|photo courtesy Pixabay.com|
"I never made a mistake in grammar but one in my life and as soon as I done it I seen it." --Carl Sandburg
I have grammar blind spots. They shouldn't surprise me--no one is the perfect grammarian, right? not even Mr. Sandburg it would seem--but still when they're pointed out, I tend to go, what?? How could I have missed that?
Except when I'm in the dark and the mistake jumps out of the blue. Whoa, I didn't even realize. Thankfully my beautiful friends and writer critique buddies are smart, kind, and...well...non-critical. Helpful. Encouraging. Did I say smart? Thanks, Lanita and Connie.
We were working on potential short submissions this month, and, following our monthly meeting where we talked about them, I emailed my revisions for their final perusal. Lanita pointed out the use of a word she had already mentioned at our meeting--and, it turns out, a correction I had promptly forgotten. This time she sent me a link asking if I thought its explanation might help.
My usage? "I can still see myself pouring over vocabulary lists..."
Her thought? "I think 'poring' is the word you need."
And of course she was right.
In gently leading me to the correct choice of words, she also steered me to a website I had never visited, but now count as one of great value: vocabulary. com. Here the pouring/poring issue is made clear:
"A pore is a small opening in a surface that lets stuff through. To pour, on the other hand, means to flow continuously and rapidly...As a verb (though), to pore is used with through or over and means that you are absorbed in the study of something or that you are reading something intensely." Hence: "I can still see myself poring over vocabulary lists."
Ah, the light bulb goes off. The understanding soaks in. The appreciation builds.
I'll be visiting vocabulary.com more often, starting with another troublesome combination for me: farther vs. further. I always have trouble with their correct usage, too. Why do I have such a blind spot when it comes to some of these words? Oh, the life of the writer--where there's always room to learn something new!
What grammar issues play in your blind spot? Any favorite grammar resources that you might recommend?