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Subject: Re: Maggie and Trudie and Grammar ( 10 of 22 )
Posted by Anonymous

Writing without knowing the rules of grammar is like playing a musical instrument without knowing whether or not it's in tune.

The rules of grammar are the common frame of reference between a writer and his audience. Without this framework, you can't have proper communication. Just as the diatonic scale is the framework of Western music, grammar is the "ground rules" of writing. Every time you break a grammatical rule, your readers must stop and think about the rule that's been broken. This detracts from your message.

You may be very creative, but creativity is useless if you can't be understood. A good musician wouldn't expect to have an audience if he played out of tune, so a writer shoudn't expect an audience if his works have grammar errors.

Of course, sometimes good musicians deliberately play out of tune-- to achieve a specific emotional effect. But when they do it, they carefully calculate what they're doing and why they're doing it. In these cases, it's interesting and effective, and musicians who do it well are known as the most brilliant. But a musician who makes a lot of ignorant mistakes is simply known as "bad". It's the same with writing. You've got to be well-versed in the rules, and know when it's right to break them.
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