Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Virginia Woolf, You Are Not

Though it may seem to some people like my various part-time jobs are unrelated, they really aren't. For example, I'm a part-time English instructor and I'm also a part-time blog recruiter/trainer of sorts. In many ways, my tasks at these jobs are very similar. I have to help people write. This often requires that I tell them how not to write.

Very nicely, of course, I have to point out grammar problems or organizational issues in their writing and try to explain the correct way they should be writing the essay or blog entry or what-have-you.

Sometimes my student/trainee takes my "help" the wrong way, which is understandable. No one likes to be told he/she is doing something wrong. But, sometimes they try to support their wacky writing by telling me things like, "It's my style" or "I was trying to be funny."

I'm never really sure what to say to something like this. If writing comma splice after comma splice is style, then I'm at a loss. To me, when a nobody (in terms of writing career) writes like this, it means you simply don't know when and where to place a period. Learn the rules first. Then when you become a wildly famous writer and say that Dr. P in your ENC101 composition class taught you everything you know, you can write in whatever style you wish.

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