Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Darn it! I missed National Grammar Day.

Yep:  apparently March 4 is National Grammar Day.  I missed it, but I sure love these two posts:  here and here.  I am someone who surreptitiously erases the mistaken apostrophe from chalk menu listings.  I'm even someone who's been known to write to major newspapers to chide them for bad writing (and bad proofreading).

But I'm experiencing my comeuppance:  right now, I'm dealing with a first round of edits from a good law review that is determined to make my writing style much more formal.  The editors have taken out every single contraction.  (I'm putting every single one back in--which has taken me several hours so far today.) So, in honor of National Grammar Day (a day late), my reaction to my current page proofs:
Dear Law Review Editors from Every U.S. Law Review:

Please let your authors use their own writing styles.  Please do not hew to the mistaken notion that your authors must use clunky and unnecessarily formal writing in order for your law review to be taken seriously by its readers.  All you're doing with these nitpicking edits is ticking off your authors.  Our names are on our articles, not yours, and trust me:  we know how we write, and we like our writing enough to do it for a living.  When you've written for a living for over two decades (three decades, in my case, if you count the time before I entered academia), you'll understand how we feel. 
I've decided that, in every new publication contract, I'm going to insert a provision barring the law review editors from removing my contractions or changing my writing style.  Enough is enough.

Now, go check your commas and apostrophes to prepare for next year's National Grammar Day.

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