Friday, 5 August 2011

Breathless[1]



for a long time grammar and I have been friendly acquaintances we said hello if we ran into each other in the hallways of necessary writing and basic language skills but I never invited grammar into my life and it never shared its life with me when I moved to england there were those who wanted me to embrace grammar and bring us together but I usually waved them and grammar off dismissively knowing that my english is good enough I was told it was even better than the english of some british people and I was understood I could write a CV and have a meaningful discussions and heated arguments about my favourite films and television fluent enough English to make people think before they dare question me but than I decided to become a writer and as if I needed any more challenges in my nothing but challenging life I wanted to write in english writing never came easy for me and I never thought that it would turn into something I actually want to do on a regular basis that is when grammar and I became enemies I could not help feeling that grammar is only trying to stand in my way tripping me and making life difficult but without it I would be misunderstood I hated grammar it made me feel stupid no matter how hard I tried a mistake found its way into my writing to mock me and to be pointed out to me but english is not your first language people would say to me its ok to make mistakes that was not a good enough excuse for me I have known english from a very young age I knew how to spell my name in english at the same time I knew how to spell it in Hebrew and I grew up with a humongous amount of english speaking films and television and a large percent of which was british so forgive me if I feel a bit patronised when I am told I should not worry about it there is a spell check and grammar check on computers these days use it I hear you say but a spell checker will not tell you the difference between aloud and allowed and when to use it or it will find a word that has nothing to do with the word you originally wanted because it could not understand  you to begin with and the grammar apparently is open to interpretation and when I am always torn when it comes to choosing between my beloved computer malcolm and well people so I took an english grammar course and for a moment I thought grammar and I are friends again the teacher told me I do not belong there that the fact that I have been to university and got a ba which requires me to read and understand a lot of academic level english puts me in a higher level than the rest of the class I take the test anyway and pass but its still not good enough not for grammar but I do not give up no matter how many times grammar attacks me and it really hurts I still decide to try and embrace it I buy grammar books I try an get all my writings particularly the one I published checked by more than one english speaker and writer and even when I am positively sure that everything is the way it likes it sneaky grammar shows up from an unexpected corner to point and shame me in its smug way defeated and shattered I raise my hands to the air and cry ho grammar why do you hate me so much why are you so difficult I try so hard then grammar shows up and help me to my feet again because I got down on my knees when I cried it wipes my tears and takes me to lunch and we have a long chat I tell grammar about the book I am currently reading about it and how I feel it is patronising me I tell it how upset I get when I see those red and even more so the green lines on my word document and I have no clue how to make them go away grammar looks at me and smile its not me he tells me I do not care I lift my eyes in surprise but grammar is not there any more it was never there because grammar is not really human it does not have feelings you can hurt its people grammar bullies that terrorise me people like the person who wrote this book which I will not name because they are not the only ones they make it sound like they are the victims of bad grammar that they are the ones who suffer in the name of grammar I always felt the opposite that the people who point out all your grammatical mistakes and never have anything to say about what you wrote are playing some kind of a power play this is their way of feeling superior and make the writer with his or hers grammar difficulties feel so small illiterate and mostly misunderstood then I cast my thought to the paintings of Pablo Picasso and the liberty he allowed yes I now know which one to use himself with the female body form and I wonder if anyone would have walked with a marker like the writer of that book does and correct his paintings is language and grammar not merely the paint and brushes of the writers and why should the writer not take liberties and reinvent writing this is just an excuse for laziness I imagine the grammar police shouts moments before its head explodes perhaps they are right Picasso by the way was a great painter who could paint a woman in the right order should he wanted to but Jackson Pollock was not his earlier work is almost embarrassing but does it make his abstract work less important or significant I personally do not think so so here I am trying to make peace not with grammar because we are fine even though it disappeared without paying for lunch but with people I know reading this is a challenge and some of you probably hate this and me right now but maybe if you think of this from a different angle you might find this liberating I leave the power of grammar and with it interpretation to you the reader I am not lazy I continue to try and I do not intend to write my posts this way from now on believe it or not it is almost as difficult if not more so than to try and follow the rules of grammar but I and grammar came to term with the fact that I may never have perfect understanding of it could you?



[1] Inspired by the Israeli author Yaakov Shabtai who wrote the book Protocol (Zichron Dvarim) with no punctuation apart from a full stop at the end.

3 comments:

  1. Very good, I like.
    Matt

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  2. Thank you :) and thank you for reading.

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  3. Woo that was like sliding down a slide!

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