Grammar is vital. Without it, all of our extensive vocabularies and pseudo-impressive words are useless. I've been brought up to be a bit of a grammar whore, something that I now appreciate in my education. Unfortunately for most of my peers, grammar was not pounded into them day after day. Consequently, many have no idea what the difference is between a comma and a semi-colon. This ignorance is one of the many banes of my existence, keeping me up at night seething with rage and wondering why¹ can't my lab partner write a decent sentence? Case in point: I once spent a full lab period replacing semi-colons with commas after seeing what someone in my bio lab group wrote up. Apparently, he felt that these two punctuation marks were interchangeable. I wanted to stab him in the face.
In high school, grammar was the basis for my freshman English teacher’s vendetta against me. On the one day that she touched upon diagramming sentences, I corrected her placement of a gerund, which cannot be treated as a regular noun. From that day on, she found every reason in life to give me detentions, hold me up between classes, and slowly destroy my soul. In spite of this, I prevailed, and I stand before you today as the bitter being that I was always meant to be. But I’m getting off topic now. Correcting that mistake was worth it. If I hadn’t pointed it out, I’m sure it would still eat at me today.
I don’t mean to say that I’m the greatest grammarian of all time. Far from it, but I have a solid understanding of the rules.² I’m sure there are grammatical errors in this post right now, but there is nothing so horrible so as to detract from my purpose. If you can’t correctly put sentences together, it doesn’t even matter what words you use.
¹ Oh, why?!
² Thank you, Mrs. Lange.