Sunday, September 19, 2010

How To Be a Wizard Wordsmith

I came across an excellent book the other day that I believe every literate person should read.  You may ask yourself, what is it?  Ulysses?  Crime and Punishment?   No, it's The Glamour of Grammar by Roy Peter Clark.

The book has captivated me because it pushes my writing in unfamiliar directions.  As you can tell from my previous blogs, I love to learn new things.  Clark's book improves my word usage like never before.  He cultivates language utilization by emboldening writers to take chances on sentence structure.  His volume, furthermore, assists writers in developing enchanting language and bewitching grammar.

I remember in sixth grade when my teacher, Sister Flo had us diagraming sentences by the boat load.  They were ugly devices that sometimes resembled voodoo dolls with pins sticking out in various orientations.  I realize that she was trying to make us aware of the parts of speech.  For example, subjects needed predicates in order to be a clear statement.  Equally, she taught to craft sentences with both direct and indirect objects.

Unfortunately, I still committed numerous sins of the English language after Sister Flo's class.  Diagramming sentences didn't give me the confidence I needed to become a higher quality writer.  Instead it took me another twenty years to acquire a command of words to want to write for pleasure.   I now know if I want to master writing I am required to draft, edit and polish my writing continuously.  It takes me a while to perfect this process but I am patient and pertinacious.

How does Clark get people to be spunky about syntax?  Ha, ha!  By bending the rules a tiny bit.  I was so pleased to read that.  I love to stretch standards and fashion them according to my fancies (see pg. 35).  That is grampowerment to me (see pg. 40).  I like that Clark considers words to be tools that writers use to convey their meanings and it is a liberating message to hear.

I hope you check out Clark's book after reading this post.  It will rescue your shabby sentence structure from your memory's dustheap.  In addition, his manual will give you ready refinement to the significance of your sentences.  Yet, most of all, let Clark's book unearth the magic of your writing within the confines of the English language.

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