Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Writing: Thoughts and Rules

I am currently reading Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson. (I'm also reading A Family Living Under the Sahara Sun, but that's beside the point.) The thing I like about Wilson's book is that he loves writing and writers and readers, and he wants his readers to write because they love it and because they love sharing their thoughts with their readers. He writes about the rules of grammar, but urges writers not to get bogged down or bent out of shape by them. The important thing is to know how to convey your thoughts and how best to make yourself understood. If you have to end a sentence with a preposition to make your point, then so be it. It is more important to share your thoughts than to follow the rules. It's the spirit of the law that counts. Jeff Deck makes the same point in The Great Typo Hunt. Don't get me wrong, I love the rules, but I know I need to occasionally break them for the greater good.

6 comments:

Genie said...

giving me permission to break the rules, is like letting an untrained dog run wild, off leash, in the city. from the dog's perspective--free at last!! everyone luvs a pup, but i'm a little older. think i can pull it off? lol.
this book sounds great; i'd like to check it out ;)

The White Wave said...

It's a great read-very helpful as I try to vary my blog. Reading it today has inspired me to buy a college textbook on poetry; I've never understood or appreciated it, but I hear you actually CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

And your irony wasn't lost on me. You're a funny one!

NEB said...

You, madam, are an advocate of grammatical anarchy. This is madness which I cannot be tolerant of.

The White Wave said...

HA! I cannot say it enough: HA HA HA!

Sherry Siska said...

Shh! Don't y'all go telling my students that it's okay to break the rules of grammar! Of course, they rarely follow them anyway, so I guess it's a bit of a moot point.

And, I'm going to look for Wordsmithy ASAP. Sounds great. Good luck with your poetry study!

The White Wave said...

Thanks! And thanks for following!