Confession #1: I don’t always use proper grammar.
When someone asks me how I’m doing, I’m just as likely to say “I’m good” as “I’m well.” Saying “I’m well” sounds funny, and frankly, a bit pretentious. I don’t need to flaunt the fact that I know the grammatical way to answer the question is “I’m well.” I’m an author, not a snob. Besides, my brain’s default answer is “I’m good” and idle chitchat hardly warrants more than a default answer.
There are lots of other instances when I don’t speak proper grammar as well. In fact, I probably speak improperly as often as I do properly. It takes way too long to formulate a well-constructed sentence; if I had to speak grammatically correct all the time, I’d never end up contributing to the conversation.
I also text/tweet (okay, I don’t actually tweet, but if I did…)/post on Facebook/casually e-mail with incorrect grammar and even crazy text speak. (Don’t all gasp at once!)
Why don’t I use proper grammar? You might think it’s because I don’t want to intimidate others with my superior grammar knowledge. The truth is just because I’m an author (and admittedly an editor), doesn’t mean I even know proper grammar. “Who” or “whom,” “lying” or “laying.” I don’t know! And when I do need to know, I look it up.
Not to mention the fact that if I did keep my grammarian hat on all the time, I’d probably go crazy. Have you seen some of the terrible grammar there is out there in the world? It’s astonishing!
So the next time you are talking to an author or reading a nonprofessional e-mail from an author friend of yours, don’t assume everything they offer will be grammatically perfect. Authors are people too, and we can’t be expected to always know the grammatically correct thing to say (or write). That’s what we have editors for!
Author-extraordinaire Katie L. Carroll has been disproving (and sometimes confirming) the myths of legends of being an author since 2012.
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