Tag Archives: back to school

It’s a Kind of Magic

It’s A Kind of Magic:
The Glamour of Grammar

I doubt many people consider grammar to be glamourous. I would argue otherwise. Did you know they share a root word? Grammatikos, “of letters”, from the ancient Greek language. When the word grammar first entered usage in the English language – all the way back in the Middle Ages – it referred to all kinds of learning. Popular opinion of the time included some knowledge of magic in that body of learning. Glamour, meanwhile, originally referred to a type of magic used to disguise the true appearance of things. It is still used that way in much of our modern fantasy fiction; I use it as such myself in some of my stories.

I always knew there was something magical about grammar. The way proper grammar usage makes it possible to understand other speakers of the language is a kind of magic. Without grammar, understanding would be no more than a dream. Imagine if everyone spoke their words in random order. Be understand anyone would be there way to. (In the proper order: There would be no way to understand anyone.) Honestly, I’d rather not imagine that. I’m not a fan of horror.

I am so glad grammar exists. I like being able to understand others. I like for others to be able to understand me. Without such understanding, there would be no literature. There would be no real meaning to life. What is life for, after all, if not learning, constantly seeking knowledge? Nothing important. Not to me.

In the pursuit of a better understanding of grammar, I decided to sign up for Write 101x on edX.org. I have a pretty good grasp of grammar, but it could always be better. There is always room for improvement, in everything worth doing. Writing stories is my passion, what I hope to do for the rest of my life. Grammar is, and will always be, central to my pursuit of that passion.

On Grammar

In the interest of improving my writing, I have registered for an online writing class through edX.org: Write 101x English Grammar and Style. While it’s offered by an Australian university (UQ, the University of Queensland), and thus the rules and spellings will be a little different, I’m excited about it.

It actually started this week on Monday the 22nd. I’ve completed the assignments for week 1, including the blog post (coming soon). So far, the only differences I’ve noticed have been in spellings. Australians use mostly British spellings: glamour instead of glamor for example. (That particular example isn’t a problem for me. I use glamour already, though it’s usually in the context of fantasy fiction.) I’ve already learned several things I didn’t know. One of which is the subject of my coming blog post.

As part of the course, we are required to write a blog post every other week. I’ve decided to post mine here, but not until after the due date (29 September for the first one). I will probably write a post on the off weeks as well, just to share what I’ve learned. Also because I want to be more active in posting on this blog. Win/win.