Thursday, March 4, 2010

Get it Right!

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This week's Booking Through Thursday asks about grammar:

In honor of National Grammar Day … it IS “March Fourth” after all … do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?

More importantly, have you read them?

How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?

I put myself in the fussy category when it comes to grammar and punctuation. When I file a legal brief or send a demand letter, I want what I sign to be perfect.  When I edit someone else's legal writing, I am ruthless with the red pen. This fussiness carries over to my blog posts and book reviews.

I recognize the influence that brought me to this point: a high school English teacher who made us diagram sentences; a year as the Editor of my college paper; a very short time trying to write free-lance feature stories for our local paper, with my reporter-husband editing over my shoulder; law review; and three bar exams.  Add on 17 years of legal writing, and you can understand my obsession.

There are a couple of grammar and punctuation books on my shelves, including Strunk and White's The Elements of Style; Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss (reviewed here), and my old copy of The Harvard Blue Book, although I think it is too outdated to be of much use.

Don't even get me started on text messages . . .

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