Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Grammar Nazis

I used to post pretty regularly on the alt.startrek.creative Usenet newsgroup. It's a forum for fan-written stories about the characters in Star Trek. There was a time when there were a lot of folks taking apart the new stories posted for failures of spelling, punctuation and grammar. It didn't matter what the feelings of the newbie were, what was important was following the grammar rules. After all, we're writers, dammit! Not some Trek-besotted fans. These folks were, well a lot like these folks over at Blogcritics.org.

It really makes me angry to see stuff like this. There are less snide, less condescending ways to make your point. And there's also the principle of accepting things as they are, or the intentions of the author if you bother to find out first! If someone's writing isn't as good as it could be, it may be they don't care. Or maybe they don't know. But pouncing on them and pounding them with a Strunk & White isn't the way to go about it. It only chases off the very people whose energy you might want around.

That said, I also hate the "poetic," art-damaged stuff that folks like Dew write. (Scroll about halfway down.) This kind of writing is just painful to read; rather than being fluid and invisible, allowing the words to do the work and paint the image, the writing calls attention to itself and is the visual equivalent of road bumps. Someone needs to bitch-slap some reality back into her self-absorbed head. Jeez. How arrogant....

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