Okay, so I *do* tend to write as I speak, which is informally. And I do sometimes break the rules. Ninety-nine percent of the time that's intentional. If, however, you ever see something I've written and question its grammatical correctness, PLEASE tell me! It does sometimes happen that I discover some idiomatic phrase that I've always used and never realized was actually wrong. For example, I heard AOL announce 'You've got mail!' for years before it dawned on me that I was assaulting my eardrums with wrongness! I also split my infinitives fairly regularly, and only correct them if I'm writing a formal paper or letter. Once in a while I'll even end a sentence with a preposition. (Gasp!) Yeah. That's how I roll.
The difference between most of my so-called errors and those that I will list here is this: I KNOW the rules; therefore, I am ALLOWED to break them. Yep, that's how it works. You see, I LOVE grammar! I know that might sound weird, but it's true. It's sort of like a puzzle to me. Sometimes my brain will get wrapped around a particularly thorny grammar problem and I can't stop thinking about it until I've figured it out. Like this: 'I appreciate your having taken the time to read my disclaimer.' That there's one grammatically tricky sentence! It includes the perfect progressive verb tense as a gerund! (That's right; many will try, but most will fail. Hehe.) When I began contemplating the sentence I had a hunch that the pronoun, and beginning of the phrase, should be 'your', a possessive pronoun, making the rest of the phrase a noun--a gerund, to be more specific. A few other people thought it should read 'I appreciate you having taken the time', 'I appreciate you taking the time' or even 'I appreciate you're taking the time'. I thought about it for a couple of days until I figured it out for sure, and only then did I do some research to confirm my hunch. Why did I waste so many precious hours of my life contemplating something that would bore most people? Because I LOVE grammar!
That is why I am adding this feature to my blog. Grammar may not interest most folks, but I love it, and I want to share the fun with YOU! You're welcome. Heh.
Many of the examples I will be poking fun at (<--look at that! I ended a phrase with a preposition!) are actually examples of bad usage as opposed to bad grammar. The writer may have used a word completely incorrectly or simply chose the wrong spelling or used inappropriate punctuation. Even though these technically aren't always grammar mistakes, I will include them here for the sake of ease.
Again, I invite you to correct me! I may defend my usage, but if you can catch me violating the rules of my favorite game I will love you for it. And I'll tell ya so. ;)
Grammatically yours, you'res and you ares,
The Grammar Vigilante