Thursday, February 9, 2012
Here's something to know about me: I am a comma user, and abuser. In fact, I don't even know if my previous sentence should have a comma or not. Should it? I don't know. I think I use Google for punctuation and spell checks more than anything else.
I was agonizing over my punctuation incompetence with my good pal Jonny a long while ago, and he recommended:
Which I bought, and began to read, and my eyes glazed over, and.... well, I flashbacked to my school days, when I ignored all lectures on punctuation in order to read the book I was hiding under my desk. Then promptly set Eats, Shoots, and Leaves down, and grabbed a different book.
Gracie ignores punctuation of every sort - which makes following along as she's reading aloud nearly impossible. And it's funny to me that I work with her on it (and by funny, I mean crazy) because when I get critiques from my awkward-sentence polishing crit partners, it's obvious I'm the last person who should be showing my 6-year-old where to place a comma.
Commas are hard, yo.
When I was in college I volunteered in a 6th grade Core class (language, literature, social studies) a few hours a week. I loved it. The kids were awesome, the teacher was awesome, and I can barely go a single day without remembering Mrs. T's lesson on the dreaded COMMA.
"Breaking up words is hard to do," she told her students. "There's even a song about it."
The kids looked at her like she was insane, so she put a tape in the tape player, and the music began.
Mrs. T sang along, all the way though, emphasizing the comma comma down doobie doo down down part in the background, and the chorus. The kids giggled, and the braver ones joined in. And I have had this song stuck in my head every day that I have corrected a misplaced comma in one of my manuscripts since.
Which means this song is constantly stuck in my head.
I've decided I need to add a new goal on Marisa's Great List of Goals for 2012. Make it all the way through Eat, Shoots & Leaves, and actually apply the information.
Because my comma woes are bad... but don't even get me started on the apostrophe...
Also, I might need to begin with the illustrated kid's version first - maybe I'll be less likely to set it down.
How about you, folks? Are you a punctuation lover, or hater?