Tag Archives: grammar


Hard finding new tabs for  the Reader,

Maybe going off-line is speedier…

A gas truck haiku

May never do.

Or look for it as a repeater.

If burning brands excite,

Maybe fireworks to ignite…

The Star-Spangled Banner

Did so in like manner,

It’s hard to do it right?

Undulations of snakes

Avoided for squeamish girls’ sakes…

No U.F.O.’s

Worthy of prose,

Good poetry makes!

In a way afraid to ask,

What more topics could I task…

Bad syntax

When grammar is lax,

Good poetry will hardly mask!

As said, I’m shutting down,

For tonight, ideas have gone…

By tomorrow

I’ll beg buy or borrow,

Some words to break out with song!

–Jonathan Caswell


Literary Dysmorphia

writer 300x225 Literary Dysmorphia

If you know me at all, you know that a 1st grader could easily beat me in a spelling bee. This is pretty awesome for little shin-biters around the world, but a bit disconcerting for me. So generally, I tell them they are spelling the word wrong because I’m a grown-up and I’m smarter than them. They listen… thus the problem with spelling and grammar in today’s world.

fewer 300x300 Literary DysmorphiaYesterday was National Grammar Day: a day where those who feel inferior to the rest of the world can thumb their noses at those they deem simple-minded. While I don’t equate myself with these people, I did recently exclaim in the grocery store, “Look! They used the correct word ‘fewer’ rather than ‘less’ on their sign!” Then I only heard crickets chirping from all the other shoppers who had no idea what I was talking about. Fortunately, my friend Jason was there to be excited with me, or I might have had to remind these strangers who I am and then they would have been embarrassed.

This had me thinking. Am I a grammar geek? I don’t bother to spell-check emails or edit them before I hit send. I often have to think if I should use the word “lay” or “lie”, and I might as well forget trying to use the word “moot” properly. Then again, you should see the people rushing to loosen my corsets and give me mouth-to-mouth when I hit publish by accident before editing a post.*

spell check 300x187 Literary Dysmorphia

I didn’t think I was a grammar geek… until recently. I told my friend Rod that I’m pretty sure I have what I like to call Literary Dysmorphia. Here I was, trucking along as a narcissistic blogger who loosely called herself a writer because… well, why the heck not? My amazing ability to fool people into believing I knew what I was doing led to much better writers than myself asking me to edit their works. This was great, because I had no friggin’ clue what I was doing. But being super awesome, I faked my way through it. Recently, I’ve been asked by a few people if I can hook them up in the editing world. But the most flattering of all was being found by the CEO of a huge editing company, and then being offered compensation to write something for them. It wasn’t much, but it was ego-stroking to say the least.

Literary Dysmorphia is defined by me as seeing your writing through warped goggles. Some writers are on their high horses thinking that they are better than everyone else, and can’t understand how others get published. Some of us are practically perfect, but are scared to death to actually write a book. Therefore, we cover ourselves in bacon grease and let dogs bite us so we don’t have to face that demon.

I’m a day late and a dollar short, but happy grammar day, y’all.

grammar day 300x129 Literary Dysmorphiax,
Lady or Not… Here I Come!

*I totally noticed that this sentence was a run-on, but I make my own grammar rules, so shut it.



Teachers used to bring down the hammer

If students refused to learn grammar…

The fourth or fifth time

They would get in line,

Or be forced by their parents to stammer.

–Jonathan Caswell

* Dedicated to Rebecca’s post, “LITERARY DISMORPHIA”, (March 5, 2014) on ladyornot.com, which I love but can not repost!




On Friday, John Batchelor’s Show

On W-P-R-O…

Had on a professor

On language distressors,

Writing skills have suffered so.

Because of the Internet,

Almost anyone can get…

A speaking forum

Without editing or quorum

To tell them occasionally “nyet”.

So many bloggers yammer

Anything to push the hammer…

Poor English is bad

The situation is sad,

With so little knowledge of grammar!

High School students untaught

Going into college are caught…

With little or no skill

To properly till,

The field of ideas as they ought.

When publishing books was prime,

Communications took more time…

To make understandable

‘Tween a jaw and mandible,

So that the work would boldly shine!

For this poet, to do just one draft,

Off the top of his head is daft…

Certain ways of saying

Are not safe playing,

And sound too much like riff-raff.

And certain ideas need work,

So the poet won’t seem like a jerk…

editing out lusts

And fixation on busts,

Is essential to hide nasty quirks.


–Jonathan Caswell