The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – November 26 – Whats You’re Grammor Pet Peeve?

One of the more frustrating aspects of being an educator is watching students who truly do not grasp basic grammatical concepts.

One of my favorite examples from a note taken in yesterday’s class:

How are you my friend? 

On first glance, this might seem like a perfectly polite question. Unfortunately, it’s actually pretty darn rude – unless, of course, the writer didn’t care for the person to whom they were writing.

My assumption – given that the rest of the note was very cordial – is that they meant to write:

How are you, my friend?

Realistically, the person to whom they were writing wouldn’t have noticed the error, and would have responded as the author had actually intended. But what if they hadn’t? What if it had started an argument? What if the reader had been so offended by the first line of the letter that they started crying and screaming? It could have turned out to be quite the ugly scene.


What are your grammatical pet peeves?

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

One comment on “QOTD – November 26 – Whats You’re Grammor Pet Peeve?

  1. The Running Son
    November 26, 2013

    Ha… deja vu..Ok. Pet peeve numero uno, the top plate issue: Law abiders and circumcisers. Wha?

    Bible-God of old felt the Jews would benefit somehow… that it would be symbolically efficacious to hack and trim the penis.

    I am not sure I like this. I am not certain I agree with knives and male genitalia EVER meeting, but the (shorter) point is, that the religious leaders among the Jews were just acting on orders straight from the top. They weren’t philosophers, they were abides and law-men, and no internal voice of wisdom in these member-abusers could ever match volume with their desperate visceral need to slice up the old hot dog.

    If my psychic energy is being halted and redirected to legalisms—jots and tittles and case-law and perfectionist games (with a generous helping of “superiority via finger waving”), then I am, not tuned in to the flow, which may even ask that I commit some sins of syntax and punk punctuation, for the greater good, of course. Has in the past.

    Truth? I write by an intuitive feel for whether my punctuation works or not. Ask me for definitions, and I will give you examples, because I really dont remember but a few axioms from English class. I hope people see the forest through the trees: P & G can be learned, while voice cannot.


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This entry was posted on November 26, 2013 by in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , .

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