Most of you are probably cringing at the title. I know I would be. I don’t point out writing errors in other people’s writing to be rude. I do it because it’s what I do for a living, and I’m also pretty sure I’m OCD.
I’m not perfect. I’m terrible at editing my own content. I re-read the text over and over (See? OCD) until I can’t see straight. I rush over sentences and don’t see the typos or missing words until I come back to it an hour later. (I use spell check, but it doesn’t count words that are spelled correctly but misused.)
The title was all in fun, intended to make a point. Not so much about using words correctly, but because I want to know, who decides what’s right or wrong in grammar and punctuation?
I recently read an article about how some of the grammar rules we were told were wrong are actually correct. (Just last year I learned it’s okay to pronounce the “t” in often. I grew up thinking it “wasn’t proper.” When did they change the rules?) The rules in the article were familiar to me, but they weren’t what I would consider really important. But maybe they are to some.
And so, it brings me back to my previous question, who decides what’s acceptable?
It can be debated until the subject is exhausted, but I am going to go with what I have always believed. Unless someone is paying you to write a certain way, who cares?
Writing is meant to be creative. When we clog our brains with too many rules, we become rigid in our writing and it shows. And besides, if everyone wrote the same way, with the same style, the stories would be dull and listless. Give yourself the freedom to write the way you want to. (But don’t tell your editor I told you so.)