One of the frustrating things about being a writer -- especially a nonfiction writer -- is that, once you've written something, you feel that it's "said." You made your point. It's out there. End of discussion.
Oy, the narcissism.
The problem, of course, is that while we may feel the whole world was hanging on our every word, the truth is that we don't have the audience we'd hoped.
For example, sometimes to get focused in the morning, I do a Google news search for the word "grammar." I like to see what people and publications are saying on the subject. Make sure I'm abreast of any grammar-related news. Stuff like that.
Then I pick up my coffee cup and bonk myself on the head with it.
It's always the same thing: Some columnist in Polukaville has written a column about how readers shredded her for using "their" to refer to a singular, or something like that. Invariably, the columnist has an epiphany: There are a lot of people out there who like to play "gotcha" with grammar! Who knew?
Then come the comments. Some clown posts a comment ranting about how the New York Times used a split infinitive (gasp!) and another clown bemoans the widespread use of "healthy" to mean "healthful."
(None of these linguistic crimes is actually a crime, by the way. Split infinitives, if there are such things, are fine. "Healthy" now means "healthful" and use of "their" to refer to a singular is defended by some of the nation's top language authorities.)
Halfway through reading the second comment, I remember why so many people hate grammar: Because the people who claim to love it work their butts off to give it a bad name.
To me, grammar is more about understanding phrase and clause structure and using that understanding to form the most effective sentences possible. But not today. Today, "grammar" refers to the never-ending bumbledance between the anti-split-infinitive thugs and the dazed columnists who never saw 'em coming.
So much for the reach of my authorial voice.
Causes June Casagrande Supports
Planned Parenthood, ClimateCrisis.net, the Richard Dawkins Foundation, Pet Orphans of Southern California, KIVA