,/That glorious Semicolon who reposes, exultant in her regalia;/Us steadfast, devoted few who honor thee,/Respect thee,/--Love thee./To us--/To me--/You will always be great,/Never diminished with the disunion of that hateful dotted line,/That horrid double hyphen,/But proud and whole, you shall sit on my pages,/As defiantly--/Reverently--/My loyal fingers type out/—/And my faithful heart sings,/"Long Live Em Dash--Prince of the Page!"

Cara Kennaway

Dear Oxford English Dictionaries

tears of joy emoji

Dear Oxford English Dictionaries:

On November 16, 2015, you declared the “face with tears of joy” emoji the 2015 Word of the Year.

In addition to expressing the churning abyss of sorrow and loss and unwavering rage that this has evoked within me, I am writing this mock-letter that you will likely never see in order to inform you that November 16th will forever be the day that you, one of the most respected dictionaries in the English-speaking world, let down everyone who speaks or wants to speak the language and defiled and ridiculed the great tool and art that is our language and the use of it.

Continue reading Dear Oxford English Dictionaries

Why I Am A Prescriptivist Grammarian

First, let me make something abundantly clear: I am that girl.  The one who hovers over my parents’ respective shoulders while they’re writing an email and corrects their grammar with cool, indifferent efficiency.  The one who has gleefully adopted the role of household dictionary, taking pride in being able to spell any word asked of her without missing a beat (except those darn French loan words).  The one who shrieks “Apostrophe!  Apostrophe!” at billboards that advertise their creators’ ineptitude more than the actual product.  The one who judges her classmates purely based on their writing skills, knows it’s not fair, and maintains a rigid apathy towards that fact.

I’m the girl who uses phrases like “creators’ ineptitude” and “rigid apathy” with a straight face.

I can tell you when to use a comma vs. a semicolon and the difference between an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen; I shake my head in dismay when people dislike the Oxford comma.

But, frankly, my grammar Nazism is…well, to put it frankly, it is generally met with confusion or a simple eye roll.  We live in an age in which the practicality, beauty, and art of well-used grammar is scorned, and communication suffers for it.

Continue reading Why I Am A Prescriptivist Grammarian