Today I attended grammar refresher training put on by The Grammar Group (catchy title, huh?). As I would have predicted, I came out of the class appalled at my mutilation of the English language… only to find solace in the fact that I violate our tongue less than most others, but this is of limited comfort.
For instance, one of the many things I routinely hose up is my use of commas. I was always taught that you put a comma after each item in a list except for the last two items where you separate them with ‘and’ or ‘or’. Well, this isn’t true anymore… you use a comma after every item in the list except the very last one. Too see this in action check out my newly corrected directions for mixing the ingredients in the salsa recipe I just posted. “Add garlic, oil, vinegar, and lime juice to bowl and mix.” Before today I didn’t have a comma after vinegar.
We also learned that it was becoming “fashionable” to start sentences with conjunctions!? But you’re going to say, “We were always told never to do that!” And then I’ll tell you I was told the same thing. [did you see it?] In fact, I confessed to the nice lady who taught us that one of the most disconcerting aspects of this new doctrine was that, “…about 20 years ago someone who looked just like you told me the exact opposite!” Whatever.
My worst practice was my use of periods… the three periods together are called an ellipsis and are supposed to be used to take the place of omitted text or speech… but I use them ubiquitously as a thought connection of my typed rantings. I’m almost a dot-whore of sorts.
I feel dirty.