I live in fear, every time I post something, that I am going to be read by a word nerd, and I am going to be found lacking.
What if I dangle a modifier? What if I put a period inside the closing parenthesis instead of outside? What if I misplace a modifier? What if I use "whom" instead of "who"?
Will they still need me? Will they still read me?
Although I knew, from around the age of four, that I wanted to write, that I needed to write, English was not my favorite subject. Not even close. History was.
I lived in fear of my English classes. I was not a good speller. My teachers liked to have weekly spelling quizzes. Even in 10th grade, I was still being subjected to them. I think I failed a lot of them.
One of my teachers even entered me into a SPELLING BEE to motivate me to improve my spelling. Needless to say, I failed in the first round. I sat alone in the room where the losers were to gather, as everyone else (it seemed) progressed to glory.
I know I occasionally commit a Word Crime.
I know grammar is the structure of the written English language. As someone interested in history, I know what happens when a written document isn't clear. (Prime example: the second amendment to the United States Constitution.)
I have always struggled with grammar.
"10 items or less" doesn't ruffle my feathers at all.
I don't pay attention to the Oxford comma.
My mother, may she rest in peace, loved the English language. She tried to teach me how to diagram sentences. My school didn't teach that skill. She thought it would help me out. It didn't. I can't even remember how to do it.
My spouse's school taught sentence diagramming. Go figure. He loves spelling and grammar. He has an extensive vocabulary.
My sister in law majored in English in college.
I'm a college graduate, and I know it is never too late to learn. I have the power to become a word nerd, too. The Internet can be my tool. I can become a better writer through self-education.
Being in my sixties may be a chance to have a different kind of second childhood. It may give me the opportunity to finally learn grammar. It is giving me the desire to read some of the classics that I didn't want any part of back in high school The Great Gatsby. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Pride and Prejudice.
Or, at least, the debut novel California, which is written in my favorite genre - dystopian literature.
Let's see where I go with this.