A holiday grammar carol.
December isn’t always full of happiness, snow, hot chocolate and presents. Some of us have to write. Here’s a grammar carol that reflects what professional writers have to be mindful of whenever they put fingers to keyboard, no matter the season. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Grammar and punctuation are great
Until you get down to writing;
Before you get comfortable, wait—
Some arbitrary rules are a-waiting.
Beware misplaced-modifier whammies,
Except while creating jokes as such:
Anastasia saw an owl in her jammies;
She didn’t know PJs could shrink so much.
Jodi thinks—and knows—snow days are great.
Although em dashes are loved and banal,
Use commas or colons instead;
Em dashes (surprise!) are informal.
“All the eggnog Kevin had had had
No effect on his deliriousness.”
This structure, though correct, is just bad—
Never use it; it causes distress.
I before e except after c,
And except on a weird heist
With your feisty neighbour Manasi
On foreign land for a leisurely tryst.
Wonder whether you’ve been sloppy or nice,
Surrounded by candy and gifts?
Remember, as you fix that comma splice,
That the Grammar Grinch is miffed.
Featured image by Priyanka Mehta.