I’m not in love with Grammarians and their devices. Not that I don’t respect them – but you see, respect and love are not the same thing. You can respect someone who makes your teeth chatter and your heart lose its rhythm. Grammarians do that to me. Their presence puts me on high alert. They make me check the teeth of my writing half a dozen times for that ugly edit error caught between them, sticking out its tongue at me; they drive me to reflect upon the fingernails of my content about as many times for an extra apostrophe or a missing comma, that could make me the butt of a Grammarian’s joke.
To snip the long tail of a long yarn short, I respect the Grammarians of the world because of their ability to make me experience performance anxiety. If I were a stand up comedian or a talk show host, they would send jitters up my spine, make me stutter, and forget my lines.
And what makes matters worse is the fact that the presence of Grammarians makes my wild errors go wilder. The disappearing commas that had no malice before, find a purpose in life, and my grammatical errors transform into the split-in-the-knickers variety. Remember the guy who sent a note to his boss congratulating his boss on his promotion – the note that said, “I offer you my wife and my heartiest congratulations!” That’s the kind of errors that chase me down, when an editor is in the vicinity.
While an apostrophe that’s misplaced innocently merely adds an ungainly scratch to your reputation, a comma that’s gone rogue on purpose can change the very definition of your life. Here’s a recent example of a apostrophe and his twin who conspired to destroy my life. When answering a comment on an Interview post at Arpita Pramanick’s blog, I happened to say, “My dying wish would be to be born in a world sans wifey and mom supporters!”
I don’t want to paint a picture of the carnage that could’ve ensued had the comment made its way to wifey’s computer (and I often blog using hers, so I am talking about a very real, a very dangerous possibility here.)
This is what performance anxiety does to well-meaning simpletons like me. So when Rashmi asked me to make a post on this forum – I got my usual edit-jitters, and I tried to wiggle out of the assignment. But she along with Meg’s “that feisty Piyusha” made me pump up my writing muscles and go for it! I did, and here I am writing a potentially explosive post. I must be masochist to write something addresses those who could make me slink into the shadows of obscurity once again – I’m lighting a fire right under the seat of their pants. (I must’ve gone soft in the head – all those edit-checks must’ve imbued into me a pathological longing to be bludgeoned into grammatical submission, or why would I attempt this blogging harakiri?)
The same fear stops me from leaving a link to the QSM Magazine here, but if you visited my blog, you’d see it plastered all over. I invite you to pick up the latest issue because in it you will find a true-to-life shot of our feisty Piyusha’s prospective groom, who I happen to meet just yesterday. If you haven’t read about my meeting with Piyusha’s alien suitor, please head over to her blog, read about it, and give the couple your blessings. I trust I am veering off from the prescribed course, I might be rapped on my knuckles by the moderators.
(Anandhotep: Now your work here is done. Go back to your tomb, get inside the sarcophagus, open your coffin and go to bed! Rashmi will pay your airfare!)