I will get back to my comments about grammar soon. Right now I want to do a review of a series of young adult fantasy novels written by a friend of mine, K.B. Hoyle. Influenced by Tolkien, CS Lewis, and J.K. Rawling, Hoyle’s series, The Gateway Chronicles, follows a group of six teenagers who meet each other at camp and find a gateway into a parallel world. Each summer they go into this world where they battle the forces of evil trying to take over that world.
I recommend these books to anyone who loves the fantasy genre. The fifth book in the series, The Scroll, has just been published. Meanwhile, I am rereading the first four books, The Six, The Oracle, The White Thread, and The Enchanted, and enjoying them all over again. I love the way Hoyle combines adventure, supernatural happenings, and romance as the characters go from age thirteen to nineteen or twenty at the end of the series.
Here is a link where you can find the novels. http://www.amazon.com/K.-B.-Hoyle/e/B008FP1TB6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1382993463&sr=1-2-ent
I was talking in my last post about grammar rules teachers pass on that are not real rules. I’ll begin with the one I mentioned in my last post: “Never use a preposition at the end of a sentence”:
This rule came from an attempt a few centuries ago to use Latin grammar rules for English, which had no rules at the time. This was foolish as the languages are not at all similar. For one thing, English is a living language that changes over time while Latin is considered a dead language, that is, it does not add new words or change usage.
As a living language, English involves the creation of wholly new words and the absorption of words from other languages. Our language invites us to be creative and expressive. Even our rules invite transgression. (I’ll discuss sentence fragments in a later post.) But non-rules that have been erroneously imposed on generations of schoolchildren cry out to be stomped on. (How can I write that last phrase without an ending preposition?)
Winston Churchill is famous for having used the following put down to someone who criticized his use of a preposition at the end of the sentence: “Correcting my grammar is something up with which I will not put.” This quote points out the absurdity of criticizing a person who says, “this is a situation I won’t put up with.”
Of course, you can find another way to rearrange the prepositions so they are not at the end of the sentence, but if saying it this way gives it more punch or emphasis, then go ahead and say it– you’re free to do so.
The problem today is that since so many people believe the non-rule, those who know the truth still avoid end of the sentence prepositions to keep from sounding ignorant to the uninformed.
I’ll leave it up to you whether or not to use prepositions at the end of sentences, but I do advise you against criticizing those who don’t follow this rule. I also suggest you teach the truth to your children and grandchildren. Of course, if they insist their teacher tells them not to do it, you’re left with another problem: do you keep your mouth shut and let them think she is right, or do you tell them the teacher doesn’t know what she is talking about and open an entirely different can of worms?
For my next post another non-rule: never split an infinitive
I grew up in a time when writing meant freedom to express oneself. Writing is — or can be — art, and an artist sometimes breaks rules and sometimes expresses unconventional ideas in unconventional ways. If one is bound by grammatical rules and political correctness, can he (he or she to be PC) be an artist?
I was a writer and a poet before I became a journalist. As a writer and a poet, I was a modernist — no doubt influenced by the decades right before me. I write free verse, even now, but I rhyme when I want to. I love the sound and rhythms of words almost more than the meanings. I like to play with them and feel them ripple through my fingers like water or sand or even squishy mud.
Because I loved words and wanted to create with them, I became a writer, a poet, and a journalist. Journalism taught me short sentences and sparse punctuation and getting to the point. It also taught me to use a snappy starter — something to grab my readers’ attention.
Becoming an English teacher taught me what correct punctuation really is. It taught me the rules I had forgotten from high school. But it also taught me that many so-called rules are not really that. We fear to break them, yet to be a real writer we must know when we can. We must know which rules are real and which are not but have been repeated so many times that even many English teachers think they are real.
I will talk about these rules in my next post. Here is a preview: there is no rule against ending a sentence with a preposition!
It has been a few months since I published Pride and Prejudice: Kitty’s Story as an e-book available on Amazon. This was the second book in a series of first-person accounts told by minor characters of the original novel. My idea was to use parts of Pride and Prejudice, dialogue particularly, and tie it in with the story of these other characters.
I am currently writing a third in the series, Georgianna’s Story, which should be ready in January. Projects I’m working on include a short novel about a woman who committed suicide finds himself in hell and a sequel to my Quest for Eden Series.