Monday, May 7, 2012

Things I Fear

I have the weirdest irrational fears.

Well, I guess they're not all irrational.  But I feel like they are.

For instance: I'm scared of being completely alone.

Like last week, my mom and two siblings all went to the store together and I decided to stay home so I could write.  But the kitchen started making really weird noises and the dishwasher creeped me out.  I had to turn on my music at top volume to drown out my fears.

Another example:  Grammar Tests.

I should mention (you'd know if you've beta read for me) I don't have very good grammar.  Actually, that might not be entirely true.  I can tell when a sentence is written wrong.  Like, I'd never say "Were going into the Trials today.  Its going to be difficult.  They is going to win."

Grammar that bad just makes me shiver.  Yuck.

Not to mention, those are probably just about the three most boring sentences I've ever written.

But sometimes, here and there throughout my book, as my fingers type in perfect rhythm with my train of thought, sometimes I forget an apostrophe.  Or add an extra comma.  Or add in a poorly constructed sentence so I can hurry it up and move on to the next one.

The thing in grammar that scares me the most is all those words.

Yeah.  I'm a writer.  Words should be the LEAST of my fears.

But when I come across something like this:  "Name the direct object that's modified by the first adjective that comes before the predicate nominative and the antecedent."

 I have no clue what the heck that means.

That sentence probably doesn't actually mean anything.  That's just what all the questions sound like to me.




(Yes, this is my actual grammar textbook I've been using this year.)

What are you guys afraid of?  Do you have an irrational fear of grammar?

--Jess

P.S.
For this entire post, I kept spelling 'grammar' as 'grammer'.  Yes, with an 'e'.  Maybe I should add that I have the irrational fear of spelling too?

16 comments:

T. Z. Wallace said...

I hated grammar until I had a college class in it. Had an awesome professor who made me love it. It'll come. Don't worry. Also, I write hurried sentences sometimes to keep it moving, because I know I can clean them up later...that is just smart writing, hon! Now, you will be happy to know that I once made a list of my irrational fears. This is NOT a comprehensive list. Just to make you feel better, I shall post it here: Gephydrophobia -fear of crossing bridges; Acrophobia - fear of heights; orthopterophobia - fear of crickets (and other prehistoric insects); Claustrophobia – fear of having no escape and being closed in; Odontophobia – fear of dentists and dental procedures;
Taphophobia, Taphephobia – fear of the grave, or fear of being placed in a grave while still alive; Arachnophobia – fear/dislike of spiders and other arachnids; Myrmecophobia- Fear of ants; Ophidiophobia – fear/dislike of snakes
Scoleciphobia – fear of worms;
Selachophobia – fear of sharks;
Speluncaphobia - fear of caves;
Nihilophobia – fear of nothingness (comes from the combination of the Latin word nihil which means nothing, none, and the suffix -phobia) as described by the doctor in the Star Trek: Voyager episode Night;
Anachrophobia – fear of temporal displacement (from a Doctor Who novel); Anatidaephobia – the fictional fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you (from Gary Larson's The Far Side); Luposlipaphobia – fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor (also from Gary Larson's The Far Side).

JEFritz said...

I have no idea what that sentence means, either. If someone ever gives me a grammar test, I know I'd fail. But do I fear grammar? Nope. Not until I send stuff out for beta reads.

Chuck said...

I have an irrational fear of spelling for sure. Even though I read my posts a dozen times before I publish, I have gone back and found a spelling mistake that makes me feel like an uneducated hick. I have even edited posts days after the fact when almost no one will read them.

And that ridiculous grammar rule you quoted above...useless. It only keeps English teachers busy and means nothing to everyday communication. If I wanted to be proper and obedient English...I'd be English!

Jay Noel said...

Naw...I used to be an English teacher. My mistakes are usually because I'm typing so fast to get the words out. I've made some pretty funny goofs.

I had a character wipe her "damn" face instead of "damp" face.

And I used "waived" instead of "waved" a bunch of times.

I think my grammar issues are pretty common. Like the differences between onboard and on board, lie/lay/laid/, and aloud/out loud.

So I do have to go back and re-check stuff. Luckily, my publisher has a very accurate line-by-line editor.

Sarah (saz101) said...

Oh goodness... the being completely alone? Yes. My husband is going away for a week in a few days, and I'm terrified. my best friend lives right next door. Think that helps? NO.

And grammar tests? Well, I can't say I have to worry about them, but the idea of failing at something I love so much=scary >___<

davidgmckendry said...

Easy solution: Use smaller words. Write shorter sentences. :)

Carrie-Anne said...

I hated the stupid, pointless grammar we had to learn in my 8th grade English class, which I took at the 9th grade honors level. I've forgotten absolutely everything from that hideous grammar unit near the end of the year except for what a gerund is. Ever since, I've been kind of obsessive about spotting gerunds. I get studying grammar rules if you're studying a foreign language, but in your own native language?

Aldrea Alien said...

I have no idea what that sentence just said. I glazed halfway through.


I've afraid of being up ladders. The higher up, the bigger the fear.

Aldrea Alien said...

... apparently my fingers don't know the difference between I've and I'm either ... lol ^_^

James said...

I'm right with you. I love to write but grammar has never been my strong suit.

Susan Kane said...

My fears are pretty simple, and have nothing to do with writing. I fear losing myself in a stroke, and having words taken away from me.

Liz said...

Nope, no fear of grammar. Or being alone, either. I can be completely alone for days...

The grammar thing is the fault of my 10th grade English teacher. She drilled us on grammar for the entire year. And then I had her again for 11th grade.

Nope, grammar doesn't worry me. Although, I do make mistakes. Everybody does.

Angela Brown said...

I read that test sentence three times but I can't make heads or tails of it.

As for fears, I fear snakes - *shivers*!!!!

Reiko said...

Because I studied English as a second language, I had to learn grammar the hard way - by rote memory. So I have little fear of it EXCEPT in terms of articles; i.e., using "a" (indefinite article) when I should use "the" (definite article) and vice versa; or when I should use neither. I know the general rules but, when it comes right down to it, I continue to need someone else to review my writing – just to make sure that what I’m trying to say is accurately conveyed by using the correct article. This difficulty (and, therefore, my fear) comes from the fact that the Japanese language uses no article. In contrast to English, which is Germanic in origin and quite precise, Japanese is a rather vague language. I learned to be precise in communicating with others after studying the English language. Love, Grandma

Jessica L. Foster said...

I always spell it grammer too. GrammAR sounds too much like a pirate. Your blog is delightful. Thanks for posting.

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