As I started to get into writing in college, I realized that those grammar Nazis had a point. My assignment was fairly straightforward; I had to create an instruction manual for assembling a Kinder Surprise toy. All the engineering students, myself included, scoffed at the notion of such a simple project. After having been subjected to Vector Mechanics and Multivariable Calculus, how hard can a simple set of instructions be? Boy, was I wrong! Each sentence had to be constructed concisely. The cursed commas needed to be placed in the right place or they might throw off the meaning. The made up names of each components had to be properly punctuated and remain constant through out the manual. It blew me away how a small mistake can throw off a reader. It was very apparent when I started to edit other peoples work in my group.
That's when I started paying more attention to writing in general. If grammar can make or break a simple instruction manual, then I can only imagine how jarring it could be with a fictional story. Every action, description, and dialogue has to make sense. The odd comma splice isn't a big deal, but you can change the meaning of a sentence by putting one in the wrong spot. Also, you can construct an obnoxiously long sentence using proper grammar, but it doesn't mean you should. Even now, I always ask myself if I really need avoid using a period in any string of sentences. I never really considered the reader needing to take a breath.
That pretty much brings me to today. Nearly a decade of work in a non writing field has dulled my skills, but I realize that I need push through it in order to become a better writer. That which I fought, is the very thing that will make me stronger. I must embrace the darkness and become a Sith Lord in the ranks of grammar Nazis. I hope there is cookies in the induction ceremony :lol:
P.S. I forewent talking about spelling, as I have graciously accepted my machine overlords' gift of spell check
P.P.S. I'm writing this during my coffee break at work, so no editing has been done. I suppose it's my last gibe at my old foes before giving in haha