Thursday, May 11, 2006

English, yes. English grammar, no.

I write grammatical English by instinct by the grace of chance, come to think of it. I kinda took to the language (to use my favourite cliché) like duck to water almost from the word ‘Go’. Nobody spoke English at home. Marathi was the lingua franca. I was exposed to Marathi literature and theatre quite a bit. I wrote Marathi fairly well at school, once even authored most of contents of the handwritten class ‘magazine’ – the flavour of that year (in the late 1940s). Yet English it was that won my heart for some unknown reason. Nevertheless, as far as the theoretical grammar went, my knowledge – and interest – were close to zilch. I could score well in questions pertaining to ‘doing the grammar stuff’. But ask me to name the eight parts of speech and I would instantly turn to stone. This is the case even now. Which is perhaps why I make it a point to add a bit to my grammatical literacy by imbibing ‘Wisdom From the Grammar Goddess’, the occasional column by Diane Sandford. The latest one is at – just in case you’re interested. [Previous link: Thursday, May 4, 2006. Posted at 3:50 A.M. 'Why a duck to water? Quack, quack.']

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