Let me begin with a confession, people hate me. They loathe me for correcting their grammar; a cousin of mine even stopped talking to me, labelling me as a Grammar Nazi who thinks she 'knows it all'. But then again, it's wired in me to automatically correct the errors - mild OCD pertaining to the language you see!
However, this 'Grammar Nazi' in me wasn't always there, like most of you out there, I dreaded grammar too. So was the case with tattoos. But eventually, I fell in love with both of them. Ended up as that annoying woman who corrects people's grammar and sports about 5 tattoos etched onto her skin.
The exact moment I began to love English is kind of vague in my mind palace, but like John Green says, 'It was like the way you fall asleep, slowly... and then all at once!' I still remember, the first grammar book I had ever laid my eyes on was the famous 'Wren and Martin'. But trust me, it was of no help. I was in my high school back then, and grammar was like one of those zombies that hunted us down in those apocalyptic movies. Parts of Speech were fine, but it was only up to that. Clauses and Phrases haunted me; Punctuation sought out to suck my blood like vampires. God! It was terrorizing, but I managed to score a decent 93% in my boards.
Flash forward two years, Olivia Lazarus Ma'am entered my life, with that big fat textbook of 'Remedial Grammar'. She used to teach well, but somehow, all those concepts flew over my head. So, I took it upon me to learn the concepts myself, due to my mad, irrevocable love for English. And there, started my never-ending journey!
Let me tell you one thing about why you'll hate grammar or find it boring. Because it's full of rules. Like one of those Law Books. And like those hundreds of words taken into English from Latin, French and other languages (I am not going there, you could always go for etymology if you want to know more about it), the grammatical rules were also adopted. And like those loopholes in the law, you have exceptions in the grammar and there are plenty of them. Believe me, my friend! There's no escape from these, the same way there's no escape from the GoT and Pokémon posts on Facebook.
So, what you need to master these rules of grammar are:
1. A strong cup of coffee
2. A slice of Pizza or the whole of it
3. An incredible teacher/book/reading material.
And I was (un)fortunate enough to scroll through hundreds of websites trying to teach grammar to my kids in the most fun way possible (trust me, sometimes I have no idea how I ended up as an English teacher. I feel afraid to go to the weekly team meets and face the other English faculty and school. But then, they're all chilled out). But after a long, long hunt on websites, torrents and crosswords, I found one book that taught me grammar the way I wanted - funny, nasty and dirty! (Which, of course, I can't try teaching my kids)
So, here I am, fully motivated to combine these two methods to help you all out there with grammar - right from the Word Classes (Don't Panic! It's nothing but a posh alternative for Parts of Speech that I learnt at school) to How Not To Use Double Negatives, I shall be your friend, confidant and guide (psst... I am not perfect either, so, I'll drop in a word 'co-learner' there, because I have two people that correct my English too). With a little bit of help and co-operation, I hope you would write that perfect love letter to your crush, write an error-free piece of writing that is not silently judged/corrected by me (just kidding!) or other grammar Nazis, or finally become that annoying person who critiques others!
I'll be back soon with the Next Post!
#Post1 in 'But First, Grammar' Series