Monday, April 19, 2010

My unusual writing style

Editor's note - oops, I scheduled this for 6 PM, not AM. Sorry about the delay!

I keep hearing from my readers about my unusual writing style. I never learned grammar...because I happened to be where I wasn't supposed to be and got moved up a level earlier than scheduled.

That day in the fall, I didn't feel like being outside during recess and I was wandering around on third floor at my deaf school when a teacher poked her head out of a conference room and saw me. She asked me to come in and there was a bunch of college students sitting there. The teacher told me to wait here and left me with the college students. We stared at each other, wordlessly. The teacher came back few minutes later with a 13 year old male student in tow and he was 3 years older than me.

The teacher wrote down "infrequent" on the blackboard and asked the 13 year old student to explain that word. He tried to bluff his way through but it was clear that he didn't know what that word meant. I was asked to explain and I wrote down "not often, rare, uncommon". The teacher was astounded by my precise definition. She asked me to put it in a sentence. I wrote down "it is infrequent for me to skip recess." Next week, I was moved from Intermediate to Advanced.

So, how did I learn? I acquired my understanding of grammar from reading books, long before that teacher pulled me in for a demonstration. I remember begging my mom to buy a book here and there. I'd sit down and read books & magazines at stores, libraries, and other people's homes.

One day, a family with twins moved in next door and I happily discovered a room in there, filled with books in stacks as tall as me. Every day, I would go over and upon seeing me, the mother would step aside and let me go to that room upstairs. I would go through their books like there was no tomorrow. My mom always checked that house first to see if I was there before looking for me elsewhere in the neighborhood.

My unusual writiing style is the melting pot of all these authors' construction of and creative use of words. I was fascinated by that, but I didn't discover my flair for writing until I went to high school. When I entered 9th grade, my reading level was determined to be at college level. When I arrived at my first college, I was tested for English (my reading level had progressed to "beyond college"). I was placed in a writing class that had students in their 20's. I was the only minor in that class. LOL

My knowledge of grammar was not without frustrations - I didn't learn the difference between "a" and "an" until I was about 30 when my wife explained to me why I shouldn't say "an house" (versus "an hour"). I was relying on my memory of how people would use on certain words. Nobody had thought of telling me this; maybe they figured it was a quirk of mine.


Alex said...

Like I said; you're a Smarty Pants :)

I have pretty poor grammar. I was taught, it just didn't stick ... or I chose to ignore it.


I know the difference between;
two, to, too
they're, their, there
its, it's (though when in a hurry I tend to forget the ' part)

DCHY said...

Alex - you have no idea how psychotic it is for me to read when it is obvious that the writers lack the ability to differentiate between all those words (your & you're belongs in there too). Argh

Alex said...

Ah I knew I missed one lol.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm sorry, my writing must make you crazy then! I admit I'm poor at grammar but I get the basics!

You are pretty awesome and what a cool story.

Oh stick then and than in there too!

Autumn said...

well, you know my grammar's not so hot, but good that you understand anyhow. :)

that's so cool about books. i can totally see how that was helpful for you in many areas of your non-hearing part of life. wow on the conference room with the teachers. must have been slightly intimidating at your young age. very cool.

DCHY said...

Shelle - actually, I've noticed that happens when your either in a hurry or using you're phone. I can tell the difference. Their are people who don't know they're differences and I'm not the only one who thinks to much about that two. Its funny. LOL

Autumn - it was a bit intimidating, but that serendipitious moment changed my life. I feel that I am better off for that.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Ha! Your answer to me, very funny, I picked out the grammar mistakes thank you very much!

Glad you can tel and that you excuse it ;)