The Elements of Style

Since I am reading The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B.White, my scenic panic when I write has escalated. Brevity, brevity, brevity. I keep deleting words and adding full stops. You will hear me constantly reminding the girls to say sister and I, and not sister and me, though they keep assuring me that’s how it’s said in Texas. I am using Grammarly to grammar check this post, because good form when writing dictates foreignness should be concealed. I don’t think I will ever get to that point of sounding English native when I write, but you cannot accuse me of not trying.
I confess I am helpless with prepositions and idioms. On, in, of, from, by and large! They escape me and my good husband too. Calling the girls to sit on the table to eat is common ‘in our, at our’, home. Gladly, our girls are used to their parents grammar and they understand us, but, poor creatures, they yell “gimme it“, and I wonder if this is a behavior or a grammatical problem, or if it is simply a byproduct of living in Houston.
Do you care about grammar? We do. At least when I type a post, write an email or a letter; not so much if I leave comments or any fast media. That is why I read good books aloud to the girls, why I use spelling and grammar checks, and why I enjoy books like this. Style cannot be taught or inherited, or can it? Though writing eloquently cannot be ingested nor will it appear after repeating certain mechanical steps, we can always get close to those who display it and read and soak in their work. Within time our skills will improve.

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