Chances are, if you didn't sleep through school, someone tried to teach you how to underline predicates and what a participle is. If you were lucky, they taught you to diagram sentences.
They probably never taught you why any of this matters. This is the Grammar Insurrection, discussion of how to make images by combining words. This is grammar as you've never seen it taught before.
Online or in school you can find plenty of places that will teach you how to place commas, make verbs agree with their subject, and so on. Here at the Grammar Insurrection, we say that doesn't matter so much. Mechanical issues are secondary. Of course you want your prose to look nice, but the true heart of fine grammar is correct and clear usage.
But first, the structure and rules. This is a seminar thread, not a review thread, and will it run differently from them. We discuss one passage at a time. Please bring your own writing for discussion, but be ready to learn from others before (and hopefully after!) your turn comes.
1 - Everypony is here to learn, even reviewers, even myself.
2 - Everypony is here to teach when possible, even the newest writer.
3 - Passages for discussion should be shorter than one thousand words and suitable for general discussion. Specifically,
a - Not everypony wants to read about heavy kissing and/or kicking, so action passages are limited to an "Everypony" rating.
b - Sometimes it's an artistic choice to write unclear prose. That's fine, but it doesn't belong here.
4 - Be nice (towards each other).
5 - Be strict (towards prose).
Now I will take a perfectly good piece of writing and ruin it two ways. This comes from Brian Jacques' Mossflower
. First, I will scratch up the presentation, the mere mechanics of punctuation and spelling. Second, I will ruin the flow and usage. If you believe, as I do, that the first is better, you might just be a good candidate for the Insurrection.
gonff teh mousethief padded sailently along the passaj from thee larder nd storeroom of kotir . he waz a plup littl creature clad inna gren jerkin wiv a broad bukld belt
he wuz a ducker an a weaver of life a marvelus mimik balad riter singer and lokpik and very jovial wiv it all . the woodlandrs wer immensely fond of the littl thief . gonff shrugged it all off calling every kreachur hiz matey in imitation of the otters whom he greatly admired
chukling quietly to himself he drew the smol daggr from his belt and cut off a weje fram teh cheez he was carring . slung around his shouldr waz a larj flasc uv elderbery wine wich he had also stollen from the larder . gonff ate and drank singing kwietlee to himsef in a deep bass voice betwene mouthfulz ov cheez nd whine
the prince uv mousethieves honors you
to vizit eer this day
so keep ur larder door shut tite
lok ol ur food awy
o foolish onez go chec ur stor
uf food so rich and faine
be shur that ill be back for mor
espeshalee this wine
at the sound of hevvee paws gonff fell silent . melting back into the shadowz he huddld down and held his breff
two weezls drest in r-more and carring spears trujded past . they wir argyuing heatedlee
As Gonff the mousethief walked silently along the passage that lead from the larder of the castle of the wildcat king Verdauga Greeneyes, Kotir, he looked plump being a little creature who was clad in a green jerkin with a broad buckled belt. He was a ducker, a weaver of life, a marvelous mimic, wrote ballads, singing, was a lockpick, and was very jovial with it all. The woodlanders were immensely fond of Gonff. He shrugged it all off while he called every creature his matey imitating the otters he greatly admired. As he chuckled quietly to himself, he drew the small dagger from his belt cutting off a wedge from the cheese that he was carrying. Before, he also had stolen from the larder a large flask of elderberry wine which was lung around his shoulder. Gonff ate and drank and was singing quietly to himself in a deep bass voice between mouthfuls of cheese and wine.
The Prince of Mousethieves honors you,
To visit here this day.
So keep your larder door shut tight,
Lock all your food away.
O foolish ones, go check your store
Of food so rich and fine.
Be sure that I’ll be back for more,
Especially this wine.
Gonff fell silent when he heard the sound of heavy paws, melting back into the shadows. He huddled down before he held his breath. Two weasels dressed in armor and carrying spears trudged past arguing heatedly.