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.
3 days ago