I want to thank Steve Jobs for introducing me to my new best friend: Grammar Girl. Her quick and dirty little iTunes podcasts are the grown up versions of Schoolhouse Rock!: Grammar Rock from the 1970s, my favorite cartoon ever. The only reason I watched Scooby Doo and Josie and the Pussycats was to watch Schoolhouse Rock in between commercial breaks (that and In The News with Christopher Glenn, rest his soul). But I digress.
I wasn’t a real popular girl in school, but everyone wanted to sit next to me in English class in 10th grade. I was the weird kid who loved the semester on grammar. My favorite authors were Strunk and White, and I read the MLA Handbook in one weekend. This didn’t make me a brainiac or anything. I just craved order in the spoken and written word. I studied syntax like others studied biology. I couldn’t draw a stickman in art class to save my life, but I could draw neat, accurate sentence trees.
I got on with my life after high school and didn’t give grammar much thought until I started college at age 25. My first class was Comp 111. That’s when I was reacquainted with my inner grammar geek. I missed her so. When she emerged, she told me to stop pursuing a major in business and marketing and go for English instead. She failed to tell me, though, that the pay for English majors post-baccalaureate was lousy and that marketing was a better financial choice. But I was in love and there was no reasoning with the heart.
I was in grammar heaven for several semesters, writing my way through every writing course I could get into. And then I took the ultimate grammar course: linguistics. Life just didn’t get any better than that. Grammar trees, the Great Vowel Shift, dissecting Beowulf in Old English….ah, the good old days.
Ten years later, I have Grammar Girl. I love discussions about the mood of subjunctive verbs, the pros and cons of splitting infinitives, and all the ways colons, commas, and dashes enrich our lives. Grammar Girl is my new best friend. Thank you Steve Jobs and your Apple and iPod and iTunes brain. I’m so happy I feel like singing….
“Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?
Hooking up words and phrases and clauses…”
Feel free to join in anytime…..
“Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here.
Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, got some adverbs here.
Come on down to Lolly’s, get the adverbs here!
You’re going to need
If you write or read,
Or even think about it.”